DfE’s 2020 pay plans: 6 super interesting findings

The Department for Education published its evidence to the School Teachers’ Review Body this week. The submission included statistics on the teaching workforce that back up its recommendations. We’ve had a rifle through and picked out six super interesting nuggets from the data.

(N.B. you can read our news story here, and our speed read for what you need to know here)


  1. Pay is inching up, but still outstripped by inflation

The average pay of regular classroom teachers in state-funded schools, as of November 2018, was £36,800 – an increase of two per cent compared to November 2017 (£36,100).

It’s a worse outlook for school leaders – their pay rose by just one per cent from £55,000 to £55,600 over the same period.

To put this into some sort of context – the 2018 inflation rate was 2.48 per cent. In the year to November 2018, the average house price rose by 2.8 per cent.


  1. Secondaries beat primaries on pay

Leaders in maintained secondary schools get paid “significantly more” than their counterparts in maintained primaries.

The average salary of primary leaders was between £51,200 (in academies outside London) to £61,300 (local authority-maintained schools in inner London).

In secondaries, average pay ranged from £57,900 (for schools outside London) up to £69,800 (for LA-maintained schools in inner London). There’s no explanation as to why – answers on a postcard please!


  1. Big difference between council V academy, too

The above also shows a pattern we’ve previously reported – staff get paid more in LA schools over academies. This also extends to leaders.

Average salaries for leadership group roles in LA-maintained primary schools was £52,300, compared to £51,200 for academies (these figures solely look at school outside of London).

Interestingly, this doesn’t hold for secondary leaders – who are paid exactly the same (£57,900) in both academies and LA schools (although academy leaders in London do get paid more, for instance those in London fringe schools get £1,000 more).


  1. LA-schools more likely to top-up salary with allowances

Nationally, 77.8 per cent of schools use allowances – down from the peak of 78.8 per cent in 2013. But there’s big difference in regions.

Just seven in ten schools in Yorkshire and the Humber pay any allowances, compared to over 87 per cent in London. The most popular allowances are teaching and learning responsibility (TLR). Others include recruitment and retention and special educational needs payments.

TLR payments were also higher on average in secondary schools over primaries, and higher in LA-maintained schools compared to academies.


  1. Vacancy rates are creeping up

The vacancy rate remains pretty low (0.3 per cent) but has been rising since 2012 (when it was 0.1)

The east of England has the highest vacancy rate at 0.4 per cent.

However, at secondary level, the vacancy rate as a proportion of classroom teachers in post has increased from 0.3 per cent in 2011, to 1 per cent in 2018. Maths, information technology, all sciences and English have “above-average” vacancies.

But, the proportion of schools reporting a headteacher post being temporary filled has decreased, from 1.2 per cent in 2011, to 1 per cent in 2018.


  1. … but hours taught by non-specialist teachers is rising

There has been a small rise in the percentage of hours taught by non-specialist teachers in most EBacc subjects (apart from maths and physics, which have remained stable).

However, a quarter of physics hours are still taught by a non-specialist. The worst-hit subjects are languages; Spanish had 38 per cent and “other modern languages” 42.4 per cent. (Although the report does flag the definition of “specialist” doesn’t take into account the native tongue of the teacher).

Meanwhile, the hours taught by a non-specialist was 12.9 per cent for maths and 10.5 per cent for English. It means an additional 8,500 specialists would be needed in both subjects to cover those hours.



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