Well, yes, quite right too

Teachers are more than £5,000 a year worse off on average in real terms than in 2010 – according to analysis of official data showing the effect of years of pay restraint on the profession.

Pay hasn’t risen with inflation.

As I pointed out about public sector pay in general, private sector pay hasn’t either. That’s what a recession is, too, when wages go down in real terms.

Shrug.

20 thoughts on “Well, yes, quite right too”

  1. Yes, teacher pay ought to rise (or fall) in line with private-sector pay levels. But the article provides clear evidence of a recruitment problem:

    vacancies in London grew by 12% between 2015 and 2017 and by 6% in north-west England

    Vacancies in the NW are starting from a very low base, and the sample size is small (1,000 schools), so 6% may well be noise; but 12% on top of London’s already-high vacancy numbers is worrying. It suggests that teaching pay in the capital hasn’t kept up with comparable opportunities.

    Obviously the answer is to scrap national pay scales; but we’re unlikely to read that in the Guardian.

  2. @Andrew M
    “It suggests that teaching pay in the capital hasn’t kept up with comparable opportunities.
    Obviously the answer is to scrap national pay scales”

    Hasn’t that already effectively already been done (for the capital) through the concept of London Weighting?

  3. Hasn’t that already effectively already been done (for the capital) through the concept of London Weighting?

    For suitably bureaucratic and inadequate values of “effectively”.

  4. Hang on. The personal allowance has doubled in that time, and the CPI/RPI has been low. I don’t believe the figure.

    Teachers don’t want to work anywhere with large populations of certain kinds of kids.

  5. I’m with Witchie. Who the fuck would want to teach in any inner London comp for £28,098 a year? I wouldn’t do it for ten times that. Anyone who signs on at the lowest rates wants their head examining.

  6. Not to mention, adding to his/her comments about personal allowance and inflation, salaries *have* gone up – not much, but they have increased.

  7. ITBoy,
    The London weighting is quite a crude mechanism; and there are teacher shortages across the southeast, not just in London.

    Indeed the fact that there are shortages in the southeast outside London suggests that the issue is the wide availability of better jobs; not the presence of bad kids.

    It’s a tricky balance for the government though: pay too much and you’re accused of crowding out the private sector (poaching the best workers); pay peanuts and you get monkeys. Then there’s the matter of corruption: let every school set its own salaries, and somewhere a dodgy head will be paying his cousins £200k each.

  8. 2010 is always the baseline year for these filth when the government had just spunked a lifetime record £1.31 on public services for every £1 of revenue,. They never go back to 2002 or even 2007.

  9. @Paul +1

    I bet if you took 1,000 random teachers who were teaching in 2010, their average pay would be significantly higher today.

  10. Chris M

    Quite so, but add: ‘with increased income tax thresholds and even after inflation, not forgetting the very generous and publicly funded pension scheme’.

  11. Have met teachers in the last few years who complain of not being able to do their one year after leaving teacher training.
    My sister in law ended up doing hers overseas. And found that overseas pays better too.

    Perhaps all these teachers complaining about pay should try the private sector and overseas. If there’s too big a shortage of teachers at the current pay level then higher pay will be given.

    Many years ago my wife’s aunt was a nurse for a dozen years then became a teacher. She retired as a teacher but did occasional temp work – the schools always wanted her full time (she was a great teacher) but she preferred the pay and opportunity to refuse work.
    Even back then (1990s and 2000s) she used to say some schools had 20% teacher vacancy rate, its not always about pay its also about location, management and duties.

    A friend is a primary school teacher who is very good with the first years. Little problems to solve like a shoe full of wee. 🙂
    The only job she could find that suited her was 30 miles from where she lived. Plenty of jobs going closer, not plenty of jobs that dealt with the age range she preferred.
    Tough competition for first year primary.

  12. Nothing to do with restriction of supply, then? Sod anyone with a lifetimes experience, you have to go through the lefty sausage machine before you can be employed.

  13. The state sector and the unions insist on the leftist PGCE indoctrination course which not only reinforces group think but also delivers ‘pricing power’ to teachers. At my son’s school (Winchester) they make a virtue of employing teachers who had previously worked in the real world – his Russian teacher used to be a fur trader for example – which seems eminently sensible.

  14. ‘Who the fuck would want to teach in any inner London comp for £28,098 a year?’

    A distortion in the labor market. There are many who would teach at a nominal salary. But not in a shi++y environment, either of neighborhood or brick stupid administration.

    The cry for more money for teachers is a symptom, for which more money is NOT the answer. Unless, of course, teaching is just a profession to make as much money as you can – the union position.

  15. Martin,

    > Have met teachers in the last few years who complain of not being able to do their one year after leaving teacher training.

    The shortages are (in decreasing order) in maths, physics, chemistry, and biology at secondary level. There is no shortage of teachers for music, English, etc; nor of primary school teachers.

    In other words, there’s a shortage of male teachers. A popular view is that men are scared off teaching because they’re afraid of being accused of inappropriately touching a pupil. But a simpler explanation is that teaching pay & conditions haven’t kept up with comparable opportunities for workers with maths & science skills, especially in the south of the country.

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