Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to a report in the Sunday Times that says the School Teachers’ Review Body has recommended a 6.5% pay award for teachers in 2023-24.
“If true, this appears to be a step in the right direction in terms of addressing the worsening teacher recruitment and retention crisis facing schools, and towards restoring teacher and leader pay levels. It is a significant improvement on anything so far offered by the government and it is good to hear that the pay review body has asserted its independence.
“However, it is only one half of the equation. The other crucial factor is that any pay award is fully funded by the government at an individual school level, so that every school has enough money to be able to afford the costs of paying their teachers, without having to make cuts to education provision.
"The education unions have had a number of discussions with Department for Education officials over the last couple of weeks about what would need to be in place to ensure that every school could afford any increase in pay. While we have welcomed these discussions, we do not consider them to have been a re-opening of pay talks. We would encourage the government to restart formal pay negotiations as soon as possible, in order to prevent further likely industrial action this term and next.
“The government has a history of short-changing schools. We will need absolute clarity that any pay award really is fully funded for every school.”