Pay levels continue to cause concern among school leaders

Teacher pay scales are set to rise by just one per cent at the start of the new school year, it has been confirmed.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan this week announced that she will accept a recommendation made by the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) that from September the pay packets should increase in line with the cap on public sector pay previously announced by the Government.

However, ministers have been told that a “significantly higher” rise will need to be implemented before the end of the decade, thus ensuring that the salaries for those in the teaching profession remain competitive.

The STRB has warned of inherent dangers in allowing teachers’ earnings to decline in comparison with other professions, particularly given that increasingly graduates are choosing to pursue “more rewarding” career opportunities outside of education.

In addition there are concerns about the likely effect on morale if pay continues to be capped at one per cent despite an increasing workload.

That said, the STRB has also acknowledged that schools will be forced to balance “competing pressures” on their already stretched budgets if pay rises of more than one per cent are introduced without any additional funding being made available.

Malcolm Trobe, the acting general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, was among those to voice “disappointment” about the Government’s course of action.

“These pay awards are once again limited to an uplift of one per cent when we are in the midst of a teacher recruitment crisis.

“Furthermore, schools are expected to fund these awards without any additional funding from the Government at a time when budgets are under severe strain because of real-terms reductions.”

Following Ms Morgan’s announcement, a government spokesman said: “We have given schools unprecedented freedoms over staff pay so they can reward the most experienced teachers and attract the brightest and best.”

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