Laura Doel, director of school leaders' union NAHT Cymru, said:
“This announcement is bittersweet for school leaders throughout Wales. At last we can see that education is being taken seriously as a key public service, and this pay award will be a welcome departure from the below inflation increases of recent years. However, it does not appear that Welsh Government has chosen to fund the pay rise, meaning that schools will need to find the money from their existing budgets.
“Teachers and school leaders are key workers who have gone above and beyond to keep the country going during the Coronavirus crisis. They deserve a pay rise. But today’s announcement on pay puts school leaders in a difficult position.
“With school budgets so tight every penny a school spends requires a choice: spend here, cut somewhere else. Schools should not be forced to choose between paying their staff properly and additional investment in children’s education and support.
“This announcement follow’s yesterday’s publication on the Nuffield Foundation’s annual report on the Teacher Labour Market in Wales that clearly outlined a teacher recruitment and retention crisis in Wales. We welcome the 8.4% rise to starting salaries for teachers but this must form part of the wider conversation on school funding. Schools are being set up to fail if they do not have a clear funding formula and until we see the findings on the Welsh Government’s review on school funding which is due out this summer, schools remain in limbo.
“NAHT support the re-integration of national pay scales and the removal of performance related pay and are pleased Welsh government have listened to us on this.
“But an unfunded pay rise means an anxious summer for school leaders in Wales as they decide what or who they have to cut to afford pay increases for their staff – or if they even need to lose some people to pay the rest more. A summer of stress and difficult decisions is no reward after months of going above and beyond during the pandemic."
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