Missed opportunity on teachers’ pay

10 July 2017

Commenting on the Government’s announcement on teachers’ pay and the 1% public sector pay cap, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said;

“This is a missed opportunity which the Government will come to regret as the teacher recruitment and retention crisis gets worse.

‘Teachers’ pay increases have fallen behind inflation by 13% since 2010 while this public sector pay policy has been applied. This latest pay announcement will mean that figure increases to over 15%. The pay being offered to newly qualified teachers would be over £3500 higher if the pay cap had never been applied and schools would have far fewer difficulties in recruiting new graduates.

‘The Government’s attack on national pay scales and its pursuit of performance related pay at a time of funding cuts in schools has meant that teachers are increasingly unlikely to get pay progression either. The result is that the Government’s own figures show that average pay for classroom teachers has only gone up by £300 – less than 1% – since 2010.

‘The Government announcement does however allow a 2% increase for all teachers on the Main pay scale, not just newly qualified teachers, and the NUT will be pressing the Government to ensure that this happens.

‘The School Teachers’ Review Body has told the Government that teachers continue to be paid less than other graduate professionals throughout their careers and that the pressures faced by schools in attracting high quality teachers have not reduced. It has also said that there needs to be a longer-term investment in an effective teaching workforce. This clearly supports the NUT’s argument that the Government needs to invest in more and better paid school staff.”

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