Pay cap to stay in place for teachers despite pressure on Government over public sector wages

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Teachers’ salaries will stay capped at one per cent, the Department for Education has announced, despite pressure on the Government to reduce austerity measures for those working in the public sector.

Ministers accepted the recommendation of the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), which said there should be a one per cent increase for all pay ranges.

Teachers’ pay has been frozen since 2010, and the latest announcement means another real-terms pay cut for more than half a million teachers in England and Wales.

Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor Philip Hammond have been under pressure to lift the pay cap, including from a number of Government ministers, after the party lost its majority in the General Election to anti-austerity Labour.

Monday’s move is likely to be seen as a sign that the Government intends to stick to its plans to keep a tight hold on the strings of the public purse.

In a written statement, Education Secretary Justine Greening said the STRB’s recommendations, due to be introduced in September, “are consistent with the Government’s one per cent public sector pay policy”.

“Following previous reforms, schools already have significant flexibility, within the pay ranges, to set pay for individual teachers, taking account of performance and retention,” she said.

The Government has accepted a recommendation that teachers on the minimum of the main pay scale get an increase of up to two per cent. 

A DfE spokeswoman said: “We recognise and value the hard work of teachers which is why we have accepted the pay deal proposed by the independent STRB, in line with the one per cent public sector pay policy.

“This will ensure we continue to strike the balance between being fair to public sector workers and fair to taxpayers.”

The move is likely to spark fresh concerns about teacher shortages.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), told the Press Association: “For many teachers, this marks the seventh successive real-terms cut in their pay.

“We will not be able to attract the best and brightest to teaching if we constantly cut their pay.”

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