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Sat, 24 October 2020

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New teachers in line for above-inflation pay boost as ministers hail biggest shake-up 'in a generation'

New teachers in line for above-inflation pay boost as ministers hail biggest shake-up 'in a generation'
2 min read

Teachers are in line for the biggest shake-up of their pay "in a generation", Gavin Williamson has declared, as he unveiled plans for starting salaries to rise to £30,000 by 2022.

The Education Secretary confirmed that the Government wants the initial pay packets for new teachers to rise to £26,000 from September this year - up from £24,373 - and then climb to £30,000 over the next two years.

New starters working in outer and inner London will meanwhile see their pay packets upped to £30,000 and £32,000 respectively from this year.

But a major teaching union has already warned that the plans do not go far enough, with salaries for experienced teachers, heads and school leaders set to rise by just 2.5% - less than the 6.7% pledged for new starters.

The proposals come as part of the Department for Education's submission to the independent School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), which makes formal recommendations on pay levels for the profession.

Mr Williamson said the plans would help "make teaching attractive to the most talented graduates by recognising the prestige that we as a society place on the profession".

The Cabinet minister added: "We have set out proposals to significantly raise starting salaries for new teachers to £26,000 next year, rising to £30,000 by September 2022, alongside above-inflation pay increases for senior teachers and school leaders. These mark the biggest reform to teacher pay in a generation."

The Department for Education claimed the boost to pay could see more than 1,000 extra teachers stay in the job by 2022/23. 

However, the National Education Union (NEU) said the announcement would be met with "dismay" by some in the profession.

Kevin Courtney, the union's joint general secretary, said: "The increases to starting pay represent long overdue recognition that teacher training targets have been missed for years, and that a significant number of those who qualify leave teaching within five years. But those increases need to be replicated across the teacher workforce. 

"The 2.5% increase proposed for September 2020 for experienced teachers is likely to be barely at the level of RPI inflation according to the latest forecasts.  It will also fail to restore the value of teacher pay in the graduate labour market.  

"The Government should know from teachers’ reaction to previous differentiated pay increases that this announcement will create widespread dismay. With teacher retention problems worsening, this is a devastating message for experienced and dedicated teachers."

The NEU has called for a 7% pay increase across-the-board, a move it said would restore "the real-terms cuts to teacher pay in England since 2010".


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