Education unions urge improvements to teacher and school leader pay following salary freeze

Education unions who jointly represent the majority of teachers and school leaders in England are demanding improvements to teacher and head teacher pay.

ASCL, NAHT, NASUWT, NEU and Voice Community, have submitted a joint statement to the School Teachers’ Review Body.

The groups say teachers and school leaders have suffered from a succession of pay cuts against inflation since 2010, negatively impacting the ability of the profession to compete against other graduate professions and increasing recruitment and retention problems.

They say the impact of the 2021 pay freeze continues to be felt, as each month teacher and school leader pay is frozen while inflation climbs higher.

Education unions are calling on the Government to avoid further pay cuts and “urgently repair the damage that has already been done.”

They say increases to starting pay must be accompanied by equivalent increases for all teachers and school leaders, and argue that the increases must be enough to start to restore the pay losses against inflation since 2010. 

The joint union statement to the STRB further calls for a fair national pay structure and the removal of performance-related pay (PRP), for an end to differential pay increases, and for urgent action to cut teacher and school leader workload.

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “Teacher shortages are a direct result of the erosion of teacher pay over the past decade. This must be addressed with a significant above inflation settlement that improves both the value of starting salaries and applies a similar uplift to the pay of the experienced teachers and leaders we need to keep in the profession. And the government has to ensure that schools have sufficient funding to afford that settlement.”

Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said: “There is clear and unshakeable evidence of the enormous damage that has been inflicted on the morale of teachers after more than a decade of real terms cuts to teachers’ pay. The Government must now deliver a programme of pay restoration which recognises and values the work of teachers and headteachers, and teachers expect the STRB to deliver recommendations that will help to restore teaching as an attractive and competitive career.”