Review body recommends maximum 2% pay increase for teachers

12 Mar 15

Top performing teachers in England and Wales could get a pay rise of up to 2%, the government’s expert pay panel has recommended.

Issuing its report today, the independent School Teachers’ Review Body said it had been ‘mindful’ of supporting retention of the best teachers.

Currently, in England and Wales (excluding London), teachers earn a minimum of £22,023 a year, with maximum pay set at £32,187. The pay review body recommended that the lower end of this range be increased by 1% and the upper end by 2%.

But it said schools should only give those at the upper end of this salary range the 2% uplift where it was ‘merited by performance’. It said some teachers might receive a lower award, or none at all.

The STRB said other categories of teacher including leading practitioners (who lead and mentor colleagues) and unqualified teachers are to get a pay rise of 1%. There will be no uplift of the leadership pay range or to any of the eight head teacher group pay ranges.

The decision has exposed a rift in the coalition. Conservative Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has made clear that there would be no increase in school funding to cover the cost of any pay award.

'This country is lucky to have a truly exceptional teaching workforce who do a vital job of opening up young minds,'  Morgan said.

'That's why I'm delighted to approve a pay deal which gives heads the freedom to offer their best and most experienced teachers a 2% pay rise, something that is only possible because we trust heads and governors to decide how to reward their staff.'

But Liberal Democrat deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said it was important for the government to be ‘as generous as it can’ for people working in the public sector and claiming the pay award was affordable and could be met by the government.

Responding to the announcement, the National Union of Teachers said that the government’s decision to freeze school funding meant that even a 1% pay rise increase this year would lead to cuts elsewhere in schools.

‘[The STRB’s] decision to allow schools to decide whether teachers get any increase means that many teachers may not even get 1%,’ said NUT’s general secretary Christine Blower.

‘The government has to reconsider its policy of cutting funding to schools. Schools need more funding and teachers’ pay needs to rise. Otherwise, we simply won’t have enough teachers to cope with growing pupil numbers.’

The NASUWT said the 2% rise was ‘bad news’ as many schools could choose not to award a increase at all.

‘Teachers’ anger and frustration will undoubtedly be reflected in the decision they make when they vote on May 7,’ said NASUWT’s general secretary Chris Keates.

And head teachers warned the pay policy could worsen recruitment problems for leadership roles.

‘All teachers have taken a real-terms cut in their net pay each year since 2010 and we believe that there is a very strong case for an above-inflation rise this year. This was the basis of our submission to the STRB,’ said Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders.

‘There should be an equal cost-of-living pay rise for all members of the teaching profession which is fully funded by the government.’

Did you enjoy this article?