Commenting on the STRB’s 28th report and the Secretary of State for Education’s response, Deborah Lawson, General Secretary of Voice: the union for education professionals, said:
“Although the pay increases announced are welcome, they are less than unions asked for and will only begin to address the decline in teachers’ real pay in the last seven years.
“We welcome the STRB’s recognition that teachers are falling further behind other graduate professions, exacerbating ‘the challenges faced in attracting good graduates to become teachers and retaining teachers in the profession’. It is doubtful if what has been announced today will turn around the recruitment and retention crisis.
“However it is disappointing that the Government has chosen not to accept the STRB’s recommendations of an across-the-board increase for all teachers and school leaders, resulting in lower increases for higher-paid teachers, senior staff and headteachers. This differentiation will not encourage experienced teachers to stay within the profession or seek leadership roles.
“Despite the Government’s claim that it is ‘delivering a fully funded pay rise’, it is only covering the difference between the 1% rise it is assuming that schools will already have planned for, and the rises announced today.
“Although the additional funding announced today will be of some relief to headteachers and school managers, is it very disappointing, with school budgets at breaking point, that schools will still have to struggle to pay their teachers.
“We have heard of schools that have not been able to afford to pay the 1% increase from last year, despite teachers having achieved their performance management.
“It is also very disappointing that there has been such a long delay – since May – in publishing the report and the Government’s response. Teachers and headteachers were kept in in the dark in a state of anxiety about their pay and conditions before the end of term, and that anxiety will continue for heads struggling to balance the books. Whatever, the reason, the delay was unacceptable. Publication should have taken place before the end of term.”