Unbiased heads would be a bonus

YOUR front-page story "Thousands look forward to pay bonus" (TES, May 31) brings more welcome news for experienced teachers who will be getting an extra pound;1,000 from their headteachers.

Like many experienced and committed teachers, I applied for the threshold bonus for 2001 and got it, but it was a serious challenge for me to show that I deserved to be paid that bonus.

Heads have enormous powers these days and they have their own favourites. If you fit into the pro-headteacher lobby, then you have a greater chance of getting the extra bonus to top up your pay.

When I applied for the bonus, my head rejected my application, but sent it to the external neutral body to decide whether I deserved the bonus or not. The external body went through all the evidence which I submitted in detail and came to the conclusion that I deserved the bonus. My head had to accept the external body's decision.

Most heads are fair, but a few are biased, and teachers have to fit into their respective lobbies and circles if they want to achieve bonuses. Some of these heads are not following government guidelines and they have their own agendas.

As a committed and professional ethnic-minority teacher, I would like the Government to set a fair standard of practice and policy to ensure that the new pound;1,000 bonus is given to all teachers who are committed and experienced and have shown great courage to stand up and continue to teach in difficult circumstances.

Heads who do not implement a fair system in their own schools must be closely monitored by the education establishment and teachers' unions.

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