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'PAY BILL FOR TEACHERS REDUCED'

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Commenting on the government's ...
Commenting on the government's announcementof the next steps on teachers' pay, National Union of Teachers general secretary Doug McAvoy said:

'Today's announcement by the education secretary confirms the lowering of the maximum salary level available to all teachers. That maximum salary has been reduced by more than£2,000 as a result of the collaboration between the government and the other teacher unions. The NUT continues to oppose the principle that progress beyond this new maximum should be rationed.

'The education secretary has every right to express gratitude to those unions since they have helped reduce the government's pay bill for teachers.

'The NUT, alone if necessary, will continue to press for higher salaries for all teachers.'

And commenting on yesterday's announcementon teacher numbers and class sizes Mr McAvoy said:

'The release of these figures is being spun as a success story but it conceals some disturbing facts. The government's decision to allow teacher numbers in primary and nursery to decline bodes ill for the future.

'Instead of taking advantage of falling rolls to reduce class sizes in primary there will be schools facing decreased budgets and redundancies. This policy means that teacher numbers will not return to 1979 levels when the Labour Party was last in power.

'The figures conceal the fact that unqualified teachers are counted in the increase. On this evidence this means that the government will not hit its target of 10,000 more qualified teachers by the end of this parliament.

'I am deeply concerned that the number of class sizes over 30 in secondary schools hav e risen. This trend must be reversed. Secondary schools face increasing demands such as reorganisation of 14-19 qualifications.'

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