Thank you for contacting me about teachers’ pay.
Teachers are dedicated professionals who work hard every day educating the next generation. I am enormously grateful for the work they do to ensure children have the best chance to succeed in life. It is good news that the Department for Education has accepted the recommendations of the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) to increase the minimum and maximum of the main pay range for teachers by 3.5 per cent. Many teachers are set to benefit from this. Teachers in the upper pay range are set to receive a 2 per cent increase. I appreciate that some were hoping that all teachers would receive the 3.5 per cent increase but I do believe the Department for Education’s offer represents a fair deal for all.
The STRB is an independent pay review body that considers evidence from the Department for Education and other stakeholders such as the teacher unions. The Government lifted the 1 per cent pay cap but still had to make sure we could pay for the final settlement. Following the STRB recommendation, I am pleased Ministers focussed the resources they have on teachers in classrooms. These changes will mean classroom teachers on the main pay range could receive a pay rise between £803 and £1,366. Teachers on the upper pay range could also receive a pay increase of two per cent and 1.5 per cent for those in leadership positions. I appreciate that some would like to have seen higher pay increases in the upper pay range, but I agree with the view that it is important to prioritise pay increases for those on lower salaries.
It is up to schools themselves to determine how much their staff are paid, but the increases in pay will be funded by a new teachers’ pay grant worth £187 million in 2018 to 2019 and £321 million in 2019 and 2020. This will be paid to all schools on top of their core budgets from the National Funding Formula. While I am pleased that this pay rise will help us retain teachers, salaries for new teachers will also increase by between £803 and £1004, helping to recruit a new generation of brilliant teachers.
I am encouraged that the manifesto commitment to introduce a student loan reimbursement scheme for new teachers is being taken forward. A pilot scheme is being launched for science and modern foreign language teachers in the early years of their careers who teach in deprived areas. Over 2,500 teachers a year in 24 local authorities are set to benefit from this.
Under the last Labour Government, 1 in 3 pupils left primary school unable to read, write and add up properly. I welcome the fact that there are now 1.9 million more pupils in England attending good or outstanding schools than in 2010. I know that the Department for Education remains committed to raising standards further.
I am encouraged that the number of teachers in our schools remains high, with more than 450,000 in classrooms across the country – that is over 10,000 more than in 2010. I know that the Department for Education recognises the importance of recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers, which is why schools are being supported in reducing unnecessary workload and a range of new support measures are being introduced to help schools recruit and retain the best teachers. New financial support for trainees will be piloted alongside the already generous bursaries. Those schools and parts of the country that are most in need of help will receive extra, targeted support.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP