Pay teachers a minimum of £30,000, say Lib Dems

Teacher pay is at forefront of the Liberal Democrat campaign launch for the 6 May Scottish Parliament election

Tes Reporter

Lib Dem education plan vows £30,000 for probationers

Teachers should have a minimum starting salary of £30,000, with a further premium paid to those working in deprived communities, the Scottish Liberal Democrats have said.

Probationer teachers earn around £27,500 in Scotland, with their salary rising to nearly £33,000 after they gain full registration.

Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie has also suggested three-year deals for new recruits as they enter the classroom, instead of the 12-month probationary period applied in Scotland.

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Mr Rennie called for changes to be made as part of a “bounce back” plan his party is putting forward to help education recover from the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Upping the starting salary for new teachers will help recruit some of the best graduates to the profession, Mr Rennie argued.

In addition, he said that those working in schools in disadvantaged areas should get pay supplements as part of a “teacher premium” scheme.

Mr Rennie repeated his calls for all teachers to have a guaranteed job, arguing this could help cut class sizes in Scotland’s schools, and his party wants to put an end to teachers being employed on short-term or casual contracts.

Mr Rennie outlined his party’s plans for education and teachers on the first day of campaigning ahead of May’s Scottish Parliament election.

He said: “Teachers must be at the heart of our education recovery. Our plan for teachers will be good for education.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats have already secured an extra £80 million for education in the budget but we want to go much further.

“Our Education Bounce Back plan offers unprecedented new entitlements and resources for pupils. Staff are critical to all of the good things we want to do. They have worked flat out to give everyone the best education possible over the last year. But they deserve better from the government.

“To help children and young people bounce back from the disruption to their education we need to invest in the teaching profession.

“Our country is stronger when every individual is able to achieve their potential, but the independent report this week showed a yawning attainment gap and progress falling short.

“My Scottish Liberal Democrats have an ambitious and comprehensive plan to help children and young people bounce back. It puts the recovery first.”

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