Education & Family

Teachers' salaries 'will need to rise in future'

classroom Image copyright Thinkstock

A pay rise "significantly higher than 1%" will be required in future to ensure an "adequate supply of good teachers" in England and Wales, the School Teachers' Review Body warns.

It says increases will be needed if current trends in teacher recruitment and retention continue.

Nevertheless, the STRB has recommended a pay rise of just 1% for teachers in England and Wales from this September.

The rise applies to all leadership and teacher pay ranges and to allowances.

Teachers' unions expressed disappointment at the 1% rise, saying it would do nothing to ease recruitment and retention issues.

Future rise

The STRB report said: "For September 2016 we [...] recommend a 1% uplift to the minima and maxima of all classroom teacher pay ranges and leadership pay ranges in the national pay framework, and to classroom teacher allowances."

But it went on to warn of a need for higher teacher salaries in the future.

"However, if current recruitment and retention trends continue, we expect an uplift to the pay framework significantly higher than 1% will be required in the course of this Parliament, to ensure an adequate supply of good teachers for schools in England and Wales," it said.

"Accordingly, we recommend the department and our consultees take steps to help schools prepare for such an eventuality.

"Given the budgetary context, this will require school leaders and governing bodies to be confident in both managing their workforce and in setting pay policies which enable differentiated performance-based awards to individuals, such that teachers and leaders can be appropriately rewarded within the available budget."

A spokeswoman for the Department for Education said: "The STRB is clear this is subject to the recruitment and retention evidence that the government is able to produce in relation to a future remit.

"At a national level we are retaining and recruiting the teachers we need with 15,000 more teachers in our classrooms than in 2010, and the number joining the profession outnumbering those who retire or leave.

"We recognised the recruitment challenges provided by a growing economy and regional demands and are investing over £1.3bn up to 2020 to attract new teachers into the profession."

'Limited'

But teachers' unions expressed dismay at the recommended 1% increase and accused the government of limiting teachers' pay.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT union, accused a "hostile government" of "unnecessary and unjust pay restraint".

"Had the review body not been constrained by the arbitrary pay cap imposed by the government, there is no doubt that it would have been recommending a pay uplift higher than 1% for teachers," said Ms Keates.

Malcolm Trobe, interim general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: "The publication of this report and the Secretary of State's response are extremely late, having been delayed by government 'purdah' periods for the London mayoral election and the EU referendum.

"This has left schools and teachers uncertain for far too long about the critical issue of pay awards.

"Even more disappointing, however, is that these pay awards are once again limited to an uplift of 1% when we are in the midst of a teacher recruitment crisis.

"Furthermore, schools are expected to fund these awards without any additional funding from the government at a time when budgets are under severe strain because of real-terms reductions."

Kevin Courtney, acting general secretary of the National Union of Teachers said: "The STRB, unlike the government, has recognised the mounting crisis in recruitment and retention.

"The NUT is hugely disappointed that the STRB decided to accept the 1% pay limit this year but strongly supports the STRB's view that the government must urgently find more money for schools to allow them to employ more and better-paid teachers."

Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: "ATL welcomes the STRB's report which couldn't be clearer: there are increasing challenges in teacher recruitment and retention, and the Chancellor's imposed public sector pay limit of 1% is contributing to this.

"The next Prime Minister, their Chancellor and Secretary of State for Education must take heed of the review body's call for a future uplift 'significantly higher' than 1% to address teacher recruitment and retention, improve teachers' working lives, and save the next generation's education."

The STRB provides independent advice to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Education on school teachers' pay and conditions in England and Wales.

Its latest recommendations come a day after thousands of lessons were cancelled across England because of a one-day strike by the National Union of Teachers.

Related Topics

More on this story