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Government calls for major overhaul of teachers’ pay

Teachers' salaries in England and Wales could be tied to performance and set at different local levels, under proposals put forward by the Department for Education today. Education Secretary Michael Gove submitted his evidence to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) - the independent body which makes recommendations on teachers’ pay.

In his report, Gove calls for a root and branch overhaul, “to free up the current system of teachers’ pay to ensure that teaching is a rewarding and attractive career”.

Gove says: “The evidence highlights that in order to drive up the quality of teaching and standards in schools, we need arrangements for teachers’ pay which: reward good performance and attract the highest performing graduates and professionals into the profession; give schools as much freedom as possible to spend their money as they see fit to meet their pupils’ needs; ensure the best teachers are incentivised to work in the most challenging schools.”

In his view, under the current system of automatic salary progression, there is a “poor link between a teacher’s performance and reward”. National pay scales mean schools in some parts of the country “struggle to recruit and retain good teachers, while others may be paying salaries which are significantly above local professional pay levels”.

Changes to national pay arrangements

The Department for Education has put forward a “number of possible options for reform for the School Teachers’ Review Body, as the experts, to consider”. These include:

  • varying level of prescription in national pay arrangements
  • setting a minimum and or maximum pay level
  • exploring the possibility of having local pay zones.

A final word

“Reform of the current pay system for teachers is fundamental to driving up teacher quality. The current pay system is rigid, complex and difficult to navigate. It does not support schools to recruit and retain the high quality teachers or leaders they need to address specific shortages and benefit their pupils.” - Michael Gove, Education Secretary.

Want to know more?

The Department for Education’s evidence to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) is available at www.education.gov.uk/schools/careers/payandpensions/strb/a00203870/strb-remit-21st-report.

Date 16/05/2012

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