UPDATE: The government has now confirmed its plans for teacher pay in 2019-20. You can read about it here.
The government is planning to hand teachers and other school staff a 2.75 per cent pay rise, according to reports.
The Times reports that the Treasury will unveil a £2 billion public sector pay deal – the biggest for six years – on Monday, and that the education secretary Damian Hinds has “successfully argued” for a 2.75 per cent rise for teachers – above and beyond the 2 per cent previously floated.
The newspaper also claims there will be additional funding for schools to pay for the rise. However, it is not clear whether the rise will be fully or just partially-funded.
Schools are still waiting to see the report of the School Teachers’ Review Body and government response, which each year sets out the pay rises handed to teachers and leaders in England.
Last year, after years of pay rises capped at 1 per cent, the government awarded a 3.5 per cent rise to teachers on the main and unqualified teacher pay ranges, a 2 per cent rise for those in the upper pay band and a 1.5 per cent rise for school leaders.
It was the first time the government had ignored the advice of the STRB, which called for a 3.5 per cent rise across the board.
To help schools implement last year’s rises, the government provided a teachers’ pay grant of £187 million in 2018-19, and will provide a further £321 million in 2019-20.
It is not yet known how much schools will receive to cover any rise implemented from this September, but the revelations in the Times have already sparked warnings that schools will struggle to afford to pay teachers more without additional funds.
Hinds himself has previously said that only a 2 per cent rise would be “affordable”, though unions had called on the STRB to ignore the cap.
Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said leaving the pay announcement to the very end of term was “incredibly inconsiderate to head teachers planning for next year, and to teachers who just want to know where they stand”.
He also said the mooted rise “isn’t enough”.
“Even at 2.75 per cent, teacher pay will again fall in real terms compared to RPI inflation and fall further behind pay increases in the wider economy, when a worsening recruitment and retention crisis means we need urgent action to restore the pay losses since 2010 and make teacher pay competitive with pay for other graduate professions.
“If the pay rise isn’t funded in full this will mean more cuts to our children’s education.”
This article has been amended to refer to RPI, not CPI, in Kevin Courtney’s comment. This was due to an error in the comment originating from the NEU.