Starting salaries for teachers in the UK are set to go up later this year, under government plans aimed at boosting recruitment in the profession.
New teachers will start on salaries of £26,000 as standard, with the aim of reaching £30,000 in the first two years of teaching, in a bid to make teaching a more attractive profession for graduates.
The proposals follow an earlier pledge from the Conservatives to increase recruitment and improve the status of teachers, after recent years have shown a drop in new recruits.
For teachers working outside London, their pay will go up 6.7% in September to £26,000 – up from £24,373.
Those in outer London will get £30,000, with those in inner London (where living costs are highest) receiving £32,000.
Teaching unions welcomed the pay rise for new teacher as a step in the right direction, but called for similar increases across the entire teaching workforce, which has real terms cut over the last decade.
More experienced teachers and leaders will receive a pay rise of 2.5%. However, critics warn this will not stop the fall in teachers in England’s classrooms, many of whom are taking up jobs overseas.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “We are currently haemorrhaging teachers from the profession and we will never solve the teacher supply crisis unless this situation is improved.”
Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), said that the proposed 2.5% pay increase was likely to barely at the level of inflation.
“The government should know from teachers’ reaction to previous differentiated pay increases that this announcement will create widespread dismay,” he said.
“With teacher retention problems worsening, this is a devastating message for experienced and dedicated teachers.”
Paul Whitman, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers agreed, adding: “The government’s ambition to raise starting salaries to £30,000, whilst welcome, would be a mistake without also addressing the decade-long real terms reduction to the salaries of leaders.”
The government is preparing to submit its plans to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB). The teachers’ unions will also make their own recommendations, among them a demand for a 7% pay increase for all members.
The STRB will report back later this year.