The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has called for an increase to all teacher salaries over the next three years, in line with proposals from the government to boost starter salaries to £30,000 by 2022/23.
In a press release, the ASCL explained how it has submitted evidence to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), explaining that a significant increase is needed ‘across the board’ to address the ‘erosion of pay’ since 2010.
To move towards the £30,000 starter salary and the required pay increases to the entire system by 2022, the ASCL suggests that the minimum of the main pay range be increased in stages in England.
The initial increase would be to £26,000 from this September – with all other pay ranges increased to correspond with current differentials between pay points – and the second rise to £28,000 planned for September next year.
Geoff Barton, ASCL’s general secretary, commented: “We are calling for a fair deal for all teachers which undoes some of the damage to teacher recruitment and retention caused by years of real-terms cuts to salaries, and addresses the fact that we are going to need many more teachers in the near future because of a huge increase in the number of pupils in secondary schools.”
He added that the ASCL welcomes the government’s plans for £30,000 starter salaries, but stressed that is it vital that the increase is applied to all salary points in the pay scales in order to improve retention.
It is also essential that pay increases are fully funded by the government, Geoff Barton added. He expressed concern that the government expects the entire sum of money needed to raise starter salaries to come from the additional £7.1bn it has promised to reverse school budget cuts.
“This is a case of giving with one hand and taking with the other. Schools will once again be in the invidious position of having to make further staff cuts in order to afford the cost of the pay awarded to teachers.”
The evidence submitted to the STRB notes how the percentage differentials between pay points on teacher and leader pay scales need to be maintained, and must also take into account the weighting necessary for teachers to afford the costs associated with living in London.
This point was made in response to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson’s recent remit letter to the STRB, in which he noted that his written evidence will present “a strong case for schools to move towards a relatively flatter pay progression structure.”
The ASCL’s evidence warns that this proposal would lead to even more difficulties with retention as teachers wouldn’t be appropriately rewarded as they progressed in their roles.
Figures shared by the ASCL show that 44% of teachers who have qualified since 2008 are likely to quit the profession between 2018 and 2028. At the same time, pupil numbers within secondary schools are expected to increase significantly.
The evidence suggests that the profession will face an ‘unprecedented crisis’ unless there is a huge improvement in retention.
Do you agree that pay increases need to be applied across the board? Do you think a pay rise is enough to encourage teachers to remain in the profession?