The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has today released a report criticising the Department for Education’s School Funding system which is adversely affecting schools serving deprived local areas and the Government’s failure to deliver their commitments on teachers’ pay.
The report reveals that the Department for Education (DfE) is now “unable to say when it will implement its commitment to a starting salary of £30,000 for new teachers” despite the Government originally committing to achieve this goal by September 2022.
Over the last decade, teachers have experienced a 17% decline in the value of their pay leading to a crisis in workforce morale, recruitment and retention.
The Government’s decision to delay improvement to starting salaries and enforce a pay freeze on the overwhelming majority of teachers this year has been met with deep anger across the profession, according to the NASUWT - The Teachers Union.
A recent survey conducted by the NASUWT uncovered the extent of teachers’ anger regarding the Government’s broken promises on pay:
- 94% teachers said they disagreed with pay freeze.
- 87% teachers said that the pay freeze would impact negatively on their morale.
- 83% teachers said the pay freeze would have a negative impact on recruitment and retention of teachers in their own school.
- 71% teachers said they are now more likely/much more likely to apply for a job outside the teaching profession.
- One in three teachers said they are now more likely/much more likely to apply for retirement.
Commenting on the PAC Report, Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said:
“The PAC report’s findings provides yet further confirmation that the Government is putting at risk education recovery by failing to invest in education and in the teaching profession.
“Educational opportunities for all children, especially for those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, is being held back by the Government’s failure to take the steps needed to end the teacher morale crisis which is resulting in thousands more teachers seriously considering leaving the profession.
“Education is key to meeting the Government’s aim of levelling up. After a decade of under-funding, Ministers must urgently set out their plans to ensure that all schools have the resources they need to deliver the best educational provision for pupils.
“It is a poor indictment that the Government is not only failing to keep its promise to deliver £30,000 starting salaries for teachers by next September, but Ministers are now saying they are unable to say when this promise will be met.
“Teachers across the profession have seen the value of their pay eroded by around 17% since 2011. Resolving the teacher morale crisis means the Government must invest in the pay of all teachers in all schools at every stage of their careers.
“With two in three teachers warning that extending the current pay freeze beyond this year will make it more likely they will leave the profession, it is clear that schools are on the brink of losing the commitment of thousands more dedicated and highly skilled teachers whose efforts are key to unlocking opportunities for children and young people from all backgrounds.
“The Government has an immediate opportunity with the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review to start to deliver on its promise to level up by investing in teachers.”