Winners and losers from the Teachers’ Pay Grant

This report from the UK think tank Education Policy Institute analyses how the Teachers’ Pay Grant is allocated to schools, and whether it is done so equitably.

In July 2018 it was announced that teachers in England would get a pay rise after eight years of freezes and caps. The government has allocated £508 million in funding over the next year to cover this cost. Analysis from the Education Policy Institute (EPI) examines how this additional funding is allocated to schools, and whether it is done so equitably. The government’s teacher pay award increases the pay for those on the main pay scale by 3.5 per cent, upper pay scale by 2 per cent, and school leaders by 1.5 per cent. On average schools’ salary costs will rise by around 2.9 per cent.

The government expects schools to have already budgeted for a 1 per cent pay increase, so it has provided funding to cover the additional 1.9 per cent. Funding for these pay rises is allocated according to the number of pupils. Some schools will not receive enough to cover their staff wage bill, while some will receive a surplus. With funding allocated on a per pupil basis, schools with smaller class sizes are more likely to receive insufficient funding to meet these pay rises. Similarly, schools with more staff on the main pay scale are more likely to see a shortfall. Significantly, this means that schools with high numbers of disadvantaged pupils are more likely to receive insufficient funding to cover teacher salary increases. These schools are more likely to have less experienced teachers, and lower pupil:teacher ratios. This runs counter to the past twenty years of government policy, which has attempted to provide greater funding to schools with disadvantaged intakes. The analysis also finds that some small schools receive, proportionally, up to twice as much additional funding as larger schools. While some of the smallest schools may need extra funding to cover the pay rises, others may receive surplus funding.

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