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Press Release

Press Releases

Department for Education: Government confirms schools will have more freedom on teachers’ pay

Department for Education press release

Schools will from this September get more freedom over how they pay their teachers, Education Secretary Michael Gove confirmed today.

This follows recommendations from an independent review body which last year called on the Government to link teachers’ pay more closely to their performance.  In a letter (attached) sent today to the head of the independent review body, Michael Gove said:

“I’m clear that these changes will give schools greater freedom to develop pay policies that are tailored to their school’s needs and circumstances and to reward their teachers in line with their performance.”

Evidence shows that improving the quality of teaching is essential to driving up standards in schools. Pupils taught by good teachers score nearly half a GCSE point more per subject than pupils taught by poor teachers. The impact is even more significant for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, according to the Sutton Trust. For poor pupils, the difference between a very good teacher and a bad teacher may be a whole year’s education.

Under the current system for teachers’ pay:

  • automatic pay progression means there is a poor link between a teacher’s performance and reward; and
  • schools in some parts of the country struggle to recruit and retain good teachers.

 

The School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), which makes recommendations to Government on teachers’ pay reforms, called for greater freedom for schools to set teachers’ pay in its report published in December last year.

From September, a new simpler, more flexible national pay framework for teachers will come into effect. It will:

  • end pay increases based on length of service – currently virtually all full time classroom teachers on the main pay scale automatically progress to the next pay point;
  • link all teachers’ pay progression to performance, based on annual appraisals – already the case for some teachers who are on a higher pay scale;
  • abolish mandatory pay points within the pay scales for classroom teachers to give schools greater freedom on how much teachers are paid. They would remain in place for reference only in the main pay scale to guide career expectations for new teachers entering the profession; and
  • retain the higher pay bands for London and fringe areas.

At the time of publishing its report Dame Patricia Hodgson, Chair of the STRB, said:

“We believe our recommendations will help schools to recruit, retain and reward the best teachers. It will give heads freedom to manage teachers’ pay according to pupil needs and local circumstances, within a fair national framework.”

Responding to the STRB’s recommendations in December 2012, Education Secretary Michael Gove said:

“These recommendations will make teaching a more attractive career and a more rewarding job. They will give schools greater flexibility to respond to specific conditions and reward their best teachers.

“It is vital that teachers can be paid more without having to leave the classroom. This will be particularly important to schools in the most disadvantaged areas as it will empower them to attract and recruit the best teachers.”

Ministers asked the STRB last year to look at how reforms could be made to help address the quality of teaching, along with raising the status of the profession and supporting the recruitment and retention of teachers in different areas of the country. The STRB gathered evidence from a wide range of stakeholders, including the Government, governors’ associations, and teacher and head teacher unions in reaching its final recommendations.

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