Help with the kids

November 15, 2002

I read with interest the argument that top-up fees will mean that most academics will be unable to afford to send their children to university (Letters, THES , November 8).

Up until 1950, some English universities allowed the children of teaching staff to attend universities free. While this arrangement was phased out, all university teachers on the lecturer scale were paid a child allowance of £50 per child a year on top of their salary as long as the child was in full-time education. This was ended by the 1968 Prices and Income Board report.

The allowance was the same as the enrolment fee for a degree course. When official comparisons are made with historic salary levels, the child allowance is conveniently omitted as it was not part of the scale, which in 1960 started at £1,050. A £50 child allowance in 1960 would equate to about £1,250 now.

H. C. S. Ferguson
Pollokshields, Glasgow

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