Warning that NQT pay rise 'devalues' older teachers

PM's 'bold, fluffy promises' to increase new teacher pay may make retention crisis 'worse', heads warn

Amy Gibbons

Teacher pay

Boosting starting salaries for new teachers effectively "devalues" more experienced staff, heads have warned.

The prime minister's "bold, fluffy promises" to increase pay for teachers at the start of their careers may actually make the retention crisis "worse", as longer-serving staff will receive a much smaller uplift, according to the Association of School and College Leaders.

In July, the chancellor announced plans to raise teacher pay by 3.1 per cent from September 2020.


Background: Long-serving teachers won't get Sunak's 3.1% pay rise

Early boost: New teachers’ starting salaries to increase by 5.5%

Dismay: Teacher pay deal a 'kick in the teeth' for long servers


However, while new teachers could expect a pay rise of 5.5 per cent, it emerged longer-serving staff would receive a boost of just 2.75 per cent.

At the time, heads said the much smaller uplift for more experienced teachers would feel like "a kick in the teeth".

Now Geoff Barton, ASCL general secretary, has said the extra money for new teachers will make the retention crisis "worse", as it "devalues" longer-serving staff.

Speaking at a fringe event at the Lib Dems' annual conference at the weekend, he said: "Even though we've got Boris Johnson's bold, fluffy promises around additional money for the starting salaries, that doesn't do anything for the retention.

"It actually makes the retention issue worse, doesn't it, because it devalues you if you see the new recruits being paid more than you do."

A Department for Education spokesperson said: "We have introduced the biggest pay rise the profession has seen since 2005, with above-inflation rises to the pay ranges for every single teacher in the country  not just those entering the profession.

"We want to make teaching attractive to the most talented candidates by recognising the outstanding contribution teachers make to our society."

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Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @tweetsbyames

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