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New analysis by the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, has found that thousands of teachers are being denied the pay award or pay progression they are entitled to at a time when £4 billion is sitting in school balances.

The emerging headlines from an NASUWT survey of 6,900 teachers in England, due to be published in full later this month, has found that nearly six in ten (57%) have either been told they will not be given any pay award at all this year, or have not had any confirmation that they will receive the pay award to which they are entitled.

This is at a time when maintained and academy school balances stand at over £4 billion. If this was distributed evenly across the system it would result in an additional £8,763 per teacher available for pay and pay progression.

NASUWT General Secretary Chris Keates said:

“It is clear from the emerging findings from the survey that teachers continue to be denied their entitlements in relation to an annual pay award and pay progression.

“It is a shocking indictment of the failure of Government and employers to ensure that teachers are recognised and rewarded as highly skilled professionals that, year on year since 2011, the percentage of the school budget allocated for teachers’ pay has dramatically reduced and now stands at an average of only 46% across the school system.

“Last year the Secretary of State deliberately denied teachers the pay to which the Independent Review Body considered they were entitled by imposing his own recommendation in place of the Review Body’s. The figures from the NASUWT illustrate the damaging effect that this has had on teachers’ pay.

“To add insult to injury in this pay round the Government has forced the Review Body to abandon its timetable for taking evidence on teachers’ pay for 2019/20 stating it does not know when it will be able to get its evidence ready. This is simply treating teachers with contempt.

“It is yet another illustration of the reason why the education service is facing the worst teacher recruitment and retention crisis since World War Two.

“Teachers are rightly angry and frustrated at the seeming indifference of ministers to ensure they are recognised and rewarded fairly for the work they do.

“The NASUWT is continuing to support members across the country who are determined to challenge their employer on pay by taking industrial action.  More and more teachers are contacting the Union every day, seeking our support to stand up on pay and the other issues of deep concern to them, particularly excessive workload and pupil indiscipline.”

More information on the pay survey can be found in the below leaflet and letter:

Teacher Pay Survey initial findings


The figures of £4 billion and £8,763 have been calculated as follows:

The most recent DfE school funding data confirms total surplus balances of £2.4 billion in the academy sector and £1.56 billion in the maintained school sector, totalling £3.96 billion (rounded to £4 billion):  ‘DfE, Academy revenue reserves 2016 to 2017, July 2018’ and ‘DfE, Expenditure by local authorities and schools on education, children and young people’s services in England, 2017-18, December 2018’.

The 2017 School Workforce Census (SWC), which was published in June 2018, confirms 451,900 full time equivalent teachers. If the total surplus balance figure for the schools and academy sectors (£3.96 billion) is divided by 451,900, this provides a figure of £8,763 per teacher.


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