School leaders and teachers in England should receive a significant pay increase of 5%, unions are urging.

They say the School Teachers Review Body (STRB) should recommend the pay increase and have it fully funded by the government.

Since 2010, teacher pay when measured against inflation has been repeatedly reduced, the unions claim.

Now, unions say that an above inflation pay rise is urgently needed to begin reversing these pay cuts.

They say a significant pay rise will also help repair the damage caused to teacher retention and recruitment.

Government needs look at introducing further pay increases

A joint statement has been made by the NEU, NAHT and ASCL teacher unions who say that the government also needs to look at introducing further pay increases so teacher pay can be restored to 2010 levels.

Another review is also being urged to establish teacher pay levels over the longer-term.

The joint general secretary of the National Education Union’s Mary Boustead, said: “Evidence shows the STRB should recommend a major 5% pay rise for teachers.

“This will not replace teachers’ pay losses or narrow the gap with other professions, and alongside tackling teacher workload it will be part of resolving the teacher retention and recruitment crisis.”

The NAHT’s general secretary, Paul Whiteman, said: “Teaching is an important and demanding profession and their conditions and pay should reflect this.

“The teacher supply pipeline sees too many experienced professionals leaving and too few new applicants. A school staff pay rise is long overdue.”

The general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, Geoff Barton, said: “We have a teacher retention and recruitment crisis and with pupil numbers set to rise over the next six years by 368,000, the crisis will worsen unless we retain and attract more teachers.

“Teachers’ pay needs to be improved and this should be funded by the government rather than falling on school budgets which are under pressure.”

Scotland’s teachers could strike over pay

Meanwhile, teaching unions in Scotland say the teachers could stage a walkout for the first time since the 1980s.

That will be the situation, even if teachers get an improved pay offer from councils, a union boss says.

The general secretary of the EIS, Larry Flanagan, says that for many teachers pay is not the main issue after years of austerity and growing frustration with curriculum changes.

Teachers in Scotland have demanded a 10% pay rise and say that their pay has fallen in real terms by 20% over the last 10 years.

Employers have offered at least 9% in pay rises between January 2018 and April this year and another 3% for April next year.

This offer was narrowly rejected last week by the EIS council and they say a ballot of members is the only way forward.

In response, Councils say they have now ‘gone as far as they can’ and say teachers should accept the pay deal.


More information

The full statement made by the teacher unions to the STRB on teacher pay can be read on the NEU’s website.