Teachers’ pay; more hours less money

Teachers’ pay is hitting the headlines again and for good reason.

Less pay, more hours for teachers

Teachers; less pay more hours

Teaching and education are of course on the agenda at Party Political Conferences but the current dilemma of extreme teacher trainee shortages and increased class sizes runs deeper than vote courting. The debate is influenced by economic, social and ethical drivers of change, and bizarrely perhaps we need to talk about babies first to set the scene.

A steep decline in the birth rate from the 1990’s has meant that there is a shortage of 21-year-olds, that is graduates and PGCE candidates; and this trend is persisting until 2022.

This is noted by the President of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) Allan Foulds who says that:

“teacher and leader recruitment is already at breaking point” in schools.

In addition a post 1990 baby boom has meant that 16-year-olds numbers will swell by 615,000 to 7.85m by 2020. This is what economists call ‘demand and supply’; an increased demand for teachers whilst the supply dwindles. And we’re not done yet…

How about the growing number of experienced older (more senior) teachers and leaders will they stay or will they go?

On the whole they are going figures range from 51-60% that want to leave, that is resign, as opposed to retire. This is exacerbating the ‘supply’ shortage. And worryingly the main reason cited by teachers for wanting to leave is excessive workloads.

It seems the word ‘dilemma’ is not scaremongering. How you may ask is the latest School Teachers Review Body (STRB) 25th report on pay and rewards impacting teacher and leaders’ pay? Well the report stipulates how to apply the pay reward that was due to be implemented in September 2015. The STRB recommends an increase of 1% to the minima of all pay ranges and allowances in the national pay framework including the:

  • unqualified teachers’ pay range;
  • main pay range;
  • upper pay range;
  • leading practitioner pay range;
  • leadership pay range;
  • headteacher groups;
  • teaching and leadership responsibility (TLR) payments;
  • special education needs (SEN) allowances.

Also recommended is a pay increase of 1% to the maxima of all pay ranges and allowances apart from the main pay range, the leadership pay range and the eight headteacher group pay ranges. An uplift of 2% to the main pay range, but no uplift to the maxima of the leadership pay range nor to the eight headteacher group pay ranges. In summary leaders and head teachers who are more experienced miss out on any increases (except to allowances) and that is set at 1% only. It is probably unsurprising to hear that morale is at an all-time low in the education sector, where the shortfall of new recruits this Academic Year was at an average of 10%.

The government is offering inducements to trainee teachers from bursaries to scholarships for next year worth up to £30,000 in the core academic subjects to stimulate supply. Through partnerships programs with Teach First, School Direct and Talented Leaders more teachers and leaders could find places in UK schools.

Let’s hope that UK school teachers and leaders continue to create bridges to opportunity for our young people despite the challenges of their profession.

Over to you.

Hours, Pay, Teaching

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