Schools

NFER: Extend ‘levelling-up’ retention payments to all deprived schools

Report also warns 6.5% pay rise won't solve teacher recruitment and retention woes on its own

Report also warns 6.5% pay rise won't solve teacher recruitment and retention woes on its own

Teacher retention incentives for those working in the government’s “education investment areas” should be redirected to the schools in the most deprived areas nationally, the National Foundation for Educational Research has said.

Its analysis found “little difference between teacher supply challenges faced by schools in EIAs compared to those that are not”.

At the same time, it found “considerable differences faced by schools with different levels of pupil eligibility for free school meals”.

The report also warned a mooted 6.5 per cent pay rise for teachers next year is “unlikely to make a significant overall difference” to teacher supply on its own, as the government prepares to publish its final decision.

Official figures show the government missed its secondary teacher recruitment target by over 40 per cent last year, also falling short of its primary target.

Subject-specific teacher training bursaries “have provided some level of remedy to the supply challenges, but in recent years this has not been enough to ensure sufficient teacher supply”, NFER’s report found.

The government has also been running a scheme of “levelling-up” retention payments for teachers in certain subjects teaching in its education investment areas – parts of the country with the lowest educational outcomes.

Funding for these payments comes to an end in 2024-25, and NFER said this presented an “opportunity to redesign early career payment policy”.

The government should redesign the payments by “widening eligibility to all schools nationally and increasing payment generosity to enhance its impact, and targeting resource towards shortage subjects and schools serving disadvantaged communities”.

6.5% rise won’t solve teacher supply issues

The Department for Education is still yet to announce its pay offer for teachers for 2023. The School Teachers’ Review Body is understood to have recommended a 6.5 per cent average rise.

There has also been speculation prime minister Rishi Sunak could ignore recommedations from pay bodies, and reports that chancellor Jeremy Hunt expects departments to make cuts elsewhere to fund pay rises.

Geoff Barton
Geoff Barton

NFER said a 6.5 per cent rise would be a “welcome first step for addressing the lost competitiveness in teachers’ pay over the last decade”.

But if pay awards next year and in the future “merely match the anticipated growth in average earnings in the wider labour market then they are unlikely to significantly address the pressing recruitment and retention challenges”, NFER warned.

ASCL general secretary Geoff Barton said a 6.5 per cent pay rise would be a “step in the right direction provided there is adequate funding for schools to be able to afford the pay award”.

“However, as it stands, the government has not even agreed to this figure, let alone committed to anything remotely resembling a long-term strategy to address teacher shortages. In fact, reports suggest the prime minister is arguing that it should be much less.”

Upsides and downsides to ‘flattened’ pay

Ministers’ pledge to increase teachers’ starting salaries to £30,000 has meant sharper rises in recent years for teachers early on in their career.

The NFER said further “flattening” of the main pay scale “may be relatively cost effective because it targets resource at teachers who are more responsive to changes in pay”.

However, it warned pay flattening “also has implications for the incentives to progress and the balance of early career and more experienced teachers within the school system”.

Setting the pay of primary and secondary teachers separately and increasing secondary teacher pay, which is not something that has been proposed by the government, “may also be relatively cost effective, when comparing just the total costs and teacher supply impacts”.

However, primary teachers “are likely to regard such proposals as unfair and our analysis suggests that such a proposal would be forecasted to considerably increase the gender pay gap within the school sector”.

Long-term strategy needed

The report recommended a new long-term pay and financial incentives strategy, and said political parties should set out in their 2024 manifestos “what teacher pay and financial incentive measures they intend to implement to address the teacher supply challenge”.

Jack Worth
Jack Worth

The DfE should also publish the “overall forecasted teacher supply impact of its pay and financial incentive proposals”.

And where an impact assessment suggests supply is unlikely to be met, the DfE should “set out the financial and non-financial actions being taken to improve teacher supply, particularly in subjects not expected to reach their respective targets”.

Senior workforce lead Jack Worth said the evidence on teacher recruitment and retention “makes a clear and compelling case for the need for a new long-term strategy on teacher pay and financial incentives to address the intense teacher supply challenge”.

“As a bare minimum, an effective strategy needs to increase teacher pay by more than the rate of pay growth in the wider economy, expand the set of targeted financial incentives that are currently in place, and ideally both.”

Latest education roles from

Tutorial Learning Mentor

Tutorial Learning Mentor

Barnsley College

School Liaison Admissions Tutor

School Liaison Admissions Tutor

Riverside College

Study Coach

Study Coach

Heart of Yorkshire Education Group

EA to the CEO & Senior Directors

EA to the CEO & Senior Directors

Haberdashers’ Academies Trust South

Chief Executive Officer Cornwall Education Learning Trust (CELT)

Chief Executive Officer Cornwall Education Learning Trust (CELT)

Satis Education

Head of Faculty (History and RS)

Head of Faculty (History and RS)

Ark Greenwich Free School

Sponsored posts

Sponsored post

How can we prepare learners for their future in an ever-changing world?

By focusing their curriculums on transferable skills, digital skills, and sustainability, schools and colleges can be confident that learners...

SWAdvertorial
Sponsored post

Inspiring Education Leaders for 10 Years

The 10th Inspiring Leadership Conference is to be held on 13 and 14 June 2024 at the ICC in...

SWAdvertorial
Sponsored post

Inspire creativity in your classroom. Sky Arts’ Access All Arts week is back!

Now in its third year, Access All Arts week is a nationwide celebration of creativity for primary schools (17-21...

SWAdvertorial
Sponsored post

Unleash the Power of Sport in your setting this summer! National School Sports Week is back!

Unleash the Power of Sport this summer with National School Sports Week powered by Monster Kickabout! From 17-23 June,...

SWAdvertorial

More from this theme

Schools

‘Children are our future and it’s for them that Tim dedicated his life’ 

Hundreds gather to remember the late Sir Tim Brighouse

Samantha Booth
Schools

Birmingham withdraws schools from £100m IT system

Heads were unable to make financial plans as glitches left them waiting months to learn the size of their...

Jack Dyson
Schools

Hinds says ‘all schools’ restrict phones, and 5 more key findings

Schools minister also says the 'option' of statutory mobile phone guidance remains

Freddie Whittaker
Schools

CST calls for policy changes over ‘unsustainable’ parent complaints

Academy body says rise in complaints is putting 'significant pressure on school leaders’

Jack Dyson

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *