Pay plans will 'shortchange' most teachers, say unions

Four education unions are warning that government pay proposals would shortchange 'most classroom teachers and all senior leaders'

teacher pay

Four teaching unions have today published a submission to the independent teachers' pay review body, calling on the government to reverse "the years of pay erosion for experienced staff".

The evidence to the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB) is a response to government plans to address teacher shortages by boosting starting salaries to £30,000.

The unions reject the current government proposals, under which two-thirds of classroom teachers and all school leaders would receive a pay increase of less than 3 per cent, and say the real value of salaries has fallen by some 15 per cent since 2010.


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The NEU teaching union, NAHT school leaders' union, Voice and the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) agree that a significant uplift is needed to starting and early-career salaries to boost recruitment. But they point out out that "the overwhelming majority" of classroom teachers would get significantly lower pay increases than those on pay points M1 to M5.

In joint evidence to the STRB, they say that a better deal is also needed for experienced staff in order to improve teacher retention.

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of NEU, said: "Recruitment and retention problems affect the whole profession and we need a decent pay award for the whole profession, as the first step in the urgent restoration of the pay cuts teachers have suffered."

Deborah Lawson, general secretary of Voice, said: "Ongoing pay restraint is failing to incentivise high-calibre graduates to enter and remain in the profession. What the profession urgently needs is a fully funded, profession-wide pay increase, coupled with a return to nationally recognised pay scales that will maintain pay differentials and retain experienced teachers in the profession."

The joint evidence also warns that performance-related pay for teachers "has failed," and says it creates "unnecessary workload". It also calls for it to be "removed immediately".

A Department for Education spokesperson said: "We want to make teaching attractive to the most talented graduates by recognising the prestige that we as a society place on the profession.

"We have set out proposals to significantly raise starting salaries for new teachers to £26,000 next year, rising to £30,000 by September 2022, alongside above-inflation pay increases for senior teachers and school leaders. These proposals would support an attractive career path for the whole profession."

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Dave Speck
Dave Speck
Dave Speck is a reporter at Tes
Find me on Twitter @Specktator100

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