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Friday, 2 February, 2001, 16:08 GMT
Teachers to get 3.7% pay rise
nol graphic
Efforts are being made to tackle teacher shortages
Teachers in England and Wales are to get a general pay rise of at least 3.7% this year.

That would put classroom teachers on the top of their grade - excluding performance-related pay - on 24,844.

In an effort to do something about the difficulties schools are experiencing in recruiting staff, there is significantly more for newly qualified teachers, raising the starting salary for a good honours graduate by almost 6%, to 17,000.

But the initial reaction from teachers' unions did not bode well: "Pathetic" was the comment from the National Association of Teachers Union of Women Teachers.

Click here for a table showing the year-on-year rises.

Where the shortage problem is most acute - inner London - there will be even higher starting salaries of 20,000, almost 9% higher than at present.

Because a rise in the starting salary would hit differentials, the rises recommended by the School Teachers Review Body in its 10th annual report vary.

Impact on council taxes

Some at the lower end of the teachers' pay scale will get 5.9%, with those in the middle getting 4.8%.

This is a generous settlement

David Blunkett
The performance-related payment introduced last year - but delayed by union legal action - will also increase by 3.7% to 2,075.

The Education Secretary, David Blunkett, has said already that he will adopt the proposals in full.

After the statutory period of consultation the extra money should be paid from April.

Yet again this is all smoke and mirrors from a government which promises much but always fails to deliver

Conservative spokeswoman, Theresa May
The Department for Education says the total cost for England is 529m.

But the Local Government Association has said that the government has not provided enough money to fund the overall increase in the salary bill, and that council taxes will have to rise to cover it.

The association's education chairman, Graham Lane, said there would be a 250m shortfall, meaning a 10% rise in council taxes - equivalent to about 85 on the average Band D bill.

And the shadow education secretary, Theresa May, said: "The government's failure to properly fund this settlement will mean that a large proportion of this rise will be funded by local council taxpayers.

For the Liberal Democrats, Phil Willis said the shortfall meant other parts of the education budget would have to be squeezed.

"The government should have funded this pay rise in full through the local government finance settlement on Tuesday," he said.

"Diverting money out of other parts of a finite budget will inevitably result in fewer books, more leaking roofs, larger class size and perversely fewer teachers at time when there is a chronic teacher shortage."

Extra resources

David Blunkett said the pay settlement was designed to recruit more new teachers, retain good teachers and reward teachers.

"Schools have substantial extra resources this year and can choose to use direct grants to attract and retain good teachers," he said.

"This will help schools and areas facing the greatest recruitment challenges to offer significantly better pay for specialist teachers, in particular.

"This government has taken unprecedented steps to recruit and retain teachers and the recruitment figures show our action is helping to make teaching a more attractive career.

'Stark contrast'

"Our decisive action means there are now 2,250 more people training to be teachers than this time last year.

"Standards of teaching are improving as are results in schools.

"These are the very clear facts - and they stand in stark contrast to the way in which teachers posts were frozen and school budgets cut before 1997.

"Of course we need to recruit more teachers and of course we need to provide backing to those schools or education authorities where high house prices make recruitment more difficult.

"But this is a generous settlement and combined with the changes we have made last year, it starts to make teaching a genuinely attractive profession."

Vacancy figures

Also released on Friday were preliminary figures from this year's census of schools on the official level of vacancies.

In schools throughout England and Wales, teacher shortage is an everyday reality

Union leader Doug McAvoy
These showed that secondary school vacancies in England had gone up by more than 12% from last year - but only to a rate of 0.8%.

This is likely to be mocked by teachers' unions, who say schools are adopting desperate measures to keep going.

The biggest unions, the NUT and the NASUWT, are to ballot their members in the London area on refusing to cover for vacant posts.

The NUT wants the pay review body scrapped and negotiating rights restored.

It has called for an independent inquiry into teachers' pay, including London allowances.

The table below shows how much some of the key pay levels have gone up this year:

  2000 2001 Gain
New graduate recruit 16,050 17,000 5.9%
Good, experienced classroom teacher* 24,000 26,900 - 31,000 12.1% - 29.2%
Teacher in senior management role 33,500 36,800 9.9%
Advanced Skills Teacher (max) 43,000 44,600 3.7%
Head teacher (max) 72,300 78,800 9.0%
Inner London
New graduate recruit 18,400 20,000 8.7%
Good, experienced classroom teacher* 26,300 30,000 - 34,000 14.1% - 29.3%
Teacher in senior management role 35,800 39,800 11.2%
Advanced Skills Teacher (max) 43,300 47,600 9.9%
Head teacher (max) 74,600 81,800 9.7%
*2001 figure assumes performance-related pay. The top of that scale would not be reached for five years at the very least.

Back to main text

The BBC's Mike Baker
"Teacher unions condemned the increase as 'pathetic'"
The BBC's Sue Littlemore reports from Hampshire
"Staff were unimpressed with today's general pay rise"
Education Secretary David Blunkett
"We can not lift pressure on teachers unless we recruit and retain"
The Teacher Training Agency's Ralph Tabberer
"Pay matters"
Click here for more on teachers' pay

News and reaction:


Background analysis:

Talking Point

See also:

02 Feb 01 | Education
25 Jan 01 | Education
20 Jan 01 | Mike Baker
13 Jan 01 | Correspondents
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