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What it's worth

So now we know: those of us in further education are deemed to be less valuable than those in schools. No rises are on offer to those of us in the FE sector.

The feature on school teachers' pay (TES, February 14) showed up the gap which now exists.

Classroom teachers can earn up to Pounds 34,044 without the additional rise recommended.

Main-grade lecturers in further education can earn up to approximately Pounds 22,000.

Even senior lecturers, a fast-vanishing breed in FE, can earn only up to Pounds 26,000, still Pounds 8,000 below an "ordinary" classroom teacher.

Since the further education sector has expanded student numbers, taken on new training initiatives, delivered complex general national vocational qualifications and national vocational qualification programmes, absorbed much of the rise in post-16 enrolment and now delivers 13 per cent of all higher education programmes, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Government would be grateful.

It seems like a coded message: FE staff can be marginalised. But for how long?

CAROLE WILLIAMS Swardeston Norwich Norfolk

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