£10,000 'bonus' to teach in tough schools

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Teachers will get a £10,000 'bonus' for working in the toughest schools, under plans that have been announced.

The cash, on top of their salaries, will be available from September. However, teachers would get the money after three years' service and after special training to help them cope.

Schools which are eligible for the scheme include more than 400 that the Government has warned it will close unless GCSE performance improves.

Under the deal, the teachers will be given £2,000 installments at the end of their first and second years at disadvantaged schools and £6,000 once they have completed three years. Teachers joining or transferring to schools that face challenging circumstances will also be eligible for extra tailored training to support them through the transition and may be eligible for early access to a new Masters in Teaching and Learning qualification and enhanced career support.

Graham Holley, the chief executive of the Teaching and Development Agency, which is in charge of recruitment, said: "We need more of the best teachers in schools where they can do the most good. Teaching in a challenging school can be tough but with the right training and a great team around you it can be immensely rewarding."

"Our research shows that good teachers can have a profound effect on students in these schools, from getting pupils from poorer backgrounds into university to improving self-esteem. There’s never been a better time to put yourself forward for some of the most exciting teaching jobs available.”

Melanie Hamlett from Yardleys Science College in Birmingham said: 'I've taught in a few different types of school and whilst there are challenges here, I find my job very satisfying and rewarding.   There is always that feeling of knowing that the job you do, in the place you do it, really matters.  There is so much potential for improvement that you see real change, have a positive impact on pupils' education and life chances, and you get a strong sense of fulfilment from sharing in the success of a school and individual pupils.  I think it moulds you to be a better teacher, and there is a fantastic support network in our school, with many opportunities to contribute to whole school developments and move forward in your career.'

In january this year, The schools secretary, Ed Balls, said: "No child should be held back by their background, so we will now do more to break the link between disadvantage and achievement.

"Great teachers are key to this, so I want to go further now to help heads recruit and retain the very best teachers in the most challenging schools."

Christine Blower, acting general secretary at the National Union of Teachers, said: "To attract teachers into schools in tough areas, teachers need to be convinced that working in such schools enhances, not undermines, their careers. Indeed, all schools in those areas need additional funding so that class and group sizes can be made much smaller and proper links with local communities can be financed and established.

"Financial incentives in that context will have a minor and transitional effect. The main incentive is knowing that not only are you making a massive difference to the lives of some of the most disadvantaged people, but that you are appreciated not only by the local community but by local authorities and government."

The TDA's research shows that thirty-four per cent of teachers say they would be in a less rewarding career while a further 33 per cent say they would be in a lower paid job were it not for the support and encouragement they had from their teachers.

The research also reveals that on top of educational and employment gains, teachers are in a unique position to influence young people in a way that can last a lifetime.  Thirty-one per cent say that their self-esteem improved because of a teacher, while 25 per cent said that a great teacher had inspired a love of learning.

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