Teachers’ pay award again fails to address recruitment crisis

10 July 2017

The 27th report of the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) has been published today and contains recommendations on how to apply the pay award for teachers for implementation in September 2017.

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “The publication of this report and the Secretary of State’s response are, once again, extremely late having been delayed by the general election period of ‘purdah’. This has led to unnecessary uncertainty for teachers and made financial planning for schools more difficult than it needed to be at a time when budgets are already under considerable strain.

“Even more disappointing, however, is that these pay awards have been once again kept within the government’s self-imposed 1% pay cap. This means teachers are facing a seventh year of real-terms pay cuts at a time when we are in a full-blown recruitment crisis. The STRB acknowledges that there is ‘a real risk that schools will not be able to recruit and retain a workforce of high quality teachers to support pupil achievement’. Furthermore, schools are expected to fund these awards without any additional funding from the government, and this comes at a time when budgets are under severe strain because of real-terms reductions.

“The current situation is unsustainable and the government is playing fast and loose with children’s education. We call on ministers to invest more in the education of our pupils, and thereby our future prosperity, by ensuring that pay awards are fully funded and help address the issue of teacher shortages.”