Exclusive: Pay gap between teachers and other graduates widens

Young people will choose other professions in ‘buoyant’ job market, unions warn

The pay gap between teaching and other graduate jobs has widened by more than a third in a year, increasing fears of a deepening recruitment crisis for schools, TES can reveal.

The worrying statistical picture is found in an analysis commissioned by the NASUWT teaching union that demonstrates the impact of the “most buoyant” graduate jobs market in nearly a decade.

The Incomes Data Research (IDR) study shows that the national median starting salary for graduates was £26,500 in 2015 – 19 per cent higher than the £22,244 for new teachers outside London.

In 2014, the gap was just 14 per cent, according to IDR.

Chris Keates, NASUWT general secretary, said: “Understandably, graduates are increasingly looking to other higher-paid professions, where not only are they better remunerated [but] their working conditions far surpass those of their teacher colleagues.

“It is very clear that there is a recruitment and retention crisis in the education service. The stark differences in pay for graduates that has been highlighted in our latest research will unfortunately mean that this crisis is only set to worsen.”

Performance-related pay

The news comes as a joint survey from the NUT and ATL teaching unions, published today, finds that performance-related pay (PRP) for teachers is increasing workload and disproportionately disadvantaging black and part-time staff.

The majority of teachers believe that the PRP system has caused them significant extra work (58 per cent) and undermined the positive benefits of appraisal (51 per cent), according to the unions’ survey of more than 10,000 members.

The results suggest that in 2015, just under a third (30 per cent) of black teachers and nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of part-time teachers were denied pay progression by their school, compared with 19 per cent of other teachers.

The ATL and NUT will unite next week to call for PRP to be dropped in light of the findings from their joint research.

This is an edited version of an article in the 5 February edition of TES. Subscribers can view the full version of this story here. Read the full coverage in this week’s TES magazine, available in all good newsagents. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here

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