Chiswick teachers lose out again in latest pay round

No inner London enhancement despite W4 being the fourth most expensive place to live in the capital

Only a minority of Chiswick’s Teachers will qualify for special pay deal announced by the Government yesterday. The inflation pegged pay rise of 2.9%, recommended by the independent School Teachers Review Body, was awarded to all teachers in the outer London and "fringe" areas of the South East. However, there is a special pay deal for Inner London teachers, with an overall rise of 4% presented as an incentive for them to remain in inner London schools.

Since Chiswick straddles two boroughs there will be unfortunate discrepancies in our local teacher’s pay rises. The Government has deemed Ealing to be an Inner London Borough and so teachers there will be awarded the extra incentive, however, Hounslow is deemed to be an Outer London Borough and therefore teachers will only qualify for the 2.9% rise.

John Dunford, leader of the Secondary Heads Association said "This settlement will do nothing for schools in areas of high housing cost, especially in outer London and the South East, where the problems are chronic." The rises in inner London were "welcome, but inadequate".

If Chiswick was a London borough in its own right, it would be the fourth most expensive place to live in the capital. Chiswick property is more than twice as expensive than some boroughs that received the inner London allowance. Most areas within the North Circular receive qualify and many parts of London well outside are deemed to be inner London in this instance.

Selected London Borough
Average cost of home (£)
Data from Land Registry
Kensington and Chelsea Inner
City of Westminster Inner
Camden Inner
Chiswick (post code area) Mainly outer
Hammersmith and Fulham Inner
Richmond upon Thames Outer
Wandsworth Inner
Islington Inner
Ealing Inner
Hounslow Outer
Brent Inner
Lewisham Inner

This latest scheme is aimed at tackling the problem of good teachers being tempted to leave London because their standard of living could be much higher in other parts of the country. However, it fails to tackle a more local issue of house prices in the Chiswick area.

The teacher’s unions have expressed their dissension. They believe that the new scheme will lead to real dissension and contradictions between one school and another and that strike action is being reconsidered.

The Education Secretary, Charles Clarke, said: "We are serious about raising standards in London schools. This pay award provides significant pay rises for all London teachers. London's pupils deserve high standards and our schools need to attract and retain senior and talented teachers.” He added that the separate pay scale for London marked "a prudent first step" towards localised pay - something the government is keen to see.

Graham Lane, education chairman of the Local Government Association said boroughs faced a multi-million pound budget shortfall in spite of the proposed "cushioning" grant. "The changes for pay in inner London are as bizarre as the criteria for allocating additional grant across London," he said. "Any potential recruitment and retention problems are not restricted to inner London. This solution will create rather than solve problems."

London allowance areas:
Inner London
Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Camden, City of London, Ealing, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Newham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth, Westminster
Outer London
Barnet, Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Enfield, Harrow, Haringey, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kingston upon Thames, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Sutton, Waltham Forest

February 7, 2003

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