Teachers have a huge impact on children’s futures and so I want all our children to be taught by the brightest and the best. I am aware that over the course of the pandemic teachers and educational staff have faced many challenges and played an incredible role in ensuring that children have continued to receive a fantastic education.
I am aware the 31st report of the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) was published on the pay award for teachers and is now in place as of September 2021. As set out in the 2020 Spending Review, there will be a pause to headline pay rises for the majority of public sector workforces in 2021-22 to ensure fairness between public and private sector wage growth. I believe that this approach will help protect public sector jobs and investment in public services, with those earning less than £24,000 receiving a £250 increase.
The Department for Education has confirmed the intention to accept the recommendations from the STRB in full. This includes a pay award of £250 for all teachers earning less than £24,000, or the recommended equivalent value for teachers in London pay areas, and the introduction of advisory pay points on the unqualified teacher pay range, as was the case for teachers on the main pay range and upper pay range last year.
As a result of the Government’s three-year investment package announced at the 2019 spending round, this pay award will be affordable within school budgets. The funding for core schools was increased by £2.2 billion for the 2021-22 financial year and the 2021 Spending Review confirmed an additional £4.7 billion by 2024-25 for the core schools budget.
I am aware that a consultation has taken place on the Government’s response to these recommendations and on a revised school teachers’ pay and conditions document and pay order, which lasted for eight weeks.
This pause in public sector pay rises will ensure that we can get the public finances back on a sustainable path following the COVID-19 pandemic. However, looking forward, I welcome the announcement in the Budget and Spending Review 2021 that the Government will look to increase teachers' pay following this period of more targeted pay. Further, I am encouraged that the Department for Education is committed to supporting the delivery of increasing teacher starting salaries to £30,000.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank teachers again for their remarkable commitment throughout the recent difficult times.