Starting salaries for teachers could rise by up to £6,000 under government plans to reform teacher pay.
The proposal comes after years of unions calling for an end to the “erosion” of pay, with some saying teachers have faced years of pay cuts at a time of “unprecedented levels of change” in the education system – including new curriculum and exam systems.
The Department for Education (DfE) said salaries for new teachers were set to rise to £30,000 by 2022-23, and the move would make starting salaries for teachers among the most competitive in the graduate labour market.
The minimum salary for teachers in England and Wales, excluding London, is £23,720, while the minimum for Inner London is £29,664, according to the government’s Get Into Teaching website.
From September, the government will be fully funding increased contributions into the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, so that school leaders can focus as much of their resources as possible on the front line.
The DfE said this meant teachers would get an employer contribution of 23.6% on top of their salary towards their pension every year to ensure the scheme was fully funded.
Education secretary Gavin Williamson will set out his proposal to increase teachers’ starting salaries by up to £6,000 in a remit letter to the School Teachers’ Review Body, asking for their recommendations on raising salaries for new teachers as well as next year’s pay award.
The government said the £14 billion investment announced by the prime minister last week would ensure that pay could be increased for all teachers.
“Teachers truly are the lifeblood of a school and I have been instantly impressed by the dedication, commitment and hard work that I have seen from those at the front of our classrooms,” Mr Williamson said.
“I want the best talent to be drawn to the teaching profession and for schools to compete with the biggest employers in the labour market and recruit the brightest and the best into teaching.
“Teachers should be in no doubt that this government fully backs them in every stage of their career, starting with rewarding starting salaries, and giving them the powers they need to deal with bad behaviour and bullying and continue to drive up school standards right across the country.”
Alongside the proposed increases to new teachers’ salaries, trainee teachers will also receive a reformed core training content, which will aim to ensure all new trainees begin their career with high-quality evidence-based training.
The salary proposal is the latest in a series of education announcements from the government in recent days.
Billions of pounds were pledged to England’s schools after years of lobbying by heads and teachers for more money, while the chancellor, Sajid Javid, has pledged to invest £400m in education for 16- to 19-year-olds next year.
The DfE also announced that schools rated as outstanding by Ofsted would no longer be exempt from inspections.
Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “The proposed increase to teachers’ starting salaries is fundamentally necessary if the government is going to get enough graduates wanting to become teachers.
“Teacher training targets have been missed for six years in a row, and this announcement may go some way to making teaching more attractive.
“But schools need experienced, as well as beginner teachers. What is the government proposing for those who remain in the profession, taking on more responsibilities as they gain experience?
“This is a key issue. England has one of the worst teacher retention rates in the OECD with almost half of teachers leaving within 10 years – taking with them vast amounts of knowledge and experience.“
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