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Increase mobility for teachers that want to teach

Comment 2nd July 2010

We should review the pay structure for teachers and allow individuals and head teachers to exercise their judgement on how much to pay an individual, based on the current pay scales. This would encourage experienced teachers to move to more 'difficult' schools and allow them to stay in the classroom and fresh rather than forcing them to stay where they are or into management when that's not what they became teachers for.

Why does this matter?

The rigid pay scale for teachers, whilst being an excellent way of standardising pay across the country, can be a hindrance for teachers that want to stay in the classroom rather than move into management.

I am a primary school teacher that came into the profession late having worked in the private sector for many years. I love my job and want to continue working as an educator for as long as possible. However, the current system is tailored to encourage teachers into management positions, which is fine if that's what you want to do.  However, there are many teachers like me who want to remain at the 'chalk face' and gain new challenge from teaching in different schools.  For example, I currently teach in large suburban and monocultural school and would love to have a new challenge in an inner city school.  The current pay scale regulations require me to work at my pay grade and it is not negotiable.  School budgets are being cut and therefore inexperienced and cheaper teachers are being favoured. This means that I cannot move schools without moving into senior management or pursuing other avenues that all require me to spend more time out of the classroom.

So, I think that teacher's pay should be revised and more negotiable.  I would happily take a pay cut if the challenge was worth it, but I cannot currently do so.  Head teachers should be able to negotiate these things with individual teachers and be allowed to use their discretion. Let teachers like me, with a proven track record of success, be more mobile and able to join schools that may need us!

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