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Wednesday, 23 January, 2002, 17:58 GMT
Teachers to get 3.5% pay rise

Teachers in England and Wales are to receive a pay rise of 3.5% this year.

Teachers' pay in England and Wales
3.5% general rise
25,746 for most
17,628 start
new pay scale
top salary after five years
more flexibility for heads' salaries
That would put classroom teachers on the top of their grade - excluding performance-related pay - on 25,746.

The pay recommendation - made by the independent School Teachers Review Body - has been accepted by the Education Secretary, Estelle Morris.

The current rate of inflation is just 0.7% if mortgage costs are included, with an underlying rate of 1.9%.

The five organisations representing teachers in England and Wales had called for a rise of 12.5%.

Click here for the pay scales.

The starting salary for a newly-qualified teacher with a good degree will be 17,628 - up from the current 17,001. Inner London weighting takes it to 20,733.

The Liberal Democrats' spokesman, Phil Willis, said: "After tax, new teachers will get an extra 8 a week - hardly enough to attract people into the profession."


There are also proposals to shorten the pay "ladder" from nine points down to six from September.

This would mean most teachers reaching the top after five years not seven.

This means good teachers will be able to apply to "cross the threshold" onto the new, higher pay scale - with a boost of 2,148 - after five years.

The government continues to undervalue teachers

Doug McAvoy, National Union of Teachers
The head of the National Union of Teachers, Doug McAvoy, said this was "particularly welcome".

"This will help narrow the gap between salaries for teachers and for graduates in other occupations," he said.

But the main rise was below the growth in average earnings.

"The government has failed to appreciate the damage this will do to teacher recruitment, retention and morale," he said.

"The government continues to undervalue teachers."


Ms Morris said: "This investment in teachers' salaries is driven by expectations of improved standards.

"Parents expect and demand the highest quality of teaching for their children.

"That's why we are determined to re-model the teaching profession with improvements that will not be met by money alone.

"We are determined to tackle workload issues and ensure all pupils benefit from the increases in education spending from this government."

Affordability questions

The 3.5% rise, which technically is subject to a consultation process, is due to take effect from 1 April.

But teachers are paid by local education authorities and by schools, not the government.

Local education authorities had expected the 3.5% rise - which in practice costs them 4%.

The education chairman of the Local Government Association, Graham Lane, said their funding allowed for only a 2.5% increase, so the rest would have to come either from other services or go onto the council tax bill.

The shadow education secretary, Damian Green, said: "When you include extra associated costs, today's announcement means that local authorities will have to find around 250m extra to fund these increases.

"Will this be paid for out of cuts in the education budget or in the budget for other services?"

The table below shows the current and proposed salaries for teachers in England and Wales.

The new rates are from 1 April. The revised main scale is from 1 September.

Spine point Current
£ pa
£ pa
Main pay scale
1 16,038 16,632
2 17,001 17,628
3 17,892 18,552
4 18,831 19,524
5 19,821 20,547
6 20,862 21,624
7 22,035 22,839
8 23,358 24,210
9 24,843 25,746
Upper pay scale
1 26,919 27,894
2 27,915 28,926
3 28,947 29,994
4 30,018 31,101
5 31,128 32,250
New main pay scale
M1   17,628
M2   19,017
M3   20,547
M4   22,125
M5   23,868
M6   25,746
Upper pay scale unchanged

Back to main text

The BBC's Mike Baker
"The government insists it's a generous increase"
See also:

23 Jan 02 | UK Education
13 Sep 01 | UK Education
21 Sep 01 | UK Education
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