Education sector pay is capped

Bookmark and Share

Public sector pay rises will be capped at 1% for two years from 2011, the chancellor, Alistair Darling, has announced in his Pre-Budget Report.

Promised pay rises for 2011 will go ahead but teachers will have their pay restrained beyond that. Contributions from the state to the pensions of teachers will also be capped, saving £1bn a year.

Schools will get a 0.7% real term increase each year between 2011 and 2013, while funding for 16- to 19-year-olds in sixth forms and colleges will get a 0.9% annual increase in the same period.

Headteacher leaders welcomed the chancellor's news, but said that the 1% pay rise would account for nearly all of the 0.7% rise in spending, and warned that they would not be able to take on new projects for the government without extra cash.

Commenting on the Pre-Budget Report, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers said: "Teachers have borne the brunt of below inflation pay increases for the past five years. While we are pleased that Ed Balls has agreed to protect the 2.3% pay increase for September 2010 recommended by the School Teachers' Review Body, any erosion of teachers' pay after that may lead to lower recruitment."

She added: "It is unclear whether or not the proposals affecting teachers' pensions in the Chancellor's speech are simple restatements of the cost-sharing agreement already reached or proposals for further changes. We would expect any additional proposals to be the subject of negotiation."

The chancellor also announced plans to:

  • Raise the threshold for children to qualify for free school meals, making an extra 500,000 children eligible for free school meals. this follows complaints from child poverty campaigners that it is currently set substantially below the household income that defines a child as living in poverty.
  • Fund 10,000 students from low income backgrounds to allow them to take up internships that are for unpaid work.
  • Re-direct £300m to guarantee every 16- to 24-year-old who has been out of work for more than six months is given the opportunity for a job or training place - reducing the threshold from 12 months.