The government has accepted a recommendation of a 6.5 per cent pay rise for teachers, but will only provide extra funding for 3 per cent.
Gillian Keegan’s decision on pay for the 2023-24 academic year is due to be published today, alongside the report of the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB).
In a joint statement, general secretaries of the four education unions said they would put the deal to members “with a recommendation to accept the STRB recommendation”.
“This deal will allow teachers and school leaders to call off strike action and resume normal relations with government.”
The DfE is proposing a 6.5 per cent increase across all pay scales apart from the bottom of the main pay scales outside London and in the capital’s “fringe”, which will rise by slightly more to meet the pledge of a £30,000 starting salary.
A teacher on the M3 pay point outside London would see their pay rise from £31,750 to £33,814. A teacher on U3 would get an increase from £43,685 to £46,525. Teacher pay is higher in and near the capital.
Schools will be expected to fund 3.5 per cent of the rise from their own budgets, which the DfE said is “affordable” given the £2.3 billion funding boost announced last year.
Keegan told Sky News she had “known all along that whatever we offer, we also have to offer to fund, not all of it because there is some within the school budgets that they were expecting and they budgeted for, but quite a big chunk of it”.
“So in this case, we’ve had to find a significant amount of money.”
Funding uplift to come from DfE budget
The DfE will provide funding for the remaining 3 per cent from “reprioritising” within its own budgets to “protect frontline services”.
Overall, schools will receive an additional £482.5 million in the 2023-24 financial year and £827.5 million in the 2024-25 financial year. The DfE is also handing out £42.5 million in 2023-24 and £72.5 million in 2024-25 to early years and post-16 institutions.
The department said its “strong expectation is that all schools will use these additional funds for teacher pay as is intended”.
The statement, also put out by Downing Street and Keegan, hailed the “largest ever recommendation from the STRB”.
“A 6.5 per cent increase for teachers and school leaders recognises the vital role that teachers play in our country and ensures that teaching will continue to be an attractive profession.”
They said the offer was “properly funded for schools”.
“The government has committed that all schools will receive additional funding above what was proposed in March – building on the additional £2 billion given to schools in the autumn statement.”
£40m hardship fund and workload taskforce
The government’s affordability estimates are based on national, not school-level, analysis – meaning pay rises would not be affordable for all schools, with smaller and special schools worst hit.
A “hardship fund” of up to £40 million has been announced today to “support those schools facing the greatest financial challenges”.
Ministers have also announced they will convene a “workload reduction taskforce”. This will look at “how we can go further to support trust and school leaders to minimise workload for teachers and leaders”, Keegan said.
Government wants to reduce working hours by five hours a week.
DfE will also “plan to reinsert a revised list of administrative tasks that teachers should not be expected to do” into the school teachers’ pay and conditions handbook.