Unions address teacher recruitment crisis

A number of teaching unions have called for an urgent review of teachers and school leaders’ pay to address the ongoing recruitment crisis.

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), the National Education Union (NEU), UCAC and Voice issued the statement today.

Together, the unions represent the majority of education staff in England and Wales.

In the joint statement, the unions call for a “significant pay increase” for teachers and school leaders and set out their views on the most pressing issues facing the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB).

It says a pay increase is required to make teaching competitive with other graduate professions, as well as ease the recruitment and retention crisis.

Among the demands, the unions have asked that teaching staff should receive an annual cost of living increase in line with inflation.

Paul Whiteman, General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, (NAHT) said: “Teaching is a demanding and important profession and teachers’ pay should reflect this. At the moment, it doesn’t. The recruitment crisis continues unabated and the teacher supply pipeline is leaking at both ends. At present the government is failing to recruit enough new teachers, and doing nowhere near enough whilst too many experienced teachers leave prematurely. A pay rise for school staff is long overdue.”

Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), added: “Children’s education is at risk – insufficient recruitment and retention of high quality teachers is a very real problem. To begin to address this, it is essential that teacher workload is reduced and that the government now commits to making a restorative pay rise, starting with a significant real terms increase in 2018, which is fully funded. Ministers are right when they say an education system is only as good as its teachers and leaders. The public is demanding government values these hardworking professionals who can make such a positive impact on young people’s futures.”

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