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Lower-paid school teachers set to receive 3.5% pay rise

teacher pay rise 3.5%

School teachers in England and Wales will receive a 3.5 per cent pay rise from September, the government announced.

 

The announcement came after a group of school leaders and unions worked collectively to campaign against lack of school funding from the Department of Education (DFE).

 

Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “our successful campaign on school funding, working with parental groups and other unions, has forced the DfE to find funding for this pay award.”

 

Over the next two years schools in England will be given a grant worth £508m, funded “partially” by the DfE.

Teachers on the main pay range are promised to receive the full 3.5 per cent increase, which is worth annually between £800 and £1,366.

However, a lower rate of 1.5 and 2 per cent is also put in place for teachers, senior staff and head teachers on a higher wage.

Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, is confident that the pay rise will help reshape teaching as a “competitively rewarded career,” after a shocking number of teachers continue to leave the profession.

 

Despite Mr Hinds’ and his predecessor’s attempt to solve the teacher recruitment crisis; the delayed decision raises concerns among head teachers and education unions, as they fear that further cuts from the school budget could still be made to fund the salary increase.

General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, Geoff Barton, expressed his disappointment over lack of funding from the Treasury; he said: “The DfE and the secretary of state deserve credit for an improved pay award and a commitment to providing extra funding.

“It is deeply unfair that the pay award for leaders and for teachers on the upper pay range will be funded at a lower rate, and they will regard this decision as a kick in the teeth for their hard work.”

He added: “It is also regrettable that the pay award is only partially funded and that the DfE has had to find that money from down the back of the departmental sofa, as this will impact on other education services.

“This is clearly a short-term political solution driven by the refusal of the Treasury to fund the pay award and we need longer term strategic thinking from the government as a whole.”

 

A new pay deal for the NHS, which was announced in March, confirmed that nurses, paramedics and porters will see a 6.5 per cent rise in the next three years. The move paved the way for school leaders and education unions to undergo a number of protest against school budget shortages.

More so, after startling reports from the Institute for Fiscal Studies showed that spending per pupil had fallen by 8% in real terms.

As the school financial crisis reaches an all-time high; a West Midlands school, King’s Church of England, have also complained over the insufficient funding available to repair their school rundown buildings.

leaked roof

Head teacher of the Wolverhampton school, James Ludlow, said: “It’s really heart-breaking.

When it rains, and we’ve had some heavy downpours, water comes through into the corridors and brings bits of the ceiling down.” The budget shortage has left Mr Ludlow with no choice but to cut back staff members in his school.

Despite Mr Hinds’ commitment to “recruit and retain brilliant teachers,” Mr Ludlow stresses that “unless something is done about funding, it is inevitable that standards of education will go down.”

 

Dr Bousted warns that schools will have to find “more than £250m from their already stretched budgets.”

She added: “We are concerned, too, that the DfE will be forced by the Treasury to make unacceptable cuts to other parts of its education budget, and we will monitor this carefully.”

But Labour’s shadow education Secretary, Angela Rayner, said: “There is still no information about what areas of funding will be cut to meet the cost of the pay rise.”

The extra funding, which is said to be taken from DfE’s existing budget, will be given to schools in two instalments.

 

Schools in England will receive £187m in 2018-19 and £321m in 2019-20. However, such funding does not apply to schools in Wales.

The exclusion has left Welsh government “concerned that HM Treasury will not be providing any additional funding to pay for this uplift.”

In response to the unequal pay rise for teachers across the country, Dr Bousted said: “We regret that the DfE has not accepted the STRB’s recommendation of 3.5% for all teachers and school leaders.

“We will continue to campaign for this and for improved funding for all schools, as the government moves into the comprehensive spending review.”

July 25, 2018