Astrea Academy Trust hands 2% pay rise to all teachers

An academy trust will hand all its teachers and school leaders a two-per-cent pay rise, even though the government has capped pay increases at one per cent.

The Astrea Academy Trust, which is based in Yorkshire, wrote to its teaching and academy leadership staff to tell them they would get the extra cash from September.

Earlier this month, the government accepted a recommendation from the School Teachers Review Body to raise most teacher pay scales by just one per cent.

Some teachers at the bottom of the main pay range will also be receive two-per-cent raises, these only make up a small proportion of teachers.

Libby Nicholas, chief executive of Astrea Academy Trust, said she had decided to “top up” the national pay increase, and that the trust could make savings through joint procurement and back-office support across its schools due to its size.

“We felt it was only right and proper to reward our teachers with the savings we have made,” she said.

The move has been made “quite explicitly about signalling our respect to the profession”, she added.

However it comes as one of the school’s trust, Hatfield Academy in Sheffield, has started a staffing restructure, sacking the majority of its teaching assistants.

The trust, which has 18 schools, is proposing to rehire the TAs as “fellows” who will work towards teaching qualifications to make cost savings.

Union leaders have previously said the government’s decision to stick with austerity pay for teachers, in line with other public sector workers, sent the “wrong signal to exhausted school staff.”

When the one-per-cent rises were announced, a spokesperson for the Department for Education said that by accepting the pay deal from the School Teachers’ Review Body of one per cent, the government was “recognising and valuing the hard work of teachers”.

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