More than a quarter of a million teachers are facing another pay cut this year despite the Prime Minister’s claim that “austerity is over”.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds MP rejected the recommendation of the independent pay review that all teachers be awarded a rise , despite government pledges to end the public sector pay cap.
Instead he decided that those on the ‘upper’ pay scale would receive a 2% pay rise and those on the ‘leadership’ scale would receive just 1.5%.
All of the teachers on those pay scales will see their wages rise by less than inflation, meaning another real terms pay cut.
Across the country there are over 190,000 teachers on the upper pay range, and nearly 65,000 on the leadership pay range.
This means that more than half (56.7%) of all teachers in the country will face another cut to their pay this year.
An NEU survey of 34,000 teachers showed that 70 percent are already considering leaving the profession due to poor levels of pay.
Angela Rayner MP, Labour ’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education, said: “The Prime Minister told us that austerity was over and promised she would end the pay cuts for public servants, but it is becoming clearer by the day that this doesn’t apply to our schools and teachers.
“In stark contrast to their words, the government’s own figures show that a quarter of a million teachers – nearly half the entire workforce – are now facing another real terms cut to their pay this year.”
Teachers are already over £4,000 a year worse off since 2010, and teacher recruitment targets have been missed for the last six years – with more teachers leaving the profession than joining.
The government has also now admitted that it will not keep its promise to fully fund even the limited pay rise for all schools, leaving some with a shortfall once they have paid staff salaries.
They department insists the grant should provide sufficient cover for the majority of the costs but says schools will need to manage the remaining cost from within existing budgets.
A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Last summer saw the biggest teacher pay rise in almost 10 years, with classroom teachers being the big beneficiaries which included a 3.5% uplift to the main pay range worth between £803 and £1,366 supported by a £508 million government grant across two years. In addition to an annual pay award, many teachers also receive increases from promotions and responsibility allowances.
“Whilst we know pay is an important issue for teachers, there are also other factors which can affect recruitment and retention.
“That is why in January we unveiled the first ever integrated recruitment and retention strategy in England, which will provide teachers with more early careers support and opportunities for flexible and part-time working.
“The strategy also builds on the work we have done to support school leaders to strip away unnecessary workload.”