A survey has revealed that teachers’ pay in the UK is effectively being reduced because of the lack of an annual pay rise and performance related pay progression.

The findings from the National Education Union (NEU) reveal that schools are failing to award a cost of living increase which is effectively reducing their salary.

The survey reveals that 21% of teachers say they’ve been told that they are not going to receive a cost of living rise and 30% say they are still waiting to hear whether they will receive an increase.

The union’s joint general secretary, Kevin Courtney, said: “The government is creating chaos on teachers’ pay which is contributing to a crisis in recruiting and also the retaining of teachers.

“Schools are struggling to make ends meet and are in a difficult position but denying a teacher their pay rates simply drives them from teaching.”

‘Pay restraint is affecting retention and recruitment’

He added: “The government must heed repeated warnings from the school teachers’ review body that pay restraint is affecting retention and recruitment.”

The union questioned more than 12,000 teachers and found that 14% who are eligible for salary progression have been denied it and 25% have not been told whether they will get a rise.

This comes five years after the introduction of performance related pay that was brought in by the government for teachers.

However, of those denied progression, 90% said they been told they are not meeting the standards necessary for them to progress, despite guidance from the government that says this should happen.

Of these, 88% said the decision was unfair and 22% are challenging the decision – despite many of those challenging say they have been told there’s no point in appealing.

Government needs to fund fully a pay increase for all teachers

The union says that the public sector salary cap needs to end and the government needs to fund fully a pay increase for all teachers to bring their pay up to a competitive level.

Also, there needs to be the reintroduction of national salary scales for teachers as more schools will struggle to recruit and also retain teaching staff.

News of the survey’s results follows an appeal to the teachers’ pay review body that any pay rise should take into account affordability.

The call was made by the Education Secretary, Justine Greening, who is also calling for the body to consider whether the framework for teachers’ salaries should be reformed to help boost the attraction of teaching as a career.

The call for affordability comes after the Treasury says that the body can exceed the current public sector pay cap. It revealed in September that the body has the flexibility for recommending a pay rise in 2018 back in excess of the 1% cap.

More information

The full survey results on teachers’ pay can be read on the National Education Union’s website.