Opinion Former Article

Action on pay needed to address teacher supply crisis

Nearly three quarters (72%) of teachers think potential recruits are being putting off a career in teaching because of pay levels, a survey by the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union has found. More than four out of five (82%) think teaching is not competitive with other professions in terms of pay.

Nearly a third (32%) of teachers have had to increase their use of credit in the last year as a result of the years of cuts to their salaries.

33% have had to delay essential household repairs and nearly one in ten (8%) have had to take a second job on top of their highly demanding teaching responsibilities.

These findings, from the Union’s Annual Big Question Survey, are released as teachers at the NASUWT’s Annual Conference in Birmingham have today warned of further industrial action if steps are not taken to address the years of real-terms cuts in teachers’ salaries.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“Ministers are not only betraying teachers and the children and young people they teach by continuing to deny teachers pay which is competitive with other comparable graduate professions, but they are also fuelling the teacher supply crisis.

“Staggering from year to year making paltry single percentage offers will not address the problems. Teachers will continue to leave the profession and potential recruits will be deterred from entering it in the first place.

“The NASUWT believes that radical and urgent action is needed through a planned process for a multi-year award, which will close the gap between the pay of teachers and other graduate professions by the end of the current Comprehensive Review period.

“Teachers are at the heart of pupils’ education. The crisis in teacher supply can only be addressed by recognising this self-evident truth and rewarding teachers as highly skilled professionals to make teaching more attractive and ending the culture rife in schools of seeking only to pay teachers what they can get away with.”


NASUWT Press Office contacts:
Ben Padley 07785 463 119
Lena Davies 07867 392 746
Sarah Cull 07920 711 069

Notes to editors
The NASUWT’s Annual Conference is being held at the ICC in Birmingham from 30 March to 2 April.

The online survey of NASUWT members attracted 4,080 responses from NASUWT members during January and February 2018.

The full text of the motion is below:

Steve Thompson to move,
Martin Hudson to second:
Conference deplores the public sector pay cap which has resulted in a decrease in the standards of living for teachers and other public sector workers.
Conference asserts that this is exacerbating the current recruitment and retention crisis in the profession.
Conference calls upon the National Executive to:
(i) continue to highlight the significant recruitment and retention problems associated with low salaries;
(ii) continue to promote the use of the industrial action instructions to challenge unacceptable pay policies;
(iii) consider the use of rolling strike action if governments, administrations and employers fail to agree to substantial, above-inflation and across-the-board pay increases next year and
(iv) campaign with the TUC, WTUC, STUC and ICTU for an increase in public sector pay.
(Birmingham, Cheshire We st and Chester, Leeds, Newcastle upon Tyne)

Sarah Cull
Press and Media Officer
0121 457 6239 / 07920 711069

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