The easy answer to that question is yes of course we should pay teachers more!
If we want our children to have the best we must look after those who support them everyday.
5 uniouns have today demanded an uplift in teachers pay to ensure we protect the profession from the current dire recruitment and retention issues.
Newly released government data on ITT applications is concerning
Yesterday, government data revealed that initial teacher training applications had fallen by 23 per cent in February, compared with the same period last year, and were even lower than pre-pandemic levels, amplifying concerns of a teacher supply crisis.
In December 2021, education secretary Nadhim Zahawi wrote to the pay review body to ask for a “significant uplift” to teacher starting salaries, and recommendations for both the 2022-23 and 2023-24 pay awards.
Mr Zahawi asked STRB to provide a report on their recommendations “during May 2022 at the latest”. I hope it is forthcoming.
To read the full article in TES click here
Investment in the UK education system is erratic
Investment in the UK education system is massive although we have gone through many cycles where the investment in education has been erratic and often woefully inadequate. The inconsistency of investment in education causes major long term issues and we are in one of those difficult stages now. Huge investment was made in building new schools for the future, effectively the infrastructure which was overdue but has ground to a halt.
There are many schools that continue to struggle to invest in the upkeep of their buildings which has a knock on effect on the children and the teachers in that school. Clearly these building continue to decline storing up the need for greater investment in the future and even worse reinforcing negativity towards the school and education in general.
The greatest cost to schools is staffing
The majority of a schools budget as with most businesses is the cost of staff. Teachers need to be paid and all the support staff required to run the school must be paid too.
So if there is little money for the teachers and little money for the infrastructure of the school there is a problem. Many teachers feel undervalued and more feel underpaid.
Choosing teaching as a career at the moment takes some commitment knowing that the pay can be better in other sectors, resources are limited and workload is high.
We find an increasing number of teachers have had enough and want to rebalance their work and home life and by becoming a supply teacher they get to choose when and where they work and to an extent how much they get paid.
As school budgets become increasingly tense most schools will by necessity avoid over staffing. This means more schools will need to turn to supply teaching agencies for supply teachers, teaching assistants, learning support assistants and cover supervisors. By using supply agencies schools can avoid the added employer costs like NI, pension contributions, apprenticeship levy and payroll costs, which are covered by the agencies margin.
Paying teachers well is essential
Paying teachers well is essential, if existing teachers are not they will leave the education system which will have a long term detrimental effect on society. We need to make sure that the teaching profession is recognised for the profession it is and to increase the salaries of teachers.
If we pay teachers well we will attract and retain more good teachers who will feel valued and this helps everybody.
Teachers get paid to scale for long term supply assignments
4myschools philosophy is to pay teachers the maximum we can for daily supply within the constraints of what we can charge schools, or what they are prepared to pay. The upcoming increase in National Insurance is not going to help although I understand the necessity.
For long term assignments we try to get a teacher paid to scale from day one and most schools agree to this rather than waiting for the AWR legislation to force their hand.
Jack Worth, the school workforce lead at the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), said the fall in teacher trainee applications shows that “the government needs to give teacher supply a shot in the arm”.
He said: “A proposal for teacher pay that is less than that risks exacerbating rather than remedying the teacher recruitment and retention situation, since both are influenced by how competitive teacher pay is compared to other jobs. But the proposals also need to be affordable for schools.”
We are all grateful for the efforts of teachers but lets go further
The Department for Education has said many times they are incredibly grateful for the efforts of teachers and school leaders over the course of the pandemic, supporting pupils through the challenges faced over the last two years.
In 2020/21, teachers received a 3.1 per cent pay increase on average, with starting salaries receiving an uplift of 5.5 per cent. They tell us remain committed to increasing starting salaries to £30,000. I hope they go further by reviewing all pay scale salaries.
If you are interested in working with us on supply or are looking for a new role please contact us here