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1 per cent pay cap recommendation is accepted by government

Government accepts School Teachers’ Review Body’s recommendation for a one per cent uplift for teachers from September 2017

Published on 21st August 2017

The pay cap of 1 per cent for teachers from September 2017 has been confirmed by the government.

The government has published the recommendations of the School Teachers’ Review Body on teachers’ pay for 2017-18 and indicated its intention, following formal consultation, to implement them from 1 September.

In line with the recommendations in the STRB’s 27th Report, the government announced that there would be a two per cent increase on the statutory minimum and maximum of the main pay range and a 1% uplift has been applied to all other pay ranges in the national framework.

“Except for teachers and leaders on the minima of their respective ranges or group ranges, schools must determine – in accordance with their own pay policy – how to take account of the uplift to the national framework in making individual pay progression decisions,” said the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions document 2017.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said that while it is right that the government has accepted the recommendations of the School Teachers’ Review Body report, these should be implemented in full and there must be “no cherry-picking”.
 
She highlighted that the pay review body has reminded schools that pupil achievements are dependent on schools maintaining a strong cadre of teachers and that ‘this will require school leaders and governing bodies to make best use of their people and give the necessary priority to teachers’ pay within their schools’ budgets’.
 
Ms Keates warned that, to date, teachers have not had any protection as a result of the government’s 1% pay cap, and increasing numbers of teachers are reporting real financial hardship for the first time in decades.
 
“Latest statistics indicate that over a quarter of teachers are having to rely on credit cards, overdrafts and payday loans in order to make ends meet every month, and many new and recently qualified teachers who are unable to afford to rent or buy a home.
 
“The NASUWT is writing to all employers to put them on notice that all teachers should receive a minimum 1% uplift to their pay this year and that teachers on the Main Pay Range should expect a minimum uplift of at least 2%, in accordance with the Review Body’s report.
 
“At a time when pupils’ education is being placed at risk because of the continuing recruitment and retention crisis, schools cannot afford not to pay teachers,” she added.

The Secretary of State published the School Teacher Review Body's 27th report into teacher's pay and how it should be uplifted in September 2017 in July.

The Secretary of State accepted their recommendation that the minimum and maximum points on the main pay scales should be uplifted by two per cent and that all other pay ranges and allowances should be uplifted by one per cent. The DfE launched a very short consultation on this.

The NAHT, ASCL, ATL, NUT, Voice and UCAC have responded with the three following points:

  • The concern that the independent pay review process is being compromised by impossible constraints placed on it by government, so that the STRB are no longer able to independently advise on what pay levels should be for teachers and school leaders. This is reflected in the fact that despite the STRB reviewing the evidence presented to them and concluding that: "the cumulative impact of these factors creates a real risk that schools will not be able to recruit and retain a workforce of high quality teachers to support pupil achievement.", they have been unable to make recommendations that will fully address this.

  • That in the light of the school funding crisis, it is critical that the DfE ensure that schools are provided with funding to meet this autumn's pay increases. Without this, the implications of the report and the provisions in the draft STPCD could drive school budgets further into deficit.

  • The unions set out that they fully support the STRB's call for a full review of the pay and allowance framework for teachers, but are extremely surprised that they should not include school leaders in this recommendation. Nothing in their report would suggest that the scale of the recruitment challenges are any less for leadership roles and the evidence to the STRB, as well as new evidence published since makes a strong case that the decline in leadership pay is contributing to significant problems in recruiting and retaining school leaders.

“We conclude by urging the DfE to consider a remit to the STRB this autumn that allows a full and independent review of all pay and allowances in the teaching profession, including classroom teachers and school leaders. Only such a remit can allow us to secure the numbers of high quality staff and school leaders to drive our education system forward,” said the joint response.

 

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