ASCL comment on teacher pay award

21/07/2020
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the proposed teacher pay award for 2020/21.
 
Commenting on the proposed teacher pay award for 2020/21, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

We welcome the government’s action in increasing teacher starting salaries to make the profession more competitive in the graduate jobs market and to help tackle teacher shortages. But we are very concerned about two other aspects of the pay proposals.

First, we do not think it is fair or reasonable that the pay award is much lower for experienced teachers and leaders after years of pay austerity which has seen the real value of salaries deteriorate. This won’t help to keep long-serving teachers in the profession and feels like a kick in the teeth.

Second, the government believes that schools will be able to afford the cost of the pay award from the extra investment it is putting into education over the course of three years. But in reality the amount that schools receive in this settlement varies widely according to a number of factors, and we are concerned that many schools will not be able to afford this cost. Even in the best case, it means that most of the extra money provided in the settlement will go on the pay award with very little left to reverse the impact of real-terms cuts in government funding in recent years.

We recognise that the government has the best of intentions, but the problem is that it is not investing enough money to do the right thing by all teachers, or even to ensure that schools are able to afford to pay the award within the limited scope it is proposing.”