Teachers ‘£5,000 a year worse off under the Tories’, Labour says

‘It is no surprise that schools are facing a crisis in teacher recruitment and retention when the Government has handed teachers a real-terms pay cut year after year’

Lucy Pasha-Robinson@lucypasha
Sunday 03 September 2017 18:30
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Officials at the Department for Education said there were more teachers than ever before
Officials at the Department for Education said there were more teachers than ever before

Teachers are more than £5,000 a year worse off than in 2010 due to the public sector pay squeeze, according to analysis of official figures by Labour.

The Shadow Education Secretary, Angela Rayner, said stagnating wages had created a recruitment-and-retention crisis in the profession.

Wages rising in line with consumer-price inflation would mean teachers would now earn an average salary of £40,500, up from £34,800 in 2010. But the actual figure is £35,100, according to the report.

“It is no surprise that schools are facing a crisis in teacher recruitment and retention when the Government has handed teachers a real-terms pay cut year after year,” said Ms Rayner.

“These stark figures show that the average teacher is now thousands of pounds worse off than they were in 2010, and the Government’s plans to continue with the public sector pay cap will only make matters worse.”

The one per cent cap on pay rises is set to take the mean average salary for 2017 to £35,451, whereas inflation-linked increases since 2010 would have meant a £41,470 wage.

However the Department for Education said it was still managing to attract people into the profession.

“There are now more teachers in our schools than ever before – 15,500 more since 2010," a department spokesperson said.

“Overall the number of new teachers entering our classrooms outnumbers those who retire or leave.

“We take teacher recruitment very seriously, which is why we are investing £1.3bn up to 2020 to continue to attract the best and brightest into teaching and have given headteachers freedom over teacher pay, including the ability to pay good teachers more.”

Officials pointed out that teachers had benefited from the repeated increases in the personal allowance, handing an income tax cut of more than £1,000 to a basic-rate taxpayer.

Additional reporting by PA

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