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STILL with Mr Blunkett, the Diary gathers there was little movement when he met our classroom union leaders to discuss their continuing doubts over performance-related pay.

Some queried the timing of the meeting, so close to next week's expected delivery of the details of how the whole thing is going to work. But there is a reason.

The unions decided a meeting under the TUC's auspics would be a good move. TUC general secretary John Monks sent off an invitation well before Christmas.

Alas, it seems the apparatchiks at the DFEE are so unused to receiving mail from the TUC they didn't recognise its importance. It took six weeks to reach the Secretary of State. Profuse apologies duly followed, but, as one union bod wryly noted: "So much for the fast track."

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