Teachers could have to wait until Christmas for pay rises

Bureaucratic delays mean salary increases due to take effect in September may be postponed for ‘at least a term’

Many teachers are expected to have to wait until Christmas and beyond for salary increases that should be in their pay packets this September, TES can reveal.

The hold-up stems from the delayed publication of a crucial School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) report. It was sent to ministers in April but has still not been published.

Union leaders have been told that it will not now be released until after the EU referendum on 23 June. The delay will have knock-on effects that are expected to mean that teacher pay rises will be postponed for a term or more.

Kevin Courtney, deputy general secretary of the NUT teaching union, called the delays “crazy”. He said: “For many younger teachers that will be incredibly difficult.”

The publication of the STRB report is only the start of a lengthy process. A formal consultation will follow, lasting up to six weeks.

Last year’s STRB report was published in March 2015, but a NASUWT survey, shared exclusively with TES last year, revealed that thousands of teachers still hadn’t received their pay rises by November.

‘The only certainty is year-on-year cuts’

Unions fear this year’s delay will be even longer, particularly if the review body accepts some of education secretary Nicky Morgan’s more complicated suggestions.

She wants to grant schools “additional flexibilities” on pay, but the unions say that this would exacerbate delays.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, believes teachers could have to wait “beyond Christmas” to get pay rises because schools will need enough time to organise governor meetings and review their pay policies.

“The pay system has become increasingly chaotic,” Ms Keates said. “The only certainty teachers have is the year-on-year cuts to their pay, which is a major contributory factor to the teacher supply crisis.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “The government is currently considering the STRB report. The report and the government’s response will be published in due course.”

This is an edited version of an article in the 10 June edition of TES. Subscribers can view the full story here, or to subscribe, click here. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here. You can also download the TES Reader app for Android or iOS. TES magazine is available at all good newsagents.

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