Schools are set to be given the power to reward their best teachers with a 2 per cent pay rise.
Education secretary Nicky Morgan outlined her intentions today to accept the recommendations put forward by the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB).
It recommended an increase of two per cent to the maximum limit of the main pay range for teachers and a 1% increase on the minimum. However the overall cash envelope handed to schools for teacher pay will stay within the Government’s one per cent limit on public sector pay.
The rise has been cautiously welcomed by unions who fear it is not enough to head off a teacher recruitment crisis.
Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said: “The independent body are clear that there is a problem with teacher recruitment and retention and that it is getting worse.
“As well as addressing this acute problem, the Government has to be prepared to raise pay as the economy improves – the British public expect this as part of the deal following years of austerity and pay restraint.
“We must ensure that teachers see today’s award in their pay packets and that it is not just a headline figure ignored by schools when making these decisions.”
A survey of ATL members found less than half of teachers got last year’s recommended one per cent increase. Only two fifths of women got a pay rise compared to three in five men.
The STRB report said members saw the challenge many schools face in attracting and retaining experienced teachers.
It read: “We were therefore mindful of the importance of supporting retention at this stage and of giving schools meaningful scope for differentiated, performance-based awards for those on the maxima of the main pay range.
“Accordingly, we recommend an uplift of 2 per cent to the maxima of the main pay range. We would not expect all teachers on the maxima to receive a 2 per cent increase: the full uplift should be awarded only where merited by performance. Some might receive a lower award, or none.”
A six-week consultation has now been launched, with the changes due to be introduced in September.
Ms Morgan said: “This country is lucky to have a truly exceptional teaching workforce who do a vital job of opening up young minds.
“That’s why I’m delighted to approve a pay deal today which gives heads the freedom to offer their best and most experienced teachers a two per cent pay rise, something that is only possible because we trust heads and governors to decide how to reward their staff.”