Teachers' Pay: Joint Union Call for 5% Increase

28 January 2019

Organisations representing the overwhelming majority of teachers and school leaders in England have urged the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) to recommend a significant pay increase for all teachers and school leaders.  They have called for the STRB to recommend an immediate pay increase of 5% which should be funded in full by the Government.  

The value of teacher pay against inflation has been cut repeatedly since 2010.  An above-inflation increase is needed urgently, to begin the process of reversing these cuts and in doing so repairing the damage caused to teacher recruitment and retention.  The teaching profession’s ability to compete against other graduate professions has been seriously impaired and this has caused major recruitment and retention problems affecting the whole profession.  Urgently improving teacher pay and conditions is in the interests of young people and their parents. 

The situation is critical.  The Government must urgently implement and fund a 5% pay increase, followed by further increases as soon as possible to restore the value of teacher pay to 2010 levels.  Looking ahead, a further review of teacher pay is needed to establish appropriate pay levels for the long term.  The evidence shows the damage that has been done to teacher pay and supply.  It is time for the STRB to recommend, and for the Government to accept its responsibility to deliver, the urgent action called for in the joint statement from ASCL, NAHT, NEU and Voice.

Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:

The evidence shows that the STRB must recommend and the Government must fully fund an immediate 5% pay increase for teachers. Even this will not replace the pay losses teachers have faced, or close the gap with other professions, but alongside tackling workload, it would be a part of solving the teacher recruitment and retention crisis.

Paul Whiteman, General Secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:

Teaching is a demanding and important profession and teachers’ pay and conditions should reflect this. At the moment, they don’t. The teacher supply pipeline is leaking at both ends, with too few new applicants and too many experienced professionals leaving prematurely. A pay rise for school staff is long overdue.”

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

We already have a full-blown teacher recruitment and retention crisis, and with pupil numbers projected to rise by 368,000 over the next six years, the crisis will deepen unless we are able to attract and retain more teachers. Teachers’ pay must be improved and it is imperative that this cost is funded in full by the Government rather than it landing on school budgets which are under unsustainable pressure.”

Voice General Secretary Deborah Lawson said:

“There is a widening gap between teachers’ pay and pay in other graduate professions, and this must be addressed in order to attract more graduates into the teaching profession and to retain them.

“To address this recruitment and retention crisis in our schools, we urge the STRB to recommend the pay increase proposed by the unions and the Government to fully fund it.