NAHT Cymru director Laura Doel called on congress today (26 May 2022) to support any and all activity to ensure school leaders and teachers get the pay they deserve. You can read her speech in full below.
Pryn hawn da congress, I’m Laura Doel Director of NAHT Cymru speaking to our motion on leaders and teachers pay.
The devolution of schoolteachers pay in Wales was supposed to enable the development of pay, terms and conditions to suit the needs of our nation.
The ambitious reform agenda requires the best of the profession to bring this plan home.
If we are to do this, we must ensure that the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Wales Document reflects this.
It is NAHT’s view that the Welsh Government has so far failed to create the conditions of service that recruit and retains leaders and teachers.
Leaders are leaving the profession, teachers are not aspiring to take up leadership positions and Local Authority plans for federations and all age schools are in some cases having a negative impact on delivery of education.
We now have less teachers in our schools that we did 10 years ago, but we have more learners.
We have less people applying to train as teachers yet the demand for new staff remains high.
School budgets continue to be cut, yet schools are expected to do more with less. The post code lottery of school funding across the nation is compounding the problem and the issue of what money is being spent where must be a priority for the government.
We continue our call for a full-scale review of the education consortia to see if they offer as much value for money in education as investing in those front-line education workers.
We have suffered from differentiated below-inflation pay increases which has narrowed the gap between teacher and leadership pay to almost nothing in some schools; the introduction of the ALNco roles, the implications and subsequent roles created through executive headships and supply teachers have not even been factored in.
We have a pay review body system that is not working.
In the four years since pay was first devolved and the Independent Welsh Pay Review Body was established, the employers – a crucial player in this tripartite process, have failed to engage.
The Welsh Government is determined to make affordability a key factor in the process, hampering in our view the remit of the independent body to make recommendations on what is a fair rate for our leaders and teachers.
An independent body should not be constrained in such a way. Affordability is a political decision and should have no baring on determining what is fair pay, terms and conditions.
When it comes specifically to leadership pay, salaries are currently 12.6% behind CPI inflation compared to 2010.
Devolved pay and conditions was supposed to make things better.
Devolved pay and conditions are supposed to be the opportunity for us to invest in the profession.
We haven’t seen that yet. We cannot ignore these issues any longer.
If education reform is to succeed, if we are to embrace the new curriculum that has so much promise, if children and young people with additional learning needs are going to be properly supported to reach their full potential and if our secondary schools are to guide our learners through a new qualifications process, we must do all we can to recruit and retain the very best practitioners.
We know education is the silver bullet, it’s the key to economic prosperity, breaking the cycle of poverty and has the biggest impact on society and communities.
We know that strong leadership and highly-skilled and motivated teachers have the biggest impact on learner attainment.
We should, we must, we will, do, everything, in our power to ensure that leaders and teachers get the pay, terms and conditions they deserve.
We will ensure that the education workforce as a whole is invested in because they are the ones that making a real different in schools, homes and communities across Wales.
They are shaping the next generation of leaders, teachers, engineers, medics, scientists, humanitarians, great-thinkers and activists.
What would we do without them.
NAHT Cymru calls on congress to support any and all activity open to trade unions to ensure school leaders and teachers get the pay they deserve.
Congress, I move this motion.
Diolch yn fawr iawn pawb
First published 26 May 2022