The Government offer explained
More detail on how the 6.5 per cent teachers’ pay offer is funded
How the school funding year works
The school funding year is April to March, but teachers’ pay runs from September to August.
This year’s funding settlement covers April 2023 to March 2024. It contains an allowance for what the Government thought teachers’ pay would be from September 2023 to March 2024.
Based on this funding, the Government planned for a pay rise of 3.5 per cent and that is what ministers told the School Teachers’ Pay Review Body (STRB) schools could afford.
The NEU thought this did not give schools enough to cover their costs. So, the union campaigned for an increase during last September and October. We wrote to all Tory MPs and showed them the relaunched School Cuts website.
In the Autumn Statement in November 2022, Jeremy Hunt announced an extra £2bn for schools. That money included a teachers’ pay rise of 3.5 per cent for most schools. The head teacher unions, NAHT and ASCL, have told us that most heads had budgeted for a pay rise of 3.5 per cent.
Government offer following publication of the STRB and how it is funded
Following the publication of the STRB recommendations on teacher pay the Government has offered:-
- To fully implement the recommendations of the STRB report, awarding at least a 6.5 per cent pay increase on all pay points and allowances from 1 September.
- To provide extra funding for schools to pay for it, amounting to £900m per annum.
The extra £900m, that NEU members’ action has won, is to cover the 3 per cent increase from 3.5 per cent to 6.5 per cent.
It will be distributed in three ways:
- The Teachers’ Pay Additional Grant (TPAG) is for the education of five to 16-year-olds. It is worth £483m for September 2023 to March 2024 and £827m a year for following years. Schools covered by TPAG are: primary schools, middle schools, secondary schools, all-through schools, special schools, alternative provision, hospital schools and non-maintained special schools.
- A grant for children under five. It is worth £12.5m for September 2023 to March 2024, and £21m a year for following years. Schools covered are: primary schools with nursery classes and Maintained Nursery Schools.
- A grant for school sixth form pupils. It is worth £30m for September 2023 to March 2024, and £51m a year for following years.
Where will the extra funding come from?
The Government has guaranteed that this extra money will not come from any front-line services. They have guaranteed that it will not come from:
- Special Educational Needs (SEND) funding;
- from schools’ capital funding or money for buildings,
- from early years education and nursery schools; or
- or 16-19 funding provision.
Much of the funding will come from unspent money in the Department for Education (DfE). Normally, that money would be returned to the Treasury. But the Treasury is allowing the DfE to keep it - unlike other departments.
The funding for the pay rise will be built into the base budget for future years, so NEU members have genuinely won new money for education.
Campaigning on funding continues
The NEU does not think education is funded well enough; class sizes are too high and schools do not have enough resources to meet pupils’ needs. But we do think this pay rise is affordable in most schools. There will be a £40m fund for schools in severe difficulties.
The NEU will take robust action, including strike action, at any school making compulsory redundancies.
The NEU will continue to campaign for maintained nursery schools, schools and colleges to get the funding they need to cover everything they are asked to do, and need to do, for their students.