£30,000 starting salaries proposed for teachers

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Salaries for new teachers are set to rise to £30,000 by 2022-23, under government plans for the biggest reform to teacher pay in a generation.

The Teacher’s Pension Scheme is also one of the most generous on offer. From September, the government will be fully funding increased contributions into the scheme, so that school leaders can focus as much of their resources as possible on the front line. It means teachers will get an employer contribution of 23.6% on top their salary towards their pension every year to ensure the scheme is fully funded.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced the plans today (2 September), underlining his determination to recognise teaching as the high-value, prestigious profession it is.

The move would make starting salaries for teachers among the most competitive in the graduate labour market, building on the above-inflation average pay increases for teachers in the last two years.

Mr Williamson will set out his proposal to increase teachers’ starting salaries by up to £6,000 in a remit letter to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), asking for their recommendations on raising the starting salaries of new teachers as well as next year’s pay award.

The £14 billion investment announced by the Prime Minister last week 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. Further detail will be set out in the government’s evidence to the STRB later this year.

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.

The Education Secretary 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.

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

The government is also planning significant new investment in the Further Education workforce as part of a 16-19 funding package. This is critical to underlining its commitment to delivering world-leading technical education.

To ensure teaching continues to be attractive as teachers’ lives develop, a group of Ambassador Schools to champion flexible working are set to be introduced.

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.

Mr Williamson added:

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, which will ensure all new trainees begin their career with high-quality evidence-based training.

This will dovetail with the Early Career Framework, the biggest teaching reforms in a generation. Backed by at least £130 million a year in extra funding when fully rolled out, this will 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.

Structured curriculum resources to reduce teacher workload in key subjects will also be introduced, building on the success of the Department for Education’s Curriculum Fund pilots.

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