Commenting on the speech by Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Education, to the Conservative Party Conference, Chris Keates General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union,said:

“The most striking thing about the speech was the absence of any substance.

“Teacher supply is in crisis as a result of plummeting pay levels and the escalating workload blighting the profession.

“Children and young people being denied their entitlement to be taught by a qualified teacher are facing an increasingly narrow curriculum and for too many their access to educational opportunities is based on their parents’ ability to pay.

“Yet the Secretary of State makes no comment on any of these critical issues facing education, so paralysed is this Government by Brexit.

“The most notable issue in the speech is the reference to the plans for early years, which although light on detail, appear to signal that at last the Government has recognised that the axing of early years provision over the last seven years, through the closure of hundreds of sure start centres, was a deeply flawed policy.”


Responding to the publication of a letter by Liz Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, to Dr Patricia Rice, Chair of the Schools Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), setting out the terms of reference for the teachers’ 2018/19 pay award, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“The NASUWT has campaigned for the removal of the 1% public sector pay cap since it was imposed on teachers and we therefore welcome the Treasury’s decision not to continue with a further year of the 1% pay cap in 2018/19.

“However, scrapping the pay cap is not enough; the Government must also address the culture that has developed in many schools that seek to avoid rewarding teachers fairly and appropriately. There is a significant risk that the pay freeze will continue in some schools, even without the constraints of a 1% cap imposed by the Government.

“Last year, the combined effect of the Government’s pay cap and inappropriate pay freedom in schools meant that the average pay award for classroom teachers was just 0.6%.

“The Secretary of State now needs to act to curb the discretion that allows schools to continue to pay teachers as little as they feel they can get away with.”

Attached is a copy of the letter from Liz Truss to Dr Patricia Rice.