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DfE recommends £26k starting salaries and 2.5% rise for heads

Pippa Allen-Kinross
January 21, 2020

The government is proposing a pay rise for all teachers – from 6.7 per cent for new starters to 2.5 per cent for experienced teachers and heads.

The Department for Education, in its recommendations to the School Teachers’ Review Body published today, said the rises are “affordable for schools” because of its plans to invest more money into the education system, including £2.6 billion in 2020-21.

Starting salaries will increase to £26,000, with those in outer and inner London rising to £30,000 and £32,000, respectively – a rise of up to 6.7 per cent. This is part of the DfE’s pledge for all starting salaries to rise to at least £30,000 by 2022.

The DfE has also recommended that experienced teachers (those on the upper pay scale), heads and school leaders receive a 2.5 per cent pay rise in September 2020.

A spokesperson told Schools Week that the remaining teachers will get also get pay rises in between those ranges, but on a sliding scale based on experience.

Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, said the proposals “mark the biggest reform to teacher pay in a generation… We want to make teaching attractive to the most talented graduates by recognising the prestige that we as a society place on the profession.”

The DfE claimed its own analysis suggested the proposed changes could see over 1,000 extra teachers retained per year by 2022-23. The analysis has not yet been published.

But Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU, said the plans will “create widespread dismay” and insisted the increases to starting pay “need to be replicated across the teacher workforce”.

He said: “Starting pay needs to be increased significantly to attract new recruits to teaching, but we need to stop the loss of experienced teachers too. All teachers deserve a pay increase that will make a significant start in restoring the real terms cuts to their pay since 2010.”

The National Education Union has submitted evidence to the STRB calling for a seven per cent pay rise for all teachers.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Headteachers, said it was “surprising to see the government declaring its intentions before the STRB has completed its deliberations”.

He added that a 2.5 per cent pay rise for senior leaders “will not redress the real-terms losses they have endured in the past decade”.

Williamson wrote to the STRB in September, asking the independent board to advise the government on how a new “flatter” pay progression model might work and whether separate main and upper pay ranges are still needed.

The STRB will make its recommendations later this year, but the final decision lies with the Department for Education.

In July, the government agreed to a pay rise of 2.75 per cent across all grades, but did not fund the entire increase.

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  • why is it always about teachers pay ? if it wasn't for all the support staff there wouldn't be a school to go to it's about time they were recognize for all the hard work they do is should be a 7% pay increase across the board especially for the lower end paid and it's about time the unions started to listen to their members otherwise they will go the same way as the Labour Party has gone down the drain

  • Academies don't have to abide by national pay scales. Neither do they have to ensure that all staff employed as teachers actually have a teaching qualification. Williamson's boasting about the 'biggest reform' of pay in a generation sounds a little hollow in this context.