Commenting on the DfE’s submitted proposals to the School Teachers’ Review Body, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“The increases to starting pay represent long overdue recognition that teacher training targets have been missed for years, and that a significant number of those who qualify leave teaching within five years. But those increases need to be replicated across the teacher workforce. The 2.5% increase proposed for September 2020 for experienced teachers is likely to be barely at the level of RPI inflation according to the latest forecasts.  It will also fail to restore the value of teacher pay in the graduate labour market.  

“The Government should know from teachers’ reaction to previous differentiated pay increases that this announcement will create widespread dismay.  With teacher retention problems worsening, this is a devastating message for experienced and dedicated teachers.

“The Government’s approach will create new problems. Starting pay needs to be increased significantly to attract new recruits to teaching, but we need to stop the loss of experienced teachers too. All teachers deserve a pay increase that will make a significant start in restoring the real terms cuts to their pay since 2010. 

“Although the Government recognises that teacher workload is through the roof, its efforts to combat it has made precious little difference. This is because Ofsted and the accountability culture continues to run rampant in England’s schools. This is another contributing factor to the recruitment and retention crisis. Many young teachers find their working conditions to be untenable and leave as a result.

“As our own evidence argues (1), all teachers in England need a 7% pay increase fully funded by the Government as the start of a process of restoring the real-terms cuts to teacher pay in England since 2010.”

Editor’s Note

  1. NEU evidence to STRB.