Page last updated at 23:34 GMT, Tuesday, 29 July 2008 00:34 UK

Teacher recruitment advert banned

Teacher recruitment advert
A young looking teacher featured in the advert

An advert that claimed young teachers could earn 34,000 a year in England has been banned by the advertising watchdog for being misleading.

The Advertising Standards Authority said the advert suggested a starting salary about 14,000 higher than the real one of 20,133 for outer London.

It featured a teacher of "youthful appearance" while a voice-over said "you could earn 34 grand a year".

The teacher training and development agency disputed the findings.

An ASA spokeswoman said the television advert breached advertising rules because it suggested a newly qualified teacher could earn 34,000.

We are disappointed by the verdict and do not believe that we have misled our audience in any way
Graham Holley
Training and Development Agency for Schools

The ASA assessment of the advert read: "The ASA understood the salary range for a teacher was 20,000 to 51,000 and that some could potentially earn 34,000 in their late 20s, i.e. five years after they qualified.

"However, we considered that the claim 'You could earn 34 grand a year' in conjunction with the very youthful appearance of the teacher and 'Turn your talent into teaching' suggested that 34,000 was the salary for young newly qualified teachers.

"Because it was not, we concluded that the ad was likely to mislead."

The government-backed Training and Development Agency for Schools said it would abide by the ASA ruling and would not show the advert again in its current form.

It said it was disappointed because only two people had complained out of the millions of people who watched the advert.

Chief executive Graham Holley said: "A third of all teachers after five years in the profession did earn more than 35,000 last year.

"We are disappointed by the verdict and do not believe that we have misled our audience in any way."


He added: "We believe that it is very important for people to make an informed decision before entering the teaching profession."

Government claims about how much teachers earned became an issue during the teachers' pay strike in April.

Schools Minister Jim Knight claimed that parents found it difficult to understand why teachers had walked out of their children's schools when they earned an average of 34,000 in England and Wales.

Complaints prompted his department to admit the figure included head teachers, deputies, assistants and others on a higher pay scale.

A spokesman later said the average teacher's pay was more like 32,200.

Barry Fawcett of the National Union of Teachers said the advert was another example of the government's attempts to mask its public sector pay policy which had resulted in below inflation pay increases for teachers since 2005.

"Regrettably the TDA do not seem to have learnt from their mistake and their claim that a third of all teachers earn more than 35,000 after five years is equally misleading.

"After five years teachers at the top of the main scale outside London earn 30,148."

Teachers' '34,000 pay' defended
28 Apr 08 |  Education
Schools shut in public pay unrest
24 Apr 08 |  Education
Teachers vote to hold pay strike
02 Apr 08 |  Education

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