Ministers renege on science wage boost

24th January 2003 at 00:00
THE Department for Education and Skills this week ruled out higher pay scales for science and maths teachers - despite government pledges to boost their salaries.

A major strategy document published this summer said good science and maths teachers should be paid more and the School Teachers' Review Body, which makes pay recommendations to ministers, is considering how to do this.

Education Secretary Charles Clarke has already told the review body that inflation-only rises are "essential". Such increases are likely to be pegged at 2.5 per cent - effectively frozen in real terms. And the DfES has said there is no need for a specific science salary scale.

"Schools already have flexibility to pay more to science teachers if they wish to or they have recruitment and retention difficulties," a spokesman said. "It is better for schools to make their own decisions about targeting pay than for us to do so for them. In some schools the issues are about modern foreign languages or English teachers."

The Government made strong statements on science teachers' pay following the comprehensive spending review. A joint strategy paper from the Treasury, DfES and the Department for Trade and Industry said: "The Government is determined to enhance pupils' science, mathematics and technology education by improving prospects for the recruitment and retention of science and mathematics teachers, including through paying more to good science and mathematics teachers."

Science lobbying groups question if enough is being done to solve the teacher shortage. Peter Cotgreave of Save British Science said: "One wonders whether the issue is not flexibility, but rather the total money available."

The Institute of Physics said differential pay was needed to end the crisis in the subject. Teacher support manager Chris Shepherd said the institute was aware that the policy might be divisive, but "the severe shortage in physics recruitment requires urgent measures".

Science teacher shortages were highlighted last year in an influential report by Sir Gareth Roberts, president of the Science Council, which said they should be paid more. The STRB is due to report at the end of January.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now