Teacher pay rise requires improvement

Announcement on teachers’ pay for September (England) and publication of STRB's thirtieth report.

Proposed increase doesn’t compensate for years of pay erosion 

Commenting on today’s announcement on teachers’ pay for September, Deborah Lawson, General Secretary of Voice: The Union for Education Professionals, which represents teachers, head teachers and support staff, said:

“We welcome the Government’s decision to fully adopt the recommendations of the STRB at a difficult time for the public finances because of the pandemic.  We are, however, somewhat disappointed by the 2.75% recommended by the independent pay body.

“We are concerned that the initial announcement was made by the Treasury, rather than the usual announcement from the Department for Education. This risks politicising the pay increase and may jeopardise the independent review process in future years.

“Once again, the annual pay recommendations have been announced after most schools have closed for the summer holidays, leaving already overburdened heads with an even greater workload to deal with before the new term.  

“We need to study the details of this and will respond in detail to the DfE’s consultation on the STRB report.  Despite the 4% increase to school budgets announced yesterday, we are deeply concerned that schools will have to fund this pay increase from their own budgets.

“We are also concerned that dedicated support staff are still left waiting for news about their pay. They must not be overlooked. Their key role and hard work must be recognised too in improved pay and conditions. We continue to lobby for them to have a national pay review body.”


Voice is concerned that ongoing pay restraint is failing to recruit and retain sufficient high-calibre teachers. In its evidence submitted earlier this year before the lockdown, Voice called for a significant pay increase of 5% for all teachers and leaders, fully funded by the Government, alongside the reinstatement of a national pay structure and pay scales, and an end to demotivating performance-related pay.

Further information

Department for Education (DfE):

School Teachers’ Review Body 30th report: 2020 Independent report DfE, OME and STRB, 21 July 2020

DfE's press release on teacher pay rise 21 July 2020

The Education Secretary’s evidence to the STRB (21 January 2020)

School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) remit letter for 2020


Joint Union Supplementary Evidence to the School Teachers’ Review Body, February 2020 (pdf)


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