Teachers’ pay rise will mean ‘less money to spend on pupils’
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Teachers are set to get a £1,000 pay rise – but there are fears the increase could mean less money for Suffolk’s children.
Teachers and leaders in UK schools will see a pay rise of 2.75% above inflation, it has been announced.
It means that teachers will see an equivalent £1,000 increase to their salary next year, with leaders earning an additional £1,620.
The announcement comes following recommendations from the independent School Teachers' Review Body (STRB) and means minimum starting salaries for teachers in Suffolk will increase by £653.
But despite the good news, there are worries that more money for teachers means less money for pupils.
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Graham White, spokesman for the Suffolk branch of the National Education Union, agreed teachers deserve pay rises.
But he said: "Firstly, it is not enough and secondly, it is not fully funded. It is very welcome, but nowhere near enough.
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"We'll end up with a situation where teachers get more money while schools have less money to spend on pupils - the real question is what is more important?"
Although the increase in pay is supported by an additional £105million to be paid through the teachers' grant, on top of the £321m already committed for the next financial year, Mr White believes a pay rise should not come out of existing budgets.
"Effectively, this means there will now be less money in schools," he added. "It is a horrible situation to be in, but there has to be enough money to go around to ensure pupils get the best possible education."
Announcing the plans, education secretary Damian Hinds said he had been inspired by meeting teachers and wants to highlight the impact they have on changing lives.
Mr Hinds said: "Today's announcement of a 2.75% pay rise for teachers, accepting the STRB's recommendations in full, means that teachers and heads can receive a pay rise above current rates of inflation and have more money in their pockets.
"If we want the best people working in our classrooms then it's right that we ensure their salaries recognise the vital nature of their work and the potentially life changing impact they can have on the lives of our children."