It’s crunch time.
Pretty much everyone in the know knows there’s a decent payrise on the cards for the teaching workforce but what isn’t clear is where the millions will come from to pay for it.
Will it be the Treasury – which is currently lobbing money at the NHS (including finding new money for a nurses' payrise) – schools themselves (which would be disastrous for their budgets and certainly lead to industrial action), or the DfE?
As Martin George reports today, all three options remain on the cards.
If the DfE finds the money, then obviously other stuff will have to be cut to pay for it. I understand that there is one option under serious consideration would send major shockwaves through the education sector: scrapping the Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund.
The £75m TLIF was launched to much hurrah by then education secretary Justine Greening back in 2016, and has since been a marque policy in the Department. The cash is distributed to chosen organisations (in the first round that included the Institute for Teaching and Teach First) to spread training and best practice through the teaching workforce. The latest round of funding is currently being eagerly awaited by many organisations.
The idea that TLIF might be chopped demonstrates two things. Firstly how important it is to that the Treasury does cough up the millions needed for a proper payrise and secondly how desperate the Department (and therefore presumably education secretary Damian Hinds) is not to pass the costs on to schools.
The situation is clearly desperate.
Ed Dorrell is head of content at TES