Welsh bid to go it alone

4th February 2000 at 00:00
THE GOVERNMENT would be "flying in the face of devolution" if it attempted to force pay by results on Welsh teachers, unions have said.

Gethin Lewis, general secretary of the NUT Cymru, attacked the Government for continuing to "force through ... performance-related pay". Mr Lewis also reacted with disappointment to the announcement of a 3.3 per cent pay rise for teachers, which he said would do nothing to tackle the recruitment crisis.

Wales should be given the flexibility to introduce a more sensitive pay policy, he said.

He quoted a resolution passed by the Welsh Assembly's education committee before Christmas which said that linking pay to the results of pupils' examinations would "harm he teaching profession and the schools of Wales".

But an Assembly spokeswoman said there was little room for a separate Welsh scheme as teachers' pay was controlled by the Department for Education and Employment in London. Ministers wanted uniform standards so that teachers could still move freely between the countries.

The criteria for assessing if a teacher is fit to go on to the new higher pay scale will therefore be the same in both countries - although the distinctive Welsh context and curriculum will be taken into account. And, as in England, the assessment of teachers applying to cross the theshold will be done by the private firm Cambridge Education Associates.

People, 23

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