Commenting on the Chancellor’s speech, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:
“If the Government is serious about protecting living standards and building a strong economy, it must reverse the real terms cuts to teacher pay. Instead, with RPI inflation reaching 8.2% and in the midst of the worst cost-of-living crisis in decades, the Government plans yet more real terms pay cuts for teachers.
“The Government plans pay increases for most school teachers of only 3% in September 2022 and 2% in September 2023. These paltry increases are well below current and expected inflation, so teachers face another big pay cut in real terms following the long period of pay cuts dating back to 2010. With inflation so high, the impact of this year’s pay cut on living standards could be even worse than last year’s teacher pay freeze. Teachers and lecturers in post-16 settings, and other educators including support staff and supply teachers, also face huge cuts to the real value of their pay against inflation.
“Enough is enough. More pay cuts will increase the already serious teacher recruitment and retention problems that are clearly impacting negatively on children and young people's education. The Government’s plan to inflict more real terms pay cuts is a damaging and dogmatic political choice.
“The Chancellor’s refusal to increase education funding in the face of this inflation surge signals a return to the austerity of the 2010s. The real-terms growth rate for the Spending Review period (2022-23 to 2024-25) was 2% a year on previous inflation assumptions – already lower than the previous Spending Round. The Institute for Fiscal Studies estimated recently that at least a quarter of the real terms increase in spending will be wiped out through inflation. The higher inflation goes the more will be lost. The Chancellor has missed an opportunity to protect our children’s futures.”