Confirmed: 5.5% pay rise for new starters and 2.75% increase for all other teachers

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The government has confirmed today that starting salaries for new teachers will rise by 5.5 per cent next year, with the upper and lower boundaries of the pay ranges for all other teachers to rise by 2.75 per cent.

The recommendations amount to a 3.1 per cent increase in the overall pay bill for 2020-21 – which will be funded by schools.

The government says this is affordable as schools will get £2.6 billion extra funding next year as part of the government’s three-year funding increase.

However unions have already warned once extra costs are taken out of this, such as to fund increases in pay and pupil numbers, not much is left to reverse years of funding cuts.

In a press release today, the Department for Education said it had accepted all of the independent School Teachers’ Review Body’s recommendations, which amount to the biggest teacher pay rise in 15 years.

The full STRB report is due to be published later this morning.

The 5.5 per cent increase in starting salaries is worth up to £1,677 extra per year, depending on location.

This means the minimum starting salaries for a qualified teacher in 2020/21 will rise to £25,714 outside of London, rising to £32,157 in inner London.

The hike is the first step to delivering the government’s commitment to increase new teacher pay to £30,000 by 2022.

The pay increase for classroom teachers is equivalent to on average £1,250, and works out as an extra £1,970 on average for headteachers.

Experienced teachers at the top of the upper pay range could see an increase between £1,114 and £1,364, from £40,490 to £41,604 (rest of England) and from £49,571 to £50,935 (inner London).

The STRB has also recommended the introduction of advisory pay points on the main and upper pay range to support schools to “adopt a pay structure which best supports recruitment and retention”. (See table below).

The government said this will set out “possible pathway of pay progression through which teachers can be recognised and rewarded as they build their expertise in the classroom”.

Funding to cover past increases to teacher pay and pensions, currently worth £2 billion in separate grant funding, will continue and be rolled into the national funding formula from 2021.

However Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said it was not “fair or reasonable” that the rise is “much lower for experienced teachers and leaders after years of pay austerity which has seen the real value of salaries deteriorate”.

“This won’t help to keep long-serving teachers in the profession and feels like a kick in the teeth,” he added.

He was also “concerned” whether all schools will be able to afford the rises, adding: “Even in the best case, it means that most of the extra money provided in the settlement will go on the pay award with very little left to reverse the impact of real-terms cuts in government funding in recent years.”

An analysis by ASCL earlier this year found the government’s £7.1 billion extra funding actually amounted to just £14 extra per school once other rising costs and government promises were accounted for.



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  1. Elaine Barker

    The one in January had 3 possible options, one which increased them all by the same percentage and one where they weighted it heavily to the bottom of the scale and one in the middle. I think this is most like the middle one?

  2. So, as an experienced teacher, my pay rise will be significantly less than a new teacher. This is really a slap in the face: my experience that helped so many pupils and staff during lockdown now feels utterly ignored. I feel betrayed by both government and unions. Let’s hope claps count for something!

  3. What about experienced teachers who have returned from overseas jobs and want to get back into the UK classroom? It is hard to find schools that are paying above M6 in England, regardless of experience. A serious kick in the teeth. Why can’t employees be paid according to their experience, rather than seeking less experienced teachers that are cheaper? Or, forcing teachers to take much less than they should be on. I want to return to London, where I come from, but I can’t afford to live there on M6. I’m too old for house shares!

    What is the point in announcing pay rises if schools and agencies refuse to pay them? And, while I’m ranting, could Schools Week investigate the ridiculous application and referencing situation in the UK please?! To join agencies, you need references. To apply direct, you need references. References are often taken before you are invited for interview, if you’re successful. This means that the same referee can receive request after request. This puts me and colleagues off applying to schools direct as we know our current/ ex-heads will not keep writing references. Could someone not invent a database, similar to the DBS system, onto which the referee uploads an authorised reference once for all to see? Would this not be easier? Or, could they not simply check your references once you have accepted the job?!

    And, please ban application forms! A letter, CV, DBS check and interview should be more than enough! It is for private and international schools most of the time.

    Arghhhh the system!!!! No wonder teachers leave!!!!

  4. Denise Row

    What about all the Cleaners that have been in cleaning everywhere in the school all thought the virus,cleaning desks toilets handles everywhere, thay allways get forgotten about how would the school run without them,they dont even get a thank you,thay actually all deserve a rise,iv actually not seen some teachers for 4 months some have not even come into school once.The country need to give rises to people who deserve it cleaners are one of them.

  5. Tony Williams

    This increase is about teachers and local council run schools. What will support staff like chefs/ cleaners/ site managers who work for Trust Schools receive. We all play an important role in keeping schools run effectively

  6. joe bloggs

    saw the news today and a trainee Dr was complaining that she is only earning just under £33,000.00 per year, I feel so bad for her, i have been teaching for over 15 years and I am fully qualified and on less money the her!
    and we have not had a pay rise for years, in fact we are owed £9000.00 per year to keep us in line with inflation so technically that is how much of a pay cut we have had!
    the lockdown is a once in a 100 years incident, people are always having kids, plus how much does a qualified dr earn?