LECTURING and teaching unions have welcomed a Government "climbdown" over attempts to block early retirements prior to the controversial reform of the Teachers Superannuation Scheme.
The Association of Teachers and Lecturers and the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education called Wednesday's House of Commons' announcement a victory for common sense.
The Government, which denies a climbdown, was forced to clarify its position after the ATL's High Court challenge earlier this month. The ATL has now agreed to drop its action.
Trouble began when the Government tried to stem a flood of early retirements before the proposed introduction of the TSS reforms on April 1. After this date early retirements will be curtailed.
The Government intends to press on with the TSS reforms and this week wrote to local education authorities, schools and colleges clarifying its position. Unions, including the ATL and Natfhe, will still take part in a mass demonstration in London tomorrow against the proposed TSS reforms.