Teachers set to remain under one per cent pay rise cap

students being aided by a teacher

Teachers in England and Wales are set to face another year in which pay increases are limited to one per cent.

It means that, once more, they face a real-terms pay cut.

The National Union of Teachers says that consecutive years of below-inflation pay increases has led to a drop of 13 per cent real-terms drop in teachers’ pay.

The cap on pay was enacted in 2010, when it was zero per cent, before rising to one per cent per year.

Head teachers’ leader Geoff Barton accused ministers of “playing fast and loose with children’s education”.

“Teachers are facing a seventh year of real-terms pay cuts at a time when we are in a full-blown recruitment crisis,” said Mr Barton, leader of the ASCL head teachers’ union.

The Department for Education has defended its decision, saying that it needed to strike a balance between being fair to taxpayers and to teachers.

The School Teachers’ Review Body is an independent organisation that advises ministers on the matter, but teachers’ pay has been limited by the government as part of its cap on public sector pay.

In response, the review body has warned ministers of potential problems of teacher shortages and funding pressures.

They said there was a “real risk that schools will not be able to recruit and retain a workforce of high quality teachers to support pupil achievement”.

“Between now and 2020, many schools will face both real-terms reductions in the level of per-pupil funding and growing cost pressures. Difficult choices may be inescapable,” says the pay body.

Russell Hobby, leader of the National Association of Head Teachers, said the outcome was “deeply disappointing”.

He criticised that the pay review body “had its hands tied” and could not recommend a pay award “based on the evidence”.

Kevin Courtney, leader of the National Union of Teachers, said that after successive years with pay falling behind inflation that some teachers were “finding life very difficult”.

“The public sector needs a pay rise,” said Mr Courtney.

James Westhead, executive director of Teach First, said that “recruiting teachers is becoming more and more challenging. We need to ensure teaching is fairly rewarded”.

Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrat education spokeswoman, said: “Giving teachers another below inflation pay-rise is frankly an insult to these incredibly hard working and dedicated professionals.”