School leader pay ‘down 24%’ since 2010

Leaders feel ‘demoralised, undervalued’ and unable to provide the education that pupils need due to cost pressures, unions warn
26th September 2022, 4:00pm

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School leader pay ‘down 24%’ since 2010

https://www.tes.com/magazine/news/general/school-leader-teacher-pay-down-24-2010-funding
School leaders’ salaries have lost a quarter of their value since 2010, a headteacher’s leader has warned as unions prepare to debate the impact of teacher and funding shortages on pupils’ education.

School leaders’ salaries have lost a quarter of their value since 2010, politicians are being warned as they gather for party conference season.

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), the NAHT school leaders’ union and the NEU teaching union have issued a joint briefing today on the impact of teacher and funding shortages on pupils’ education.

The unions will hold fringe events at both the Labour Party conference, taking place this week, and the Conservative Party’s event, starting next Sunday.

The warnings come after the government proposed a below-inflation pay award of 5 per cent for most school teachers and leaders this academic year.

The unions say the government is not giving schools any additional funding towards the pay award, meaning that many will have to cut their educational provision.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the NAHT, said: “Based on current projections, even with this year’s pay award, school leaders’ salaries will have lost about a quarter (24 per cent) of their value since 2010.

“They are feeling demoralised and undervalued - but worse than that, they are finding themselves unable to provide the level of education and support for pupils that they know is needed, due to the massive cost pressures that keep piling on to school budgets.”

The real-terms drop in school leaders’ pay

Spiralling energy bills, inflationary costs and a lack of funding for teachers’ pay this year “means school leaders will be forced to make cuts that ultimately cannot help but negatively impact on the education and wellbeing of children”, he added.

His warnings about the pay award and budget cuts were echoed by ASCL general secretary Geoff Barton, who also highlighted teacher recruitment problems.

Mr Barton said: “The issues of teacher pay, recruitment and retention, school funding and pupil outcomes are all linked. Without adequate pay, we cannot recruit and keep the teachers we need, and without the money to pay them, schools will be unable to maintain current levels of provision and educational standards will be at risk.

“Every other plan and ambition to improve standards and the life chances of children and young people is dependent upon getting this right.”

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the NEU, said teaching remained a “great profession” but she added that ”years of successive governments and numerous education secretaries, conditions, pay and school funding have so deteriorated that it is now one that many graduates are choosing not to enter or those currently teaching are choosing to leave”.

Teachers’ pay has declined by around one-fifth in real terms since 2010, she said.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We understand that schools - much like wider society - are facing cost pressures due to international events driving up inflation and global energy prices. All schools will benefit from the Energy Relief Scheme, capping how much schools need to spend on their energy and giving them greater certainty over their budgets over the winter months.

“We are supporting schools with £53.8 billion this year in core funding, including an increase of £4bn this year compared to 2021-22.

“All schools can access a range of tools through our School Resource Management programme to help them get the best value from their resources, including recommended deals for energy costs and services related to energy.”

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