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SAAF Education Blog: Teachers’ Pay Scales from September 2019

Teacher Pay scales

Teachers’ Pay Scales from September 2019

National recommendations / statutory requirements to teachers pay scales can sometimes become confusing, that’s why today we’re going to catch you up on all the changes to teachers pay since 2018.  On 1 September 2018 changes to the School Teacher’s Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) came into effect with central government announcing changes to inflationary pay range uplifts for three groups: main pay / unqualified teachers, teachers on the upper pay range and members of the leadership team. In addition to this, the DfE announced a teachers’ pay grant to help support rising costs due to the recommended pay lift. This affected each school differently based on their original budget and a range of other factors.

The document that was finalised in October 2018 applied to all teachers in maintained schools and those who were employed at time of conversion from a maintained school to an academy. See below for adjusted changes:

  • 3.5% uplift applied to the main pay and unqualified teachers’ pay range
  • 2% uplift applied to the upper pay range
  • 1.5% uplift applied to the leadership pay range

The statutory guidance for this change in pay is limited to maintained schools, with academies being subject to their own pay policy. Although it is recommended that they follow the same guidance of the STPCD, there is some flexibility for academies when setting their own pay ranges. This is because pay under normal regulations will be less attractive and overpaying will lead to increased overheads, with potential warnings from Lord Agnew in some cases.

As a school it may seem as though these added costs will push budgets. However, as previously mentioned the DfE will help support the pay rise beyond the 1% pay cap. This comes in the form of £187m for 2018-19 and £321m for 2019-20. The figure is derived by calculating annual pay for all teachers, including additional costs i.e. pensions and national insurance, the uplift is then applied with the 1% pay rise that schools budgeted for being subtracted.

Teacher’s Pay from September 2019

In July 2019 it was recommended that teachers be awarded an above inflation pay increase of 2.75% from September 2019, which equates to approximately £1,000 increase for an average classroom teacher salary and £1,620 increase for the average school leader salary.

Local authorities implement inflationary increases for maintained schools in-line with local agreements which more often than not follow the national recommendations.  Academy trusts and free schools have freedoms to agree their own pay scales and inflationary increases.  Irrespective of the local decisions an additional £105m is to be paid through the teachers’ pay grant, on top of the £321m already committed for the 2019-20 financial year. This is to cover the additional 0.75% that has been agreed above the level the DfE assessed as affordable in their evidence to the STRB in January this year.

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