“Even by the Taxpayers’ Alliance’s standards this is complete nonsense. The independent School Teachers’ Review Body has recognised that the level of pay is adversely affecting teacher recruitment and retention, and average starting and profession-wide salaries are considerably lower in teaching than in other graduate professions. Since 2010, successive governments have subjected teachers to continuous pay freezes and pay caps, cutting their pay by 15% in real terms - despite rising earnings elsewhere in the economy. Analysis of Government figures by the Labour Party in September 2017 found that teachers were more than £5,000 a year worse off than in 2010 due to the public sector pay squeeze.

“The Taxpayers’ Alliance dismissal of support staff as an unnecessary cost to schools is not just inaccurate but offensive. The National Education Union strongly believes that support staff are an essential part of the school workforce and have a tangible impact on the outcomes of all learners. Schools are already having to make staff redundant or not replacing them to balance the books. Surely in 2018 we do not think that this is what our children and young people deserve – an education system run on a shoestring and skeleton staff.

“The real problem is schools simply do not have sufficient funds to run an effective education system. The sooner people get their heads out of the sand and accept this, the better. To ensure the best outcomes for our children and young people, we need a fully funded education system that can afford to pay its teachers and support staff a decent wage.”