Teacher pay: Eight key points from STRB report

Report paints a picture of a recruitment and retention crisis, and teachers falling further behind other professions

Martin George

pay, teachers pay, pay cap, STRB, DfE

The government has finally published the report of the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), which makes recommendations about teacher pay.

The report is based on recruitment and retention figures and pay data, as well as comments from unions, the Department for Education and other groups.

The DfE does not have to carry out the STRB's recommendations, and its full response to the report is expected to be published later today.

Here are eight key points from the report:

All teachers should get a 3.5 per cent pay rise

The STRB recommends that “all pay and allowance ranges for teachers and school leaders are uplifted by 3.5 per cent”.

The STRB says: “This uplift is a meaningful step to improve the relative position of the teachers’ pay framework in the labour market for graduate professions and, by so doing, address the deteriorating trends in teacher retention.”

The DfE has accepted the recommended 3.5 per cent rise for classroom teachers, but it decided that those on the upper ranges will get 2 per cent and leaders should receive 1.5 per cent.

Pay awards could be targeted at particular teachers in future

The report decided against recommending that the pay rise be targeted at particular groups of teachers this year “in light of the evidence of widespread teacher supply problems”.

However, it says it may be necessary to give different teachers different pay rises in the future.

It says: “We have seen an evidence base develop over a number of years of persistent issues with the national pay and allowance framework. Targeted pay uplifts may be required in future to address these issues.”

The DfE had suggested targeting pay rises to early career teachers. In contrast, most consultees called for a uniform uplift, and warned that

“targeting was divisive and would not help address recruitment and retention pressures”.

Teachers are falling further behind other graduate professions

In recent years, the STRB has expressed concerns about the position of teachers in the graduate labour market. Today, it says things have continued to get worse.

The report says: “We conclude that the overall position of teaching in the graduate labour market has deteriorated since our last report. This exacerbates the challenges faced in attracting good graduates to become teachers and retaining teachers in the profession.”

The teacher recruitment and retention crisis is getting worse

The STRB confirms what schools have been saying for years. It reports that “the teacher recruitment and retention situation has deteriorated, with the trends that we identified in previous reports continuing”.

It warns: “The evidence shows that there has been very little improvement in any aspect of the teacher supply situation since last year, while there is clear evidence that some factors, most notably teacher recruitment, have worsened.”

And it says that, while the problem is particularly challenging in the secondary phase, “there is evidence that teacher supply challenges are apparent across the school system in England and Wales and at all stages of teachers’ careers”.

The DfE believes 'enough teachers being recruited'

In its submission, the DfE “contended that, at a national level, enough teachers were being recruited”.

However, the report says the DfE acknowledged that recruitment “was a challenge in some subjects and for some schools, especially in the context of a strengthening graduate labour market”.

Damian Hinds thinks 'more work' is needed to boost ITT applications

The STRB asked the education secretary about the year-on-year fall in the number of people applying for places on postgraduate initial teacher training courses.

Today’s report says Mr Hinds “stated that the recruitment cycle was still ongoing but recognised that more work was required on converting initial interest into actual applications”.

Teacher vacancy statistics have come under fire

The NAHT and NASUWT unions said the timing of the DfE’s school workforce census “meant that it underestimated the number of vacancies across the system over the course of a full school year”.

There were also criticisms of the teacher supply model that the DfE uses to calculate the number of teachers needed, with the NAHT saying it was “comprehensively broken”.

The pay deal should be published earlier

This year’s announcement came unusually late, after most schools had broken up for the summer holiday.

But today’s report says the late publication of the report in 2016 and 2017 made it difficult for schools to plan their budgets.

It says: “We consider that it would be in the interest of all of those involved in decisions on teachers’ pay if our reports were published at an earlier point in the school year. We ask the government to consider the impact on schools when planning the timescales for annual pay rounds.”

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Martin George

Martin George

Martin George is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @geomr

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