Exclusive: Teachers fall down graduate pay league table

Primary and secondary teachers drop down league table for graduate pay, according to NASUWT analysis

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Teachers have fallen further down the league table of pay for graduate professions in the last decade, according to a new analysis.

The NASUWT teaching union, which commissioned the research, said that increasingly uncompetitive salaries were contributing to a “recruitment and retention crisis”.

The report by Incomes Data Research – exclusively shared with TES – shows that the pay of both secondary and primary teachers has slipped relative to comparable graduate professions since 2005.

In 2005, secondary teachers were ranked sixth out of 12 graduate professions for median gross earnings, while primary and nursery teachers were ranked tenth.

However, by 2015 secondary teachers had fallen to ninth and primary and nursery teachers had dropped to eleventh.

Only chemical scientists – who came at the bottom of the 2015 table – earned less than primary teachers. Secondary teachers earned more than those two groups and finished above chartered surveyors.

But all teachers earned less than physical scientists, biological scientists and biochemists, engineers, accountants, pharmacists, management consultants and business analysts, health professionals, and lawyers.

NASUWT’s analysis will add to fears that inadequate pay is exacerbating teacher shortages.

Chris Keates, general secretary of NASUWT, said that the “stark differences in graduate pay” would worsen what was already “a recruitment and retention crisis”.

She added: “[Pupils] cannot receive their entitlement to high-quality education when talented teachers are leaving and potential recruits can find jobs in other graduate occupations that recognise and better reward their talents.”

On average, secondary teachers earned 20.2 per cent less in 2015 than the average of all the non-teaching professions in the study.

But primary teachers were even further behind – with their average gross earnings 32.4 per cent lower.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “The annual average salaries for teachers in the UK are greater than the OECD average, and higher than many of Europe’s high-performing education systems like Finland, Norway or Sweden.

“We have also given schools unprecedented freedoms over staff pay so they can attract the best teachers.”

This is an edited article from the 17 February edition of TES. Subscribers can read the full article here. This week's TES magazine is available in all good newsagents. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here

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