Commenting on the teacher pay deal announced this morning by Government, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: 

"The Government has presented teachers with a curate’s egg in today’s announcement. Raising starting salaries by 5.5% should make the profession more attractive to graduates. But the prospect of salaries tapering off as they progress through the profession means that progress made in recruiting teachers will not be sustained in retaining them.

"More experienced teachers and leaders must see their immense hard work and efforts rewarded fairly, and this pay award does not do that.

The NEU asked for a 7% pay rise for all teachers. This award does not achieve this entirely reasonable ambition. It is already the case that 22% of teachers leave teaching within 2 years.  

"This is an awful waste which impacts most directly on disadvantaged children who most need teachers. We will not begin to close the attainment gap until we keep teachers in the profession.

"Without full funding by the Government, for many teachers the pay increases announced in previous years have existed only in theory.  The dismantling of the national pay structure, imposition of PRP and real-terms funding cuts have resulted in many teachers not getting the cost-of-living increases announced in previous years.  NEU called for a fully-funded 7% increase in September and we reiterate this call."