Unions warn of opposition over `superteacher' plans

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The Independent Online
Teachers' leaders yesterday claimed that the Government risked losing the support of the profession if it boosted the pay of a new grade of "superteachers" but failed to raise teaching salaries across the board. Their criticism, the most forceful yet directed at the Labour government by the profession, came as David Blunkett, secretary of State for Education and Employment, unveiled the first details of a new rank of "advanced skills teacher".

In guidance to the School Teachers' Review Body, which makes recommendations on classroom pay, Mr Blunkett called for advice on how the "superteachers" might be rewarded.

The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers warned that the majority of teachers would oppose plans which would see "most held back so that a few get a fair deal". Doug McAvoy, leader of the National Union of Teachers, said he was disappointed "that a government with education at the heart of its policies fails to recognise the need to lift the salary levels of the entire profession." Lucy Ward