'Apply teacher pay rises across the board' says ASCL

ASCL calls for a pay boost to stem the teacher retention crisis

Catherine Lough

piggy bank

Teacher pay increases must be applied across the profession and not just to starting salaries, the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has urged.

In evidence to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), the union has welcomed the government’s proposal to increase teachers’ starting salaries to £30,000.

But, it says, pay rises must be reflected across the board to improve retention.

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The government has promised to raise starting salaries to £30,000 by 2022-23, but the union called for these increases to be implemented in stages.

This would result in an initial increase to £26,000 being introduced in September 2020, with all other “pay ranges increased in line with the current differentials between pay points”, and then a second increase to £28,000 by September 2021.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of ASCL, said: “We are calling for a fair deal for all teachers which undoes some of the damage to teacher recruitment and retention caused by years of real-terms cuts to salaries, and addresses the fact that we are going to need many more teachers in the near future because of a huge increase in the number of pupils in secondary schools.”

“We welcome the proposal from the government for £30,000 starting salaries for newly qualified teachers but it is essential that this increase is reflected at all salary points in the pay scales in order to improve teacher retention.

"We are currently haemorrhaging teachers from the profession and we will never solve the teacher supply crisis unless this situation is improved.

“It is also of critical importance that increases to the pay of teachers are fully funded by the government. We are extremely concerned that the government expects the entire sum of money necessary to implement its proposal for a starting salary of £30,000 to come from the extra £7.1 billion it has promised will reverse the cuts to school budgets.

"This is a case of giving with one hand and taking with the other. Schools will once again be in the invidious position of having to make further staff cuts in order to afford the cost of the pay award to teachers.”

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