ASCL comment on government evidence to the STRB

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on Education Secretary Gillian Keegan’s evidence to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) about the 2024/25 pay award.
It is disappointing that the government has followed up its failure to meet the deadline for submitting its evidence to the pay review body with a belated submission that is an exercise in complacency.

“Unusually, the government has chosen not to set out the level of pay award it considers affordable – presumably because there isn’t actually enough money in the education system to afford very much at all. It has instead vaguely suggested that the recruitment and retention picture and economic context justify a pay award that is lower than last year’s pay award. 

“In reality, the recruitment and retention picture is a disaster with schools across the country continuing to experience severe teacher shortages in many subjects, and teacher pay has failed to keep pace with rising costs over the past decade making it uncompetitive in the graduate market.

“The STRB must now assert its independence – as it did last year – by recommending a pay award that addresses these issues and ensures that children and young people have the teachers they need. And the government must ensure schools can afford the pay award necessary for this purpose – beginning with the investment in education that is so clearly needed in next week’s spring budget