Better pay deal needed for experienced teachers

Government plans to address teacher shortages by boosting starting salaries must also include a pay boost for experienced staff to improve retention.

The National Education Union (NEU), National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), Voice, and the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) reject the current Government proposals, under which two-thirds of classroom teachers and all school leaders would receive a pay increase of less than 3% despite having seen the real value of salaries fall by some 15% since 2010.

The unions agree that a significant uplift is needed to starting and early career salaries to boost recruitment. But in joint evidence to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), they say that a better deal is also needed for experienced staff in order to improve teacher retention.

The unions call for a significant pay increase for all teachers and leaders and for this to be fully funded by the government. They also call for the reinstatement of a national pay structure and pay scales and an end to performance-related pay. There is growing evidence that performance-related pay demotivates teachers and damages retention, and that a national pay structure would better support the profession.

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of NEU, said: “Recruitment and retention problems affect the whole profession and we need a decent pay award for the whole profession, as the first step in the urgent restoration of the pay cuts teachers have suffered.”

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