'£26k salaries for new teachers from September' - DfE

But unions warn that a proposed 2.5 per cent increase for experienced teachers and senior leaders is too low

Catherine Lough

Teacher pay: The starting salary for new teachers is set to rise to at least £26K

The government has pledged to give teachers the largest sustained pay rise since 2005, with starting salaries increasing to at least £26,000.

The plans would result in newly qualified teachers' salaries rising from £23,720 to £26,000 outside of London. Starting salaries in outer London would increase from 28,355 to £30,000, while those in inner London would go up from £29,664 to £32,000.

The government said this would build towards a starting salary outside of London of £30,000 by September 2022. 

However, more experienced teachers will receive a pay rise of 2.5 per cent, which the NEU teaching union has branded a "devastating" message for these teachers.

News: NEU calls for 7% teacher pay rise

Related: 'Apply teacher pay rises across the board,' says ASCL

Background: Average teacher pay 'falls by nearly £3K over 7 years'

The proposals were submitted today to the independent School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB).

Education secretary Gavin Williamson 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.

'Biggest reform to teacher pay in a generation'

“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 mark the biggest reform to teacher pay in a generation.”

It is hoped that the proposed changes will help to retain an additional 1,000 teachers per year by 2022-23.

However, the NEU teaching union commented that the pay rises for more experienced staff were unlikely to help to retain teachers. 

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU, said: "The increases to starting pay represent long-overdue recognition that teacher training targets have been missed for years, and that a significant number of those who qualify leave teaching within five years.

"But those increases need to be replicated across the teacher workforce. The 2.5 per cent increase proposed for September 2020 for experienced teachers is likely to be barely at the level of RPI inflation, according to the latest forecasts.  It will also fail to restore the value of teacher pay in the graduate labour market."

Mr Courtney said a differentiated pay structure would create "widespread dismay" within the profession, and that "with teacher retention problems worsening, this is a devastating message for experienced and dedicated teachers".

He added that the accountability culture implemented by Ofsted had exacerbated retention problems, and  he reiterated calls by the NEU for a 7 per cent pay rise for all teachers. 

The NAHT headteachers' union said in a statement that the 2.5 per cent rise was "a step in the right direction" but will "do little to address the 14.8 per cent decrease in real-terms pay" over the past decade.

General secretary Paul Whiteman said: "There is a direct link between pay and leadership supply. In our submission to the STRB this year, we are trying to kill the lazy notion that pay is a bit player in the broader recruitment and retention game."

The increase of starting salaries to £26,000 is in line with proposals from the Association of School and College Leaders put forward to the STRB yesterday.

The STRB will now consider the department's proposals and respond with its recommendations later in the year.

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author bio

Catherine Lough

Catherine Lough is a reporter at Tes.

Find me on Twitter @CathImogenLough

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