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Government proposes £30,000 starting salaries for teachers

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

A reform to primary and secondary teachers’ pay could see graduates paid £30,000 a year by 2022.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson has announced plans to make starting salaries for teachers among the most competitive in the graduate labour market.

Under the proposals, teachers’ starting salaries would increase by up to £6,000 to £30,000 a year.

Williamson set out the plans in a remit letter to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), in which he asked for the body’s recommendations on raising the starting salaries of new teachers as well as next year’s pay award.

Last week saw the government announce a £14bn cash injection over three years for England’s schools, following a campaign by school leaders warning of worsening budget shortages.

The £14bn investment will ensure that pay can be increased for all teachers. The government’s proposal to increase the pay of early career teachers fastest is in line with the evidence on where recruitment and retention challenges are greatest.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Teachers truly are the lifeblood of a school and I have been instantly impressed by the dedication, commitment and hard work that I have seen from those at the front of our classrooms.

“I want the best talent to be drawn to the teaching profession and for schools to compete with biggest employers in the labour market and recruit the brightest and the best into teaching.

“Teachers should be in no doubt that this government fully backs them in every stage of their career, starting with rewarding starting salaries, and giving them the powers they need to deal with bad behaviour and bullying and continue to drive up school standards right across the country.”

Williamson will also ask for the STRB’s recommendations on additional pay reform, including the introduction of progression points in pay. Progression will continue to be linked to performance ensuring the investment best supports the recruitment and retention of the most talented recruits into classrooms.

From September, the government will also be fully funding increased contributions into the Teacher’s Pension Scheme. It means teachers will get an employer contribution of 23.6 per cent on top their salary towards their pension every year.

The Teachers’ Pension Scheme also provides additional benefits linked to salary and is inflation-proof to offer teachers a secure retirement.

Flexible working

Williamson also plans to use flexible working to make teaching an attractive profession, with a group of Ambassador Schools championing flexible working policies.

These will be responsible for sharing good practice on how to successfully implement flexible working in schools, utilising case studies and practical resources for teachers and school leaders. Once fully rolled out, these will form part of an overall flexible working toolkit.

Williamson said: “I want to keep great teachers in the profession, and we know that the lack of flexible working opportunities is often cited as a reason for leaving. Other sectors have embraced flexible working and the benefits it provides – I want to see the same in schools. There are great things happening in some schools, but I want it to be the norm.

“These new Ambassador Schools will break down the barriers and show schools who are nervous about flexible working that not only can it be done, it can change their school for the better.”

Alongside proposed record increases to new teachers’ salaries, trainee teachers will also receive reformed core training content. This will dovetail with the Early Career Framework and provide a two-year entitlement to training and support for new teachers, including a reduced timetable to allow teachers to make the most of their training.