Why didn’t the Government heed the recommendation of its own independent teachers’ pay review body, which was to award all teachers and school leaders a 3.5% pay increase? Instead, only teachers on the main pay scale will receive this pay rise. Teachers on the upper pay spine will only receive a 2% pay rise, and leadership colleagues only 1.5%. The pay award is not fully-funded, so schools will have to fund 1% of the cost from already strained budgets.
The increase of 3.5% for classroom teachers on the main scale pay range is a modest step forward but we strongly oppose the Government’s treatment of teachers on the upper pay spine and leadership group. The NEU, along with ASCL and NAHT, is demanding that Damian Hinds implements fully the recommendation of the independent teachers’ review body.
What does this mean for teachers?
In the short term, it’s crucial that teachers actually receive the increases announced by the Government. When you return to school in September make sure you talk to your colleagues and head about your school’s pay policy. If your head does not implement the pay rise in full, tell us and we can support you in taking the necessary action to achieve full implementation. Beyond this, the NEU’s National Executive will meet in the new term to discuss taking forward our campaign to regain the money lost by teachers since 2010, and to ensure that our education system is adequately funded.
What does this mean for those on the upper pay spine and leaders?
It’s unacceptable that pay awards for leaders and for teachers on the upper pay range will be at a lower rate. The 43% of teachers on the upper pay spine and 14% in leadership positions (over half the profession) will see that, yet again, they face a real-terms pay cut.
This decision flies in the face of the recommendation made by the independent School Teachers’ Review Body for a 3.5% across-the-board increase on pay and allowances. The pay award is supposed to reflect the cost of living and therefore paying it at different rates is unfair and demoralising - especially at a time when recruiting leaders to schools is so challenging.
We want heads to fill in our survey to let us know about the impact this pay award will have on you and your school and help us to continue to campaign for better school funding and better pay for teachers.
Our pay toolkit gives you all the advice and support you need to secure fair pay treatment in your workplace.