The Department for Education has today published the allocations of money that each of 20,600 state schools across England will receive to cover the increase in teachers’ pay for this financial year.
The cash totalling £321 million is to help schools fund a pay increase of 3.5 per cent for teachers on the main pay scale, and increases of 2 per cent and 1.5 per cent, respectively, for staff on the upper pay scale and senior leaders.
But schools must fund the first 1 per cent of the pay rise themselves – something that has caused anger among unions, which called for the pay rise to be fully funded and have highlighted the financial crises facing schools.
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Julia Harnden, funding specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) union, said some schools may not be getting enough funding to meet the actual cost of the pay award for reasons including staffing structure, and said they would have to cut back on curriculum and staffing costs and support for SEND pupils.
'Devastating' cost pressures for schools
She said: "We want to know that schools will continue to get funding [for future pay awards] but at the moment we only have reassurance until March 2020, and that is a big concern."
The cash is the second wave of a pay grant totalling £508 million, and follows the £187 million made available to schools last year.
However, a survey of 6,900 teachers in England carried out by the NASUWT teaching union, published in January, found that 57 per cent had not yet received any pay award last year – despite the DfE handing out the cash.
Headteacher Jules White, coordinator of the WorthLess? campaign for better school funding, said: "Yet again schools will be hit by another devastating and significant unfunded cost pressure. No doubt teachers and parents will be told ‘there’s more money than ever before’ as the DfE chooses to completely ignore scores of inflationary extra costs.
"It’s entirely irresponsible for the government and DfE to keep on stripping our budgets bare, expecting schools to cover all manner of other public services and then take away our meagre funds as well.”