UK news

Pay freeze leaves teachers with salary drop of 8% – posing school staffing risk

Top teachers in England will have seen their pay drop 8% over the last 14 years thanks to the Tories real term pay cut, it has been revealed.

Analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) showed average earnings across the economy have risen by about 0.6% in real terms between 2007 and 2021.

But in the same period teacher salaries have dropped to such low levels experts believe it has impacted teacher retention rates.

On Wednesday, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed on that there would be a pay freeze for the majority of teachers in England in 2021/22.

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Unions are urging the Government to treat teachers fairly otherwise teacher retention rates will continue to fall

Teachers earning under £24,000 would receive an uplift of £250, the Government said.

IFS researchers said: “The fact that it has taken a global pandemic and economic crisis to ease the pressures on the teacher labour market illustrates the scale of the challenge.

“To stop these problems getting worse, the government will need to provide above-inflation awards from 2022 onwards.”

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “Their pay has been severely eroded over the past decade, while at the same time they have been asked to take on more and more.

“NAHT’s own survey research has found that nearly half of school leaders (47%) are considering leaving the profession sooner than originally planned. The experience these teachers and leaders have cannot be replaced by the new people entering teacher training this year.

“Ultimately it is very simple: pay people properly and treat them well.”

Louise Hatswell, conditions of employment specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said: “Quite how the Government expects schools and colleges to successfully attract new recruits to their ranks given the parlous state of teacher pay is mystifying.”

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