Secretary of state for education Damian Hinds has confirmed the government will be funding a teacher pay rise, yet unions are hailing it a ‘short-term solution.’
As the Education Executive reports, the government has pledged a total £508m in funding, which is expected to translate into a 3.5% pay rise for classroom teachers on the main pay range.
Speaking of the pay rise, put forward by the Schools Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), Hinds stressed the importance of ensuring great teachers are rewarded for the important work they do.
He added: “Today we are announcing a fully funded pay rise of up to [3.5%] – or between £800 and £1,366 – for classroom teachers on the main pay range, [2%] for those on the upper pay range and [1.5%] for those in leadership positions.
“This will mean that teaching continues to be a competitively rewarded career, and I will continue to work with the profession, Ofsted and the unions on issues like excessive workload, professional development and flexible working, to make sure teaching remains an attractive, fulfilling profession.”
Teacher pay will still be determined independently by the school, but the government-funded rise has been confirmed and will be paid to schools in addition to their budgets.
The boost to wages forms part of the government’s initiative to improve investment in public services. Yet, the pay increase is not fully-funded – schools are required to cover the first 1% from their already-stretched budgets.
A number of unions – including the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) and National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) – have all commented on Hinds’ promise and raised issues.
ASCL’s general secretary, Geoff Barton, commended the DfE and Hinds for an improved pay system, but noted: “[It] is deeply unfair that the pay award for leaders and for teachers on the upper pay range will be funded at a lower rate and they will regard the decision a kick in the teeth for their work.”
Meanwhile, general secretary of NAHT, Paul Whiteman, highlighted how the DfE and Hinds have ignored the STRB’s recommendation for the pay rise to be the same across the board. “[They] have failed to recognise and reward the critical role performed by leadership teams.
“This will do little to retain values and experienced senior teachers and leaders. Our members feel let down by the government.”
Do you agree with the unions that all teaching staff, regardless of position, should be entitled to the same pay rise?