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I welcome and propose to accept the STRB's recommendations in respect of the leadership group spine, the spine for advanced skills teachers, and the rises proposed for SEN allowances and TLR payments, as described. I believe it is appropriate that these are consistent with the recommendations for main and upper pay scale teachers over the next three years.

As regards the salary of excellent teachers appointed or in the staffing structure on or after September 2008, I am pleased now to be able to take forward the recommendation originally made by the STRB in its fifteenth report2 that there should be pay ranges for this category of teacher from which relevant bodies select a spot salary. Providing salary ranges for excellent teachers will give schools the flexibility they need to set appropriate spot rates which take into account the job weighting of excellent teacher posts compared with other teachers in the staffing structure. Now that criteria for relevant bodies to select an appropriate spot salary from within the range have been developed3, ranges can be introduced. I welcome the general principle that the minimum of the range in September 2008 should be the current spot salary for England and Wales with a 2.45 per cent uplift. I also agree that in September 2008 the maximum of the range, and the maximum figure for inner London, should be on the basis of the original proposals of £45,000 and £50,000, updated (as would have been appropriate) with the application of the 2.5 per cent uplifts which were generally applicable in 2006 and 2007, plus the 2008 uplift of 2.45 per cent, leading to the figures set out in this report, which I propose to accept.

I believe there is a need to reflect further on the position of teachers who have been or will be appointed to excellent teacher posts before September 2008, or where excellent teacher posts are already in the staffing structure, with published salaries. These posts are currently paid a spot salary with no discretion for variation. In view of the changes to salary arrangements for excellent teachers outlined above, my view is that rather than applying a set increase to existing posts, it may be more appropriate for schools to reassess the salaries of any such excellent teachers and determine a spot salary on the range in line with the criteria which will be generally applicable. This would also promote clarity and fairness. I should also mention that if in

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these circumstances the reassessment led to a lower spot salary, then appropriate safeguarding arrangements would need to apply, in line with the specified criteria. I invite consultees' views on this particular issue.

Unqualified (Associate) teachers

The STRB has recommended the following:

It is important to remember that the STRB was asked to consider unqualified teachers' pay arrangements especially because of the legal issues which had been identified regarding the length of the scale. There were also some significant concerns with regard to the spacing between the points on the scale and the ways in which those points could be awarded. I recognise that the STRB has responded to these issues and sought through its analysis to address the range of specific concerns, and I agree that change is necessary with effect from September 2008.

These proposals would introduce significant changes to the unqualified teachers' pay arrangements and I

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believe that it will be important to consider them very carefully, taking into account the detailed views of consultees.

In short, the STRB has proposed a 10-point pay spine, with the points evenly spaced in percentage terms. Whenever an unqualified teacher is appointed, an individual pay range of up to five points, or a spot salary at the top point (point 10), would be selected from the spine, depending on the teacher's skills, qualifications and experience. Pay progression would be consistent with that of main scale teachers (ie on the basis of experience and satisfactory service), but on the basis of the individual range only. Spine points could be reviewed and would not be permanent. No changes are proposed to the unqualified teacher's allowance.

I welcome the recommendation to align progression arrangements for unqualified teachers with those of main pay scale teachers. This would explicitly enable double points for excellence for those unqualified teachers who are placed on a range, and would remove the complete freedom which currently exists for relevant bodies to award points to unqualified teachers as and when they wish. This would be a benefit as it would enable greater clarity and fairness. I also welcome the STRB's recommendations not to alter the top and bottom values of the current scale (apart from applying the recommended uplift) and to space the points evenly, so that those progressing receive consistent pay increases.

However, it must be noted that the principle of setting ranges on a spine would be quite a new—and rather more complex—arrangement for unqualified teachers' pay. Keeping the range of progression points to a maximum of five would in principle remove the concerns about long scales and the legal issues which could arise. I am concerned that with this arrangement there could still be scope for relevant bodies to make decisions which could negate the underlying legal purpose of the change in the arrangements, since they would be able to review these decisions when they deemed this appropriate and teachers could therefore receive more progression points than desirable. I would prefer such a situation to be avoided.

I also have particular concerns about the proposal that unqualified teachers' points would no longer be permanent. This would be unlike the current situation for unqualified teachers and also unlike the position for main and upper pay scale teachers. It is of concern that unqualified teachers could be awarded points for experience, and then potentially lose them, following a review by their school or a job move. It is true that spine points for members of the leadership group and ASTs are not permanent. But that is because ranges for these teachers are entirely post-based and progression is on the basis not of experience but of performance. Spot salaries for excellent teachers, similarly, would from 2008 be subject to review, but again this would be not on the basis of experience but on job weight. I would welcome consultees' comments on this proposed change of principle for unqualified teachers, but at present this is not an approach I am minded to accept.

In its report, the STRB has set out in some detail the proposals with regard to unqualified teachers put forward by the Rewards and Incentives Group4, which

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I endorsed. The RIG evidence included a proposal to shorten the pay scale to six points, which in RIG's view would be consistent in principle with employment law. I note that the STRB reports that in oral representation sessions, most other consultees agreed with RIG's proposals. I therefore invite comments from consultees on whether, having taken into account the STRB's views and recommendations, this approach might be a preferable one.

I welcome the recommendation for further increases in the values of the unqualified teachers' pay spine in September 2009 and 2010. The application of this recommendation would, in due course, depend on any decisions taken following the consultation process on this report and the subsequent statutory consultation, as well as on the STRB's review.

As regards the unqualified teachers' allowance, I fully endorse the view of the STRB that the allowance should not be used for recruitment and retention purposes. In addition to enhancing the statutory guidance as the STRB has recommended, it may be appropriate to look at clarifying the criteria for the award of the allowance in the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document itself, in line with the sort of approach adopted in respect of Teaching and Learning Responsibility payments (which are exclusively for qualified teachers).

I agree with the STRB that the allowance should be capable of review, and consider that the ability to review (which could require appropriate safeguarding measures) would be a logical consequence of the enhanced clarity in the criteria for the award of the allowance which I believe may be necessary. I invite consultees' thoughts on all these points.

I wish to highlight for consultees also the STRB's suggestion that the term “unqualified teacher” should cease to be used; its comments expressed in the body of its report that the term is misleading, negative and potentially demotivating; and its alternative suggestion of “associate teacher”. Although legally unobjectionable, as the term “unqualified teacher” simply means those teachers who do not have England and Wales qualified teacher status, I note the STRB's views. I am willing therefore to accept this change of term, or to consider other terms, but I should also welcome consultees' views on whether a change would on balance be beneficial and welcomed.

Lastly, and on a separate point, I note that the STRB's recommendations for 2008 move us away from a system where pay points are no longer, as has traditionally been the case, divisible by three. I have no objection to this change, especially since the teachers' pay system already allows in some respects for payments to be made on another basis, but I would invite consultees' views on whether this is in any sense an issue.

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Transport Innovation Fund

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My right honourable friend the Minister of State for Transport (Rosie Winterton) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

In July 2005, in a Written Statement to the House, local authorities were invited to bid for £18million of “pump-priming” development funding to bring forward packages of schemes that combined better local public transport with hard demand management measures, such as road pricing. In November 2005 and May 2006 my predecessors announced that we were awarding pump-priming for the transport innovation fund (TIF) to 10 areas.

In December 2007 we invited local authorities developing TIF proposals to bid for a small amount of remaining funding available in the current financial year. This funding was targeted at those areas that have formally submitted proposals and are providing further information to support the assessment by DfT and in parallel are developing elements of the proposal while waiting for a programme entry decision; or those that have submitted an outline proposal for a TIF package for which there is a political commitment to working up and submitting a business case during 2008-09.

I am today announcing funding for three areas. We are making up to £1 million available to Cambridgeshire, up to £1.5 million to Greater Manchester, and up to £675,000 to the West of England Partnership (covering Bristol City Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council, North Somerset Council, and South Gloucestershire Council). This award means that these areas can continue to take forward proposals for improved public transport including local road pricing schemes.

I should be clear that receipt of this pump-priming funding is no guarantee that an authority will be successful in bidding for the main transport innovation fund. We are, however, committed to working closely with the successful authorities to deliver the work programmes set out in their pump-priming bids and to support future decisions on the main transport innovation fund.

We will also work with other local authorities developing proposals for improved local transport and demand management and this decision does not affect their ability to bid for substantive TIF funding in the future.

Traumatic Brain Injury

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Derek Twigg) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

In the light of parliamentary and public interest in traumatic brain injuries (TBI) arising in current conflicts, I am pleased to report the status of work being conducted on this topic by the Defence Medical Services.

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TBI are seen in both military and civilian populations, occurring when the skull and brain are exposed to acute changes in velocity such as road traffic accidents and contact sports, as well as exposure to blasts and other concussions to the head. Severe and moderate cases are generally readily identifiable to medical practitioners and will be managed by established clinical and rehabilitation programmes. The Defence Medical Services already routinely screens all personnel with multiple injuries admitted to the MoD’s main rehabilitation centre at Headley Court for symptoms and signs of brain injury, and where necessary special investigations are undertaken to identify the nature and degree of any structural damage to the brain.

However, mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) can be less easy to recognise and diagnose. It may result from relatively minor head injuries, and symptoms can be both wide-ranging and delayed in their onset, as well as being similar to those of other recognised disorders such as post-concussion syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Recognising the need for further research, MoD’s surgeon general initiated a project in June 2007 to investigate the historical, clinical and laboratory context of mTBI and make recommendations concerning future management, clinical care, education and research. The project team consulted widely with clinical and research experts within the military and civilian sectors both in the UK and overseas, principally the US.

The project noted that civilian evidence suggests that 80 per cent of TBI is mild and 80 per cent of cases will be symptom free within three months of exposure. The project concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that the operational capability of the UK's Armed Forces was being affected by mTBI. The Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM) has identified 585 cases of casualties with traumatic brain injury (whether mild, moderate or severe) out of some 36,000 total attendances for any medical condition to deployed UK operational emergency departments between early 2003 and November 2007—the majority of which would be for minor ailments with no requirement for

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admission or, in many cases, further treatment. This represents 1.6 per cent of all medical presentations during the period, and 0.5 per cent of the deployed UK military population.

The project has provided a baseline for further work that is already in hand. A four-level protocol is being established by staff at Headley Court for the diagnosis and treatment of mTBI cases. Guidance has been promulgated to all defence general practitioners advising them about mTBI and the treatment options available. Education material has been developed, aimed at all personnel on deployed operations, and an assessment questionnaire is being introduced to help medical staff identify mTBI cases at the time of injury and to enhance surveillance and research.

Research is also continuing into such areas as identification and diagnosis of mTBI cases, and also their prevention. Throughout our research we are in touch with United States developments and collaborating with its researchers as appropriate.

Youth Justice Board

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): My right honourable friend the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am today announcing with my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families the appointment of Frances Done CBE as chair of the Youth Justice Board. The appointment will be for three years from 1 February 2008 to 1 February 2011.

The Youth Justice Board for England and Wales is an executive non-departmental public body established under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 to monitor the operation and performance of the youth justice system and to identify and disseminate good practice to prevent offending by children and young people. The board is also responsible for commissioning services for young people under 18 who are sentenced and remanded to secure facilities.

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