Written Submissions to the STRB 2021

Voice Community's written submission to the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB), February 2021, and Supplementary Evidence, March 2021

Written Submission to the STRB, 17 February 2021

Summary:  Voice Community:

  • calls on  the STRB not to accept the pay freeze;
  • would like to know what would otherwise have been offered;
  • calls for a pay increase to at least match inflation;
  • calls on the STRB, in the absence of a pay increase, to consider increasing PPA time; and
  • calls for reform of the pay structure, including the MPS/UPS threshold and pay point differentials.

Conclusion:

  • There is a real need to recognise the Churchillian effort that has been deployed by the school workforce and this can and should be financial.
  • Should the Review Body decide to operate within the artificial constraints laid upon them it may be conducive to consider enhancements to the terms and conditions of employment especially in the light of the current working situation.
  • We agree with the recommendation of the department that there should be an increase to the unqualified teacher pay range to lift it to a mandatory minimum which reflects the work of these hard working and highly skilled staff and also tracks with the rest of the salary structure.
  • Any changes to the bottom of the pay range must be applied equally across the pay range and we would also expect the impact of this pay uplift to be applied in the main and upper scale of teacher pay ending divisive differentiated pay awards that solely favour early career teachers.
  • Until they have been fully researched all teacher pay differentials must be maintained to prevent any further degradation.
  • We believe that the current MPR and UPR pay-point differentials may not be optimal and would encourage the Review Body to commission research to further investigate this, including the possibility of removing the division between the two pay ranges altogether to ensure that all teachers are able to access the Upper Pay Range without the bureaucracy, which is creeping in to pay policies, and to avoid teachers falling victim to additional workload and expectation that now seem to be expected of experienced teachers.
  • We call for the Review Body to use this opportunity to say what pay increases are needed to restore the position of teacher and school leader pay in competitive and real terms, without being limited by the current funding envelope. Whilst there is divergence between the home countries, we would expect the Review Body to ensure that pay within England remains competitive to attract the highest quality graduates and remains in line with other graduate professions.
  • It is not only pay, but also time which is needed. With this in mind we propose an uplift to teacher PPA entitlement to 20% of a timetabled week and if pay uplifts truly are not possible, it is essential that pay keeps pace with inflation as a minimum so that it does not fall further behind.
  • The remit for 2020/2021 is narrow and restrictive and we have recommended far beyond its boundaries. We hope that the Review Body will consider all of the evidence and look widely at the situation before making its recommendations, and we look forward to working together to address these wider issues.

Read Voice Community's Submission to the STRB  (pdf)

Supplementary Evidence to the STRB, 3 March 2021:

Summary: Voice Community is asking for a pay increase in line with inflation to maintain the value of teacher pay without breaking the Treasury-mandated “pay freeze”.

We are also asking for additional PPA time for teachers to undertake planning, marking and assessment for their classes, which we believe will help with the recovery plan.

Read Voice Community's Supplementary Evidence  (pdf)

Further information

Voice Community's Response to STRB report 2021, 21 July 2021

Education unions unite to reject Government pay freeze: news release and joint statement to the STRB (17 February 2021)

School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) remit letter for 2021