The entitlement of children to a high-quality education is at risk because of the widening pay gap between teaching and other professions, according to research commissioned by the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union.

The report by Incomes Data Services (IDS) on teacher salaries at different career points show that since 2010 the pay gap between teaching and other professions has widened.

The analysis by IDS shows that the 2013 average starting salary for graduates among major recruiters was nearly 20% higher than the national M1 starting point for a qualified teacher.

The lead over teachers in terms of average salary after three years is 44%. After five years the graduate lead on average salaries is 73%.

The disturbing figures, which come on top of changes by the Coalition Government to pay progression, mean teaching is becoming a less attractive profession and is compounding the recruitment and retention crisis among the workforce.

Even fewer graduates of shortage STEM subjects such as maths, chemistry and physics are likely to be recruited to teach those subjects as a result of the pay gap.

Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary said: “Teaching has moved from being the number one choice for graduates in 2010 to one now where graduates are increasingly looking to other higher paid professions.

“There is already a recruitment and retention crisis in the Education Service. The stark differences in graduate pay highlighted in our research will unfortunately mean this crisis will worsen.

“Children and young people are entitled to be taught by qualified teachers who are recognised and rewarded as highly-skilled professionals.

“The widening pay gap between teaching and other graduate professions is putting children’s entitlement to a high-quality education at risk.”


The NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, is today giving oral evidence to the School Teachers’ Review Body (Review Body) to argue for a substantial above-inflation pay award for teachers in 2015/16.

Today’s oral evidence session follows the submission by the NASUWT of detailed written evidence to the Review Body, which makes recommendations to the Secretary of State on teachers’ pay for England and Wales.

The NASUWT’s evidence sets out:

  • the growing crisis in the profession, with nearly two thirds of teachers considering leaving teaching altogether;
  • the increasing discrimination and unfairness in decision making about teachers’ pay as a result of the Coalition Government’s changes to the pay system; and
  • the adverse impact on children and young people as teaching becomes an increasingly uncompetitive and unattractive profession as a result of Coalition Government policies.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“The NASUWT has made a powerful evidence-based case for teachers receiving a significant above-inflation pay award.

“Since the Coalition Government came into office there have been deep cuts to teachers’ pay and increasing unfairness and discrimination in the way pay decisions are made at school level.

“Today we made representations on the 2015 cost of living award in a context where recent evidence shows that many teachers have not received the 1% cost of living award to which they were entitled in September this year.

“The cumulative effect of over four years of pay cuts and pay freezes has left teachers thousands of pounds worse off.

“Salaries have become increasingly uncompetitive when compared with other post-graduate professions and as teaching becomes increasingly unattractive as a result of the Coalition Government’s relentless attacks on pay, pensions and working conditions, recruitment and retention is on the precipice of a crisis.

“Resignations are up and applications for teacher training are down.

“All children and young people are entitled to be taught by those who are rewarded as highly-skilled professionals.

“This entitlement is being seriously compromised and the quality of education is being jeopardised.

“The Review Body must assert its independence, follow the evidence, and reject the Coalition Government’s flawed and punitive public sector pay policy.”