Responding to the publication of a written statement by the Secretary of State for Education today, announcing the recommendations of the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), and confirming a pay freeze for school leaders and teachers, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT, the largest union for school leaders, said:
“School leaders and teachers will be rightly angry that the government’s pay freeze will deliver yet another a 3-4% real terms pay cut next year, based on the Treasury’s own predictions of inflation.
“The teaching profession has long struggled to recruit and retain school leaders – NAHT’s survey evidence shows that the leadership pipeline is broken at all career stages. Too few experienced teachers want to step up to senior leadership positions and even fewer can be persuaded to take on the heavy responsibilities of a head teacher.
“The pandemic is creating even greater recruitment and retention challenges. Those considering leadership roles have seen the pressures created by the government’s chaotic response to the pandemic, and its late, confusing and contradictory guidance. They have seen how leaders have worked literally without a break since March 2020, organising a move from onsite to remote learning within in a matter of days, operating complex arrangements for blended onsite and remote learning, navigating the extraordinary circumstances facing public examinations, and operating track and trace through their holidays.
“This pay cut risks further eroding leadership supply, and risks prompting an exodus of leaders when the pandemic finally lifts. A slap in the face doesn’t begin to describe it.”
First published 21 July 2021