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Morgan: 'Strong case' for pay restraint among teachers

Education secretary Nicky Morgan has written to the teachers’ pay review body spelling out the need for “continued pay restraint” when it comes to deciding any pay rises next year.

In a letter to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), Ms Morgan asked for recommendations on how to apply a pay rise for the profession for the year 2015/16.

After a two-year pay freeze, teachers were handed a 1 per cent increase to their salaries this year along with the rest of the public sector, and the same has been offered for next year.

As of this month, schools are expected to award any pay awards on a performance-related basis, rather than automatically moving teachers up the pay scale, something that has been vehemently opposed by classroom leaders.

And in writing to the STRB, Ms Morgan reaffirmed the government’s stance that there would be no public sector pay rises above inflation for the foreseeable future, stating there was a compelling case for more restraint.   

“I intend to submit for your consideration written evidence that there remains a strong case for continued pay restraint in the public sector,” Ms Morgan writes. “My evidence will provide a detailed account of the teacher labour market based on the latest recruitment and retention data. I will also provide evidence of affordability at national and school level.”

As with this year, any rise is likely to be administered only to the upper and lower ends of the teacher pay scale, with schools able to set their own criteria for teacher salary increases for the rest of the scale. 

Back in July, former skills minister Matt Hancock suggested there would be no pay rises greater than 1 per cent for a further four years until the government’s “books were balanced”.

His words came at a time when around a million teachers, civil servants, firefighters and other public servants went on strike over pay and conditions closing thousands of schools.  


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