What’s happening to pay

School teachers’ statutory pay ranges were increased in both England and Wales from 1 September 2019 following decisions by the Secretary of State for Education and by the Minister for Education in Wales.

In England, the Secretary of State for Education has decided to accept and implement the STRB’s recommendation for a 2.75% increase in all pay ranges (Main, Upper; Leadership, Leading Practitioner and Unqualified) and allowance ranges (including TLRs and SEN allowances).  In Wales, the Minister has decided to apply the same increase as in England despite lower recommendations from the new PRB for Wales, though a 5% increase for the minimum of the Main Pay Range is proposed.

Additional grant funding will again be made available in England to support the pay award in schools and academies - but again this will not cover the full cost of the pay recommendations.  Schools and academies in England will be expected to cover the first 2% of the 2.75% uplift from their existing budgets.  The issue of funding in Wales is under consideration.

It’s absolutely essential to secure these increases for every teacher in every school. Recommended pay scale points for England endorsed by the NEU, ASCL, NAHT and Voice can be found here  together with jointly endorsed advice on their implementation.  These recommendations reflect the increases in the minimum and maximum of each pay range.  

Actions to secure the appropriate pay increase

The STPCD now only sets out minimum and maximum values for pay in the form of pay ranges.  It no longer sets out mandatory pay scale points - schools can determine their own pay scale points within the minimum and maximum of each pay range.  This means that teachers will not necessarily get the above increase automatically.

The NEU position is that:

  • Local authorities and MATs should agree to advise schools to adopt pay scale points in line with the NEU’s recommended scale points which incorporate the 2.75% increase on all pay points.
  • Schools should adopt these pay scale points as part of their pay policies.
  • All teachers should be paid on these points and therefore receive an individual pay increase of at least 2.75%, separate from any increase due to pay progression. 

Local officers and union negotiators

Press local authorities and academy employers to announce as soon as possible that they intend to support the above position.  Most employers have supported the joint union advice in previous years.  Press them to do so again, as soon as possible, if you haven’t already done so.  Securing a critical mass of support among local authorities and academy employers will help to spread this good practice. 

NEU school & workplace representatives

Contact the headteacher and chair of governors seeking confirmation that the 2.75% increase will be paid in full and the recommended pay scales applied. Click here for a model letter for you to amend as appropriate and use in your school or academy to confirm that all teachers will get the recommended increases for September 2019. 

(If there is no NEU rep in your workplace, make sure that this letter is sent anyway on behalf of NEU members – and elect a rep!) Please contact the NEU locally if you need support.

If your school doesn’t use the recommended pay scale points because it didn’t implement previous recommended pay increases in previous years, press it to adopt them now. 

If your school uses higher pay scale points, funding to support this year’s pay increase means it should increase those points by 2.75% as well.

If there is any suggestion that the increases won’t be paid in full in your school or academy, please immediately contact the NEU locally for support.

Rights to be consulted on pay at school level

Schools and academies are required to consult formally each year on the school pay policy and pay structure.  Teachers should therefore be consulted on the proposed level of pay increase and on when and how it will be implemented.  This is also an opportunity to raise any other issues and concerns and pursue improvements in the pay policy.

NEU reps should call a meeting of members about teachers’ pay early in the new term.  It’s essential to ensure members know they won’t necessarily get the September 2019 increase automatically.  As well as discussing how to secure the increase, you can discuss how to support the NEU’s continuing campaign to restore the value of teachers’ pay. 

Consequences of failing to act

NEU pay surveys show that a significant number of members are told each year they are not going to get a cost-of-living increase.  We do need to ensure that we press for confirmation that the full 2.75% cost-of-living increase will be received by every teacher and applied to all pay points and allowances. 

Seek confirmation, rather than asking whether it will be paid – that demonstrates our presumption that it will be paid.  Members are assured of NEU support where necessary to ensure that the increase is secured in every school.

The additional grant funding for the pay increase should be cited in support of this presumption of payment.  The additional funding is the clearest possible indication of the intention that the increases should be implemented for every teacher in every school. 

Even this 2.75% increase is not going to maintain the value of pay or address the problems of teacher supply.  The STRB report shows its concern at recruitment and retention and how teachers’ pay contributes to those problems.  The Independent Welsh Pay Review Body also expressed concerns at teacher supply.  Allowing pay to fall below the recommended pay levels in any school will make these problems worse in that school and also increase the uncertainty on pay that drives prospective teachers away. 

Other NEU advice on pay

The NEU pay calculator has been updated and it sets out the value of the recommended pay scale points, per year and per month so you can compare the figures with those on your pay slips.  It also shows the cumulative cuts in their value in real terms since 2010.  

The NEU pay toolkit advice documents are available and can be used in organising and casework on pay policies and pay progression. 

Advice in respect of support staff, teachers in FE and sixth form colleges and the independent sector and Soulbury members can be found on the NEU website.

Find out more on the NEU pay campaign.

Information on the teachers pay grant for England

The grant funding towards teachers’ pay is intended to fund the difference between the 2% increase which schools are assumed to have budgeted for 2019-20 and the actual 2.75% increases proposed.  The grant will be £105 million for the remaining seven months of the 2019-20 financial year and is additional to the £321 million previously announced for the full 2019-20 financial year. 

Although we await details re distribution of the grant, it is likely to be on the basis of the mechanism used in 2018-19.  The DFE has previously told LAs and unions that “The total size of this grant is calculated by taking the average proposed pay award, subtracting 1%, and then applying this to the overall teachers’ pay bill. It therefore includes on-costs and allows for full implementation of the award.”

We will distribute any further information we receive on the operation of the Teacher Pay Grant in England, or on funding arrangements for pay in Wales, for 2019-20.

NEU recommended pay scale points in England for 2019-20

It’s absolutely essential to secure these increases for every teacher in every school. Recommended pay scale points for England endorsed by the NEU, ASCL, NAHT and Voice can be found here together with jointly endorsed advice on their implementation.  These recommendations reflect the increases in the minimum and maximum of each pay range.