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LABOUR condemned the “crisis” engulfing Britain’s education system today, revealing that the average schoolteacher is thousands of pounds worse off under the Tories.
Evidence provided to the Department for Education (DfE) school teachers’ review body shows that, while the real-terms pay of teachers rose between 2002 and 2010, their pay has rapidly declined since the Conservatives took power eight years ago.
An analysis of teachers’ pay statistics, commissioned by Labour shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, confirmed that the average teacher in Britain was in 2016 £4,000 worse off than the average teacher in 2010.
In September, the government announced that the 1 per cent gap on public-sector pay rise would be lifted in 2018-19.
However, fiscal watchdog the Office for Budget Responsibility has predicted that government failure to provide new funding to lift the public-sector pay cap will lead to the cost being met by “squeezing” other spending, including further cuts to education funding and reducing the number of people working in education.
The warning was echoed by the school teachers’ review body, the government’s own pay review body for teachers, which said that some schools would not reach any increase in salary whatsoever given the current funding rates.
The body echoed fears expressed by school governors, parents and trade unionists that government pay neglect is causing the mass exodus of teachers from the profession, evidenced by the record number of teachers who have left the profession over the past five consecutive years.
Ms Rayner called on the government to provide “ring-fenced funding” to schools and to ensure that education staff get the pay rise they deserve.
She said: “Even the Conservatives have no choice but to admit they have left teachers thousands of pounds worse off.
“It is no wonder they have created a crisis in teacher recruitment and retention when they are asking teachers to take real-terms pay cuts year after year.
“Their promise to lifting their own cap on public-sector pay is meaningless without new, ring-fenced funding to ensure that teachers, as well as support staff, can finally get a real pay rise after years of cuts.”
Ms Rayner then went on to say that the next Labour government, led by Jeremy Corbyn, will secure a real pay rise for teachers and fully fund a plan to end the public-sector pay cap.
The DfE was not available for comment.
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