Most teachers face prospect of no pay rise this year

The majority of teachers are still waiting to learn if their salaries will rise this year as schools continue to struggle with budget cuts and confusion over pay policy, a major new survey reveals.

Unions said new freedoms for schools to decide details of pay rises had led to a “Wild West” situation, whereby fewer teachers have been told about their pay awards because of inconsistent guidance and budget pressures.

One headteachers’ union said schools might be failing to award pay rises to avoid creating “division” among staff and also suggested that some of the uncertainty was down to bureaucratic delays.

The survey, produced by the NASUWT teaching union, shows that a majority of teachers (57 per cent) had not received, or had not had confirmed, a 1 per cent cost-of-living rise. Official guidance says schools must offer this rise to the highest and lowest earners in most teaching pay ranges. For other teachers, the rise is now at the discretion of the school.

Meanwhile, 37 per cent of teachers eligible for performance-related pay progression within their pay scales were yet to hear a decision about their salaries. Some 10 per cent of those polled have had it refused.

The survey of more than 6,700 teachers also reveals that only one in 20 of the top-ranking mainscale teachers eligible for a special 2 per cent rise – designed to increase staff retention – had actually been granted it so far this year.

The survey results, shared exclusively with TES, were disclosed as the government reiterated its case for “continued pay restraint” alongside “additional flexibilities for schools and incentives to recognise performance” in evidence to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), which advises ministers on pay.

This is an edited version of an article from the 11 December edition of TES. To read the full article click here (free to subscribers). Also, this week’s TES magazine is 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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