New analysis published today by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) examines how the additional £508m for the Teachers’ Pay Grant is allocated to schools, and whether it is done so equitably.
Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT said: “The important thing to remember is that this was never a fully funded pay rise, as the government claimed. Schools are expected to find the first 1%, but for some schools it is worse than that as they won’t even get the full amount above the unfunded 1%. The devil is in the detail, as we have previously said.
“This amounts to another pressure on school budgets that are already at breaking point. When your budget is balanced on a knife-edge, even a small, unforeseen overspend can be very difficult to absorb.
“It is particularly concerning that schools serving the most disadvantaged communities are likely to suffer the most. The government’s claims of equity and fairness do not amount to much for the dedicated professionals working in the most challenging places.
“On Friday, we will be publishing interim data of our own about the recruitment and retention crisis that is gripping schools. Insufficient funding has come out as one of the main reasons that school leaders are finding it difficult to recruit and retain staff. Today’s analysis supports what our research has found.
“The truth is that the majority of the school teaching workforce is still going to be worse off than last year. It was confirmed in Parliament on 1st November that 43.5% of the teacher workforce, or the 199,000 teachers currently on the Unqualified Teacher and Main Pay Range ranges will see an uplift of 3.5% to their pay range. The remaining 56.5% will see an increase to their pay ranges of between 1.5% and 2%. These so-called ‘increases’ are nothing more than a cut. There can be no doubt that teachers on lower salaries are in need of an uplift, but it is unfair to expect more experienced teachers and leaders to suffer another year of real terms cuts to their take-home pay. “It should also be noted that schools still don’t know how much of a hit they will have to take on the planned increases to pension contributions. This will add further pressure and uncertainty, and will push many school budgets past breaking point and into really unsustainable financial situations.”
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