Teachers' leaders have given an angry reaction to the news that the government has changed its pledge on bringing in teacher starting salaries of £30,000 by September 2022.
The Treasury said today that the £30,000 salaries would only be introduced “by the end of this Parliament”, which means they could potentially now be delayed by up to two years.
The move follows chancellor Rishi Sunak’s spending review statement yesterday in which he said teachers would not get a pay rise next year in the wake of “an economic emergency”.
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Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, said: “The government is once again demonstrating that it is willing to renege on the promises it made to the country at the general election.
“If the government is serious about building back better from the pandemic it must invest in teachers, who are key to ensuring a better future for our children and young people.”
Despite confirming to Tes yesterday that it “still plans to deliver this commitment” to new teachers' salaries rising to £30,000 by 2022, the Treasury said today that “the government remains committed to the £30k manifesto commitment in this Parliament”. This means the salary rise could potentially not happen until September 2024.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “The government made a lot of noise about its plan to increase teacher starting salaries to £30,000 by 2022-23, so we would be disappointed if it now plans to delay them until later in the Parliament.
"We recognise the pressure on public finances caused by the Covid pandemic, but the pledge is important in terms of addressing long-standing problems in recruiting sufficient numbers into the profession. Schools have struggled for years with significant shortfalls in government targets for recruiting trainee teachers, and they need the government to deliver on its promise sooner rather than later.”
The pledge that staring salaries for NQTs outside London would rise to £30,000 by 2022 (and £36,000 for NQTs in London) was made in September last year – three months ahead of the general election.
The DfE has been contacted for comment.