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NAHT responds to DfE consultation on teachers' pay

On the 11 July, the Secretary of State published the School Teacher Review Body's 27th report into teacher's pay and how it should be uplifted in September 2017. The Secretary of State accepted their recommendation that the minimum and maximum points on the main pay scales should be uplifted by two per cent and that all other pay ranges and allowances should be uplifted by one per cent. The DfE launched a very short consultation on this and NAHT has responded to this, as well as contributing to a joint response with five other unions: ASCL, ATL, NUT, Voice and UCAC.

Our response focuses on three key points:

  • Our concern that the independent pay review process is being compromised by impossible constraints placed on it by government, so that the STRB are no longer able to independently advise on what pay levels should be for teachers and school leaders. This is reflected in the fact that despite the STRB reviewing the evidence presented to them and concluding that: "the cumulative impact of these factors creates a real risk that schools will not be able to recruit and retain a workforce of high quality teachers to support pupil achievement.", they have been unable to make recommendations that will fully address this. We raised this concern with TES that have published our views online today.
  • That in the light of the school funding crisis, it is critical that the DfE ensure that schools are provided with funding to meet this autumn's pay increases. Without this, the implications of the report and the provisions in the draft STPCD could drive school budgets further into deficit.
  • We also set out that we fully support the STRB's call for a full review of the pay and allowance framework for teachers, but are extremely surprised that they should not include school leaders in this recommendation. Nothing in their report would suggest that the scale of the recruitment challenges are any less for leadership roles and the evidence to the STRB, as well as new evidence published since makes a strong case that the decline in leadership pay is contributing to significant problems in recruiting and retaining school leaders. 

We conclude by urging the DfE to consider a remit to the STRB this autumn that allows a full and independent review of all pay and allowances in the teaching profession, including classroom teachers and school leaders. Only such a remit can allow us to secure the numbers of high quality staff and school leaders to drive our education system forward.

Read our responses below. 

First published 31 July 2017