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Thank God it's Friday

Monday The head reassures us that when he said applications for crossing the pay threshold didn't have to be in by the June 5 deadline, it wasn't a ruse to slash the number of applications he must wade through. But he really does need outstanding applications by Friday. About 250,000 teachers are eligible to apply, and most of these have been trying non-stop to log on to the DfEE's website since the start of half-term, judging by my repeated failure to get in. I want to apply on a downloaded application form as my failure to use computers in school has convinced the head that I think ICT is something you drink with a slice of lemon.

Tuesday Sneak downstairs at 5am to retrieve the application form from the DfEE website. Still no luck. At school, a colleague tells me that the office manager has the form on disk. I resolve to pay him a visit, forgetting that "things will be quieter now the Year 11s have gone" is one of education's great lies. I leave school empty-handed.

Wednesday The office manager transfers the aplication form from the screen to disk in nanoseconds. It turns out the school has a queue-jumping link to the DfEE site. I open the disk to find it contains a "V-sign.a" virus. Is the DfEE expressing its true feelings about teachers?

Thursday I'm wondering whether applying to cross this threshold is really worth the trouble when I recall my union's advice. They're dead against it, but say I should still apply as pound;2,000 year is pound;60,000 over a career. I'm flattered they think me so young.

I fail miserably to advance the application during the school day after remembering that I must refer to the school's performance assessment (Panda) report. Spend lunchtime in search of my copy of the school's Panda.

Friday Roll into school bleary-eyed after an all night cut-and-paste job on a photocopied application form.

Cross my fingers that I'll get over the threshold as I can't face the prospect of going through the whole rigmarole again next year.

Holly Budd is a pseudonym. She teaches in Manchester

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