Commenting on the Government’s announcement of a new pay deal for teachers, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:  

"The Government has been forced by the NEU members’ campaign on teacher pay to drop its previous proposal of a 3% increase for experienced teachers, but it has not moved far enough.  A 5% increase would still mean yet another huge cut to the real value of teacher pay against inflation. This isn't a 5% pay rise, it is a nearly 7% pay cut.  With RPI inflation at 11.7% according to the latest figures, experienced teachers would see a bigger pay cut than the one inflicted by last year's pay freeze and even the increase to starting pay is below inflation so is a real-terms pay cut.   

"8.9% for beginner teachers does not really shift the dial on teacher recruitment problems. It gives delayed effect to the government's 2019 plan to reach a £30,000 starter salary within two years. In that time, however, teachers will have experienced the intense and excessive workload which leads to almost a third quitting within five years of qualifying.   

"Given this very poor pay proposal, we will look towards consulting our members in the autumn. This will be the largest ballot of teachers for a generation.   

“Teachers don’t want to strike – they want to be in the classroom teaching our pupils. But we cannot stand by and watch the biggest real-terms decline in teacher pay this century. This pay offer will do nothing to recruit, retain and value teachers and protect our children's education.   

"We want James Cleverly to engage with us directly and negotiate. We remain ready and stand ready to do that.   

"But if it continues on this course into September, we will have no hesitation in recommending that our members take action."