Teachers to get below-inflation rise after Government rules out ditching 1% pay cap
Teachers will receive another below-inflation pay rise this year after the Government insisted on maintaining its 1% cap on public sector salaries.
The School Teachers’ Review Body - which advises on pay - said some teachers should get a 2% increase, but most should still get 1%.
Education Secretary Justine Greening said all the recommendations would be followed - and insisted the "small proportion" of teachers getting the 2% rise did not amount to a change of policy.
It comes after huge pressure from campaigners and the Labour party to lift the cap and give workers “the pay rise they deserve”.
A number of Cabinet ministers also piled on the pressure after Mrs May lost her majority at the general election - some believe in part due to the legacy of the Tory austerity programme.
In its latest report the STRB said tonight: "Taking all factors into account, we conclude that action is required now to make the teachers’ pay framework more competitive."
It suggested a 2% rise to the main pay range and 1% rises for the upper pay range, unqualified teachers and so-called 'leading practitioners'.
But a spokesperson for the Department for Education said: "We recognise and value the hard work of teachers, which is why we have accepted the pay deal proposed by the independent School Teachers' Review Body, in line with the 1% public sector pay policy.
"This will ensure we continue to strike the balance between being fair to public sector workers and fair to taxpayers."
Ms Greening added: "Following previous reforms, schools already have significant flexibility, within the pay ranges, to set pay for individual teachers, taking account of performance and retention.
"Nevertheless, those at the bottom of the main pay scale will receive an automatic 2% increase, a small proportion of teachers.
"As such it is consistent with the Government’s public sector 1% pay policy."
CALLS FOR A RAISE
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and Environment Secretary Michael Gove were among the Cabinet ministers who hinted the cap should be reconsidered.
Influential Tory backbenchers - such as former Health Select Committee chair Sarah Wollaston - also added their voices to the calls.
At PMQs last week Mr Corbyn said the Government was “recklessly exploiting the goodwill of public servants” by expecting them to keep up the same quality of service while seeing their wages cut.
But Mrs May shut down the prospects of the Government taking action before the relevant pay review bodies had reported, and gave an outspoken defence of the Tory deficit reduction programme.
“I understand that it has been hard for people working hard and making sacrifices over the years as we've been dealing with Labour's mismanagement of the economy,” she said.
“But let me remind the Right Honourable Gentleman of what happens when you don't deal with the deficit.
“It's not a theoretical issue, let’s look at those countries that failed to deal with it.
“In Greece where they haven't dealt with the deficit, what did we see? Spending on the health service cut by 36% – that that doesn't help nurses or patients.”