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Female FE teachers paid £5,000 less than men, research reveals

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Female further education teachers earn £5,000 less per year than their male colleagues on average, according to a new analysis.

Research by executive recruitment firm Michael Page shows female FE teachers on median salaries earned £27,121 in 2014 – £5,257 less than men, who earned £32,378.

Among top earners (those whose salaries are in the 80th percentile), the gap narrows slightly, but female teachers still earn £4,625 less than men.

The figures were taken from the ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2014 (ASHE), which is based on a 1 per cent sample of employee jobs taken from HM Revenue and Customs PAYE records.

Michael MacNeil, head of bargaining and negotiations for the University and College Union, said the report was interesting but only told part of the story.

“Our research shows that there is a gender pay gap across the FE lecturing scales,” he said. “Of particular concern is that there are 18 per cent more women than men at the bottom of the lecturing scale, with a correspondingly disproportionate number of men at the top end. There are also more than 27 per cent more men than women paid above the national scales.

“We not only know that the national picture is pretty ropey but we know that the some colleges are even worse. It is wholly unacceptable that, 45 years after the Equal Pay Act, we still have such a yawning gap between men and women’s pay. Last month, our national committee agreed that tackling the gender pay gap as a key part of our work for the next year.”

Marc Whitworth, director of employment services and policy for the Association of Colleges, said simple comparisons of male and female salaries were “not helpful”. “When looking at pay differentials, consideration should be given to the way people are employed, for example the comparison between the salaries of part-time and full-time staff, and the types of roles they perform. Colleges take their obligations in respect of equity seriously and do not differentiate between male and female staff,” he added.

Further evidence of the gender disparity in FE was revealed in a new report into the delivery of initial teacher education (ITE) by the Education and Training Foundation published today.

It shows there is a significant difference in the starting salaries of male and female teachers: in 2012-13, 89 per cent of men working full-time received a starting salary of more than £20,000, compared with just 75 per cent of women.

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