Education Unions call for fully funded pay increase.

ASCL, Community, NAHT, NASUWT and NEU have issued a united call for a fully funded, inflation-plus pay increase to tackle the recruitment and retention crisis.


Unions representing the overwhelming majority of teachers and school leaders have issued a united call for a fully funded, inflation-plus pay increase as part of a restorative correction for teachers and school leaders to tackle the recruitment and retention crisis. The unions have also called for significant improvements in workload. Repairing the damage to pay and conditions is essential to address teacher shortages so is in the interests of parents and pupils, as well as of teachers and school leaders.  

The unions have called on the STRB to reject the Government’s attempts to limit it to working within the existing inadequate school funding envelope.  The Chancellor’s Spring Budget confirmed no additional funding for schools which will result in further cuts to pay, jobs and support for pupils. Real terms pay cuts, sky high workload and teacher shortages show that we desperately need additional investment to save our education service.  The unions reject the Government’s arbitrary definition of “affordability” – it takes no account of the huge cost to our education service and our economy of not properly investing in education. 

The Government refuses to face the reality of a recruitment and retention crisis caused by its own political choices to cut teacher and school leader pay and to refuse to make the additional investment needed in our education service. 

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “Fourteen years of pay erosion and workload pressures have caused an increasingly damaging teacher recruitment and retention crisis. Schools are often left struggling to put teachers in front of classes. The Government must get a grip.” 

Community General Secretary Roy Rickhuss and Helen Osgood, Community's National Officer for Education and Early Years, said: "We have repeatedly warned the government that their strategy is failing. What we must do, is improve the conditions for all staff in schools: improving pay, increasing PPA time, and reducing stress and workload.  But this will only be the start. We need to retain and reward experience and celebrate all our school staff, and this will take significant investment." 

Paul Whiteman, General Secretary of the school leaders’ union, the NAHT, said: “Pay in schools has fallen off a cliff since 2010, and leaders are at their wits' end trying to get the staff they need. The recruitment and retention crisis is fuelling a crushing workload - leaders are forced to make class sizes bigger, have no choice but to ask teachers to cover unfamiliar subjects and often have to cover lessons themselves. There simply won't be enough leaders and teachers to give children the education they deserve – over half of leaders are looking to leave the profession, and few senior teachers aspire to headship because of the pressures.” 

Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary, NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union, said: “The Government’s approach to pay over the past 14 years has systematically failed. The country’s schools are in crisis. There
is a crisis of teacher supply and pay is a central factor. Unless and until the depth of this crisis is recognised, and a commitment made to use the pay mechanism to restore the status of teachers, schools will not be able to recruit the teachers and headteachers they need to meet the needs of all children and young people.” 

Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “We have had enough of the Government underfunding education. The evidence is clear – our education service needs urgent significant additional investment to secure a major correction in teacher pay and improvements to workload, so that we properly value teachers and school leaders and fix the recruitment and retention crisis.”

Pay awards

Teachers' pay awards and the School Teachers Review Body

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