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NEXT STEPS ON TEACHERS' PAY

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Education and skills secretary Charles Clarke today announced the ...
Education and skills secretary Charles Clarke today announced the

next steps on teachers' pay following the recent consultation on the

latest report from the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB), which

covered a wide range of important pay issues.

Mr Clarke confirmed that:

* In line with the agreement reached between the government,

employers and general secretaries of five unions, that Upper Pay Scale 3

will be the salary to which all good classroom teachers can aspire,

from September 2004 the upper pay scale will cease at point 3;

* further information on progression on the upper pay scale and the

leadership spine would (subject to statutory consultation) be

included in pay guidance and shortly be sent to all schools to assist

their planning;

* Government reiterated its commitment to work together with its

partners to develop principles for an Excellent Teacher Scheme with

the aim of working towards introduction by September 2006; and

* a system of light-touch validation of schools performance

management systems would be established in schools from September

2005.

Mr Clarke said:

'I am most grateful to the STRB for the detailed and constructive

recommendations which they put forward in their report.

'I am also grateful to those who responded to the consultation and to

teacher associations and employer members of our Rewards and

Incentives Group for the work they are putting in to taking a number

of these matters forward in discussion.

'Following our agreements on workforce reform and - in January this

year - on joint pay proposals I believe there is much to be gained

from our social partnership approach.

'I believe that we have a firm basis for moving ahead on a wide range

of issues. Some difficult matters remain but I know that there is

real commitment to continuing to work these through together. I am

convinced that this will be for the ultimate benefit of teachers,

schools and p upils.'

On other issues arising from the STRB report and subsequent

consultation he announced that:

* external threshold assessment would end in England and Wales from

September 2004 but urgent discussions would take place on the nature

of appropriate school-based appeal mechanisms to be introduced for

the 2004/5 threshold round;

* he remains committed to introducing more rigour into main scale pay

progression from September 2005, however he noted the concerns

expressed by consultees and would seek discussions with partners on

the way forward;

* the government would discuss the detail of the STRB's local and

regional pay proposals with its partners with the aim of meeting the

STRB's September deadline for further evidence;

* regarding Advanced Skills Teachers, the government remained

committed to the grade and welcomed consultees' support for

shortening the AST spine, but agreed that details should be subject

to further discussion;

* in addition, in the light of the STRB's recommendations about

encouraging greater use of performance pay progression for ASTs,we

would consider and discuss what changes may be made to the pay

Document and/or pay guidance;

* he welcomed the STRB's recommendations on the withdrawal of

safeguarding of social priority allowances and the Inner London Area

Supplement but would defer implementation pending wider safeguarding

discussions in the near future;

* a provision to cover the introduction of Chartered London Teacher

status would be included in the new pay document;

* he welcomed NEOST's support for a review of procedures relating to

unattached teachers;

* discussions would encompass discussions on guidance on the use of

special educational needs allowances;

* simplification of the pay document would be taken forward in

consultation as soon as possible.

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