The issue of teacher pay is in the news again with six teaching unions urging the Education Secretary to make his mind up over a pay rise in England.
Damian Hinds, the Education Secretary, has been told that schools are facing ‘unnecessary uncertainty’ for what they should be paying teaching staff from September.
This is down to his delayed response on teacher pay after a pay cap of 1% was lifted for workers in other public sectors.
Now, six unions, including the National Association of Head Teachers, the National Education Union and the Association of School and College Leaders, has written to Mr Hinds.
They say that headteachers and their staff are now wondering what is happening over teacher pay as schools break-up for summer.
How they will implement any teacher pay increase
The letter states that some schools have already closed for the summer and governing bodies cannot undertake discussions about how they will implement any teacher pay increase because they don’t know whether the government is going to support increased pay with extra funding.
They say that schools are unable to consult with their staff and decide what’s going to happen, which also raises questions about budgeting.
The unions write: “The school year will begin in a climate of uncertainty about funding and pay which could be avoided.”
Justine Greening, the previous Education Secretary, was urged by the teacher’s pay review body, the STRB, to adopt a flexible approach towards teacher pay considering that years of pay rises were restricted to 1%.
The organisation says that the Education Secretary should consider evidence about the state of teacher supply and protecting the public purse.
1% pay cap for teacher pay has now been in place for eight years
The 1% pay cap for teacher pay has now been in place for eight years with schools reporting they are not only struggling to recruit new teachers but also to retain staff, particularly in specialist subjects.
Now teaching unions are urging for a 5% pay rise to be fully funded by the Department for Education.
Some of the teaching unions are also urging for a ballot of teachers for industrial action to take place in September over the issue of teacher pay.
A spokesman for the Department for Education said the government is committed to ensuring that teaching remains a ‘fulfilling and attractive profession’.