Teachers across England and Wales face a seventh consecutive year of a 1% pay increase based on the recommendation of a review body’s analysis of earnings.
The School Teachers’ Review Body published its 27th report into teachers’ pay which called on the government to increase pay by 1%, in line with austerity policy.
Although, the report recognised that low pay was making it difficult for schools to recruit and retain good teachers, with teacher training targets being missed and more qualified teachers leaving the profession for reasons other than retirement.
The pay increase announcement falls below recent figures for inflation, which now stands at 2.9%, meaning more than 500,000 teachers in England and Wales will face a real-terms pay cut after the Government has responded to the teachers’ pay review body and has stuck to its public sector pay limits.
The move appears to dampen suggestions the Government was looking to end austerity and lift the pay freeze affecting millions of public sector workers.
The cap on pay, initially of 0% and then 1%, has been in place since 2010, as part of austerity measures. The National Union of Teachers says that successive years of below-inflation pay deals has seen teachers’ pay fall in real terms by 13%.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, labelled the pay rise “disappointing”, adding: “This means teachers are facing a seventh year of real-terms pay cuts at a time when we are in a full-blown recruitment crisis”.
Barton said the current system was “unsustainable” and urged the government to invest in schools instead of “playing fast and loose with children’s education”.
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.
He noted that government policy since 2010 has resulted in teachers being hit with a 13% reduction in pay, which will increase to 15% courtesy of the decision to up pay by just 1%.
In response to the announcements criticism, a Department of Education spokeswoman said: “We recognise and value the hard work of teachers which is why we have accepted the pay deal proposed by the independent School Teachers’ Review Body, in line with the 1% public sector pay policy.
“This will ensure we continue to strike the balance between being fair to public sector workers and fair to taxpayers.”