Sixth-form Teacher (England)

Latest news on pay

The NASUWT attended a meeting with the Sixth Form College Association (SCFA) on 8 September to discuss the SFCA response to the Joint Union Pay Claim submitted in May.

The staff side claim proposed a significant increase on all pay points and further discussions about discrete additional increases to pay points and allowances.

After extensive discussions, the SFCA made the offer of:

  • an increase of 1% from 1 September on all pay points and allowances;
  • an additional 0.5% pay increase on pay points 6,7 and 8; and
  • establishment of an NJC working party to discuss London allowances.

It was further proposed in principle that an NJC working party should be established to consider the implications for colleges of the Government proposal to raise school teachers’ starting pay to £30,000, if and when the Department for Education confirmed its continuing intention to proceed with that proposal.

The Joint Unions welcomed the fact that the SFCA was willing to negotiate on a pay increase for sixth-form college teachers and had not sought to adopt a pay freeze as for teachers in schools.

The offer would, if implemented, confirm the pay differential in favour of sixth-form college teachers at the top of the pay scale and begin to address the disparities which continue to exist further down the scale.

The NASUWT is disappointed that this pay offer does not fully address the real-terms pay cuts which sixth-form college teachers have suffered since 2010, particularly given the staged cost-of-living increases over the past two years.

The 1.5% proposed overall increase in pay on points 6 to 8 takes steps to improve parity with the teachers’ pay scales but does not achieve it.

The NASUWT will continue to seek the full harmonisation of sixth-form college teachers’ pay with school teachers’ pay scales. Whilst the current offer does not meet the NASUWT requirements, we are seeking further discussions in an attempt to reach the best negotiated outcome.

The Staff Side unions agreed to take this offer back for consideration.

Feedback from NASUWT members working in sixth-form colleges is welcomed. Please e-mail the sixth-form college email with the subject line ‘Sixth-form college pay’. All correspondence will be treated in confidence.


While teachers working in all sectors of the education system across the United Kingdom face many similar challenges and concerns, the NASUWT recognises that sixth-form college teachers can face particular issues and challenges.

In the context of a funding regime that is being cut year after year, area reviews looking at sixth-form college sustainability and academisation, the NASUWT will continue to inform members through its regular bulletins and regional and national briefings.

Tackling the workload of teachers working in sixth-form colleges and ensuring that their professional status is protected and enhanced remain key priorities for the NASUWT.

Teachers’ Pension Employer Contribution Grant (TPECG) in sixth-form and FE colleges (England only)

The DfE has made it clear to further education colleges, sixth-form colleges and post-92 universities that they must continue to enrol eligible teachers into the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) - this is a statutory requirement.

The employer contribution rate of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) will increase from 16.4% to 23.6% from September 2019 through to 31 March 2023.

This increase has not occurred because benefits for teachers have improved, but because of the TPS quadrennial valuation, which was published in April 2019. Specifically, HM Treasury has reduced the SCAPE discount rate assumption used in the valuation from the figure used for the last valuation, which affects the employer contribution rate.

The impact of the reduction in the discount rate on TPS employers has been known for some time and the NASUWT has pressed the Department for Education (DfE) and the Treasury to fund the employer pension contribution increase in sixth-form and other FE colleges. The DfE has accepted the NASUWT’s representations for the remainder of the current Spending Review period, for 2019/20 and has now published details of how funding will be allocated to sixth-form and other FE settings.

The DfE is unable to commit to spending beyond the current Spending Review period until the Government consults on the education budget from 2020 to 2023. This consultation is scheduled for the autumn term. The NASUWT continues to campaign and to lobby the Government for full funding of the pension contributions increase through to 2023.

Eligibility for the Teachers’ Pension Grant

FE colleges and other publicly funded training institutions

The DfE will pay the grant to:

  • further Education colleges
  • sixth-form colleges
  • designated Institutions (including the new designated institutions that form part of HE provider group structures)
  • special post-16 settings
  • adult and community learning providers
  • 16 to 19 academies

For colleges that are funded on an academic year basis, the grant will be paid from 1 September 2019 through to 31 August 2020.
Details of how individual colleges apply for the Teachers’ Pension Grant will be published by the DfE in due course.

Outcome of Sixth-form Colleges Area-based Reviews

The Government’s Area-based Reviews of the Sixth-form College sector are summarised here, separated into reports for each region.