Education secretary backs reform of teachers’ pay

Education secretary Michael Gove has submitted evidence to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), which sets out a strong case for reform to the current system of teachers’ pay.

Gove has set out a number of possible options for reform, including:

  • Varying levels of prescription in national pay arrangements.
  • Setting a minimum and/or maximum pay level.
  • Exploring the possibility of having local pay zones.

Under the current system, automatic pay progression means there is a poor link between a teacher’s performance and reward. In addition, national pay scales mean schools in some parts of the country struggle to recruit and retain good teachers, while others may be paying salaries which are significantly above local professional pay levels.

In February 2012, the secretary of state commissioned the STRB to consider how reforms could be made to address the current system. STRB called for evidence from a wide range of stakeholders, including the government and teacher unions.

Gove said: “Ensuring there are enough teachers, and that those teachers are of the highest quality, is critical to driving up standards in schools.

“Reform of the current pay system for teachers is fundamental to driving up teacher quality. The current pay system is rigid, complex and difficult to navigate.”

The STRB will made recommendations for reform in the autumn. It is expected that the accepted recommendations will be implemented from September 2013.

Read also Sutton Trust research: Teachers support link between pay and performance

Read more on public sector pay