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STABILITY FOR SCHOOLS IS KEY - CLARKE AND MILIBAND

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Education and skills secretary Charles Clarke and school standards ...
Education and skills secretary Charles Clarke and school standards

minister David Miliband today gave evidence to the School Teachers'

Review Body in which they set out plans for financial stability for

schools.

Mr Clarke said that key to the stability

of schools was an inflation rate pay deal for two and a half years.

The government had ended the times when teachers were underpaid and

undervalued, he said. Salaries have risen substantially - since 1997

teachers' pay has increased in real terms by 13%.

Mr Clarke made clear that it is right that teachers' salaries

maintain their value. But he said that the overall pay bill has to be

affordable.

Mr Clarke reiterated the two main goals of financial stability and

financial certainty that were set out when he wrote to the STRB in

July, urging:

- Settlement at the level of inflation, to ensure pay increases are

affordable for schools;

- Multi-year pay settlement is essential;

- Early announcement of the pay deal in November 2003, instead of

January 2004. This will give headteachers more time to plan their

budgets;

- Rewarding excellent teaching, but in a way that is linked to

affordability. This will involve new criteria for performance pay

for experienced teachers and greater responsibility for

headteachers and governors in managing performance pay.

Mr Clarke said:

'Teachers are central to raising standards but were undervalued for

far too long. We are proud of the investment we have made in teaching

and teachers.

'We are now seeing the benefits of this investment. There are almost

25,000 more teachers in schools than in 1997. We have more teachers

than at any time since the early 1980s.

'We are getting more and better teachers into classrooms. A record

24,500 graduates have accepted teacher training places for this

autumn. That's over 3,000 more than this time last year whilst in

1996 fewer than 18,000 graduate s accepted places on teacher training

courses.

'Ofsted recently told us that our teachers are the best we have ever

had - a cause for celebration.

'We firmly believe that teachers' pay should keep its value. To

ensure stability for schools the settlement should be at the rate of

inflation.

'In the summer we set out the framework to the funding system for the

next two years and now believe the STRB must give schools the tools

to plan and manage their budgets. That means reform of the way in

which pay deals are set.

'I repeat last year's call for a multi-year award. It is vital we do

everything in our power to give head teachers the tools to plan

ahead.

'I would also like to see an early announcement of the deal. We have

argued for a date in November this year, not next January. This will

give heads valuable financial stability and certainty in planning

ahead.'

NOTES

This Press Notice applies to England.

1. The pay and conditions of teachers in England and Wales are set in

legislation and are based on the recommendations of the independent

School Teachers' Review Body (STRB). Current members are CHAIR: Bill

Cockburn MEMBERS Rodney East; Ros Gardner; Mark Goodridge; Dr Bleddyn

Bryn Roberts; John Singh; and Josephine Stephens.

2. Today's oral evidence by Mr Clarke

and Mr Miliband, follows

written evidence presented to the STRB in July 2003. The STRB will

also take both written and oral evidence from other key stakeholders

- teacher unions, local authority employer representatives, governing

body representatives etc. to inform their recommendations.

3. When the secretary of state receives the STRB's report he will

consult key stakeholders on its recommendations, and his response to

it, before any changes are incorporated into legislation. The

Government has undertaken to implement the recommendations of all pay

review bodies unless there are clear and compelling reasons to t he

contrary.

Links

The role of the STRB

STRB website

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