Teacher pay recommendations “arbitrarily discriminate” against school leaders, says ASCL

Teacher pay recommendations “arbitrarily discriminate” against school leaders, says ASCL

Proposals to change teachers’ pay will do nothing to address the recruitment crisis facing schools, says the ASCL.

They also “arbitrarily discriminate” against members of school leadership teams, according to the Association of School and College Leaders.

These views are in a formal response to the consultation on pay recommendations by the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) from ASCL, a professional body representing more than 18,000 school and college leaders across the UK.

The body has called for a pay award above one per cent to address what it calls “the erosion in teachers’ pay since 2010, which has seen salaries drop by more than 12 per cent in real terms”.

It also asked for a return to pay awards being funded by the Government rather than from within current school budgets.

The STRB has recommended an uplift of one per cent to the minimum salary in the main teachers’ pay range, and an uplift of two per cent to the maximum salary in order to make teaching a more attractive career option.

In response, the body said: “ASCL calls on the government to reject this recommendation and to apply the same percentage uplift to each range and allowance as we can see no argument for treating one part of the pay range differently from another.”

The STRB also recommended a one per cent uplift to the minimum of the leadership pay range and head teacher pay ranges “to support those taking on leadership roles”.

Evidence of continuing recruitment difficulties for school leaders suggested a need for some uplift to the leadership group pay framework, said the STRB, “although we also heard that workload and accountability, rather than pay, are the main disincentives to applying for leadership roles”.

But the ASCL described the recommendation for no increase to the maximum pay ranges of school leaders as “ill-conceived”.

It added: “We fail to see how it can be justified on any grounds.”

General secretary of the ASCL Brian Lightman told Schools Week: “There are going to be quite a lot of people who have been serving for a long time who are no longer going to get a cost of living increase. It’s demoralising and unfair. Why should they be disadvantaged in this way?”

The STRB said that in the “decentralised pay system that now exits”, it believes schools can manage the recommendations within current budgets.