Commenting on the speech by Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt setting out measures to foster greater links between independent and state schools, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said:

“Access to high-quality education should be the entitlement of all children and young people, irrespective of where they are educated.

“Mr Hunt’s speech highlights the fact that private schools already benefit from taxpayer subsidies and that they should have a role to play in contributing to meeting the needs of all children and young people.

“Many schools in the independent and state sectors are already working together.

“Collaboration and partnership between schools is critical to success, provided that such partnerships are established on an equal footing. It would be wrong to infer that state schools are not good enough or that independent schools have nothing to learn from the state sector.

“There is currently a diversity of provision in the state sector and it is right that all state schools should also be enabled to work together to share expertise and to meet the needs of all children and young people across their areas.

“The public has a right to expect all political parties to be setting out clear expectations for all schools, including academies, free schools, voluntary aided or local authority maintained schools, to be working together effectively in the interests of all children and young people.”


A survey commissioned by the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, has revealed that over 50% of teachers report that their school has failed to confirm that they will be paid the 1% cost of living award to which teachers were entitled on 1 September 2014.

This is an interim finding from a survey into teachers’ pay and pay progression to which over 8,500 teachers in England already have replied.

The survey finding has been submitted as evidence to the independent School Teachers’ Review Body which is currently taking evidence on the teachers’ pay award for 2015.

Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary, said:

“For schools to deny teachers access to a pay award which has been recommended by an independent Review Body and accepted by the Secretary of State for Education is completely unacceptable.

“Teachers have suffered deep cuts to their pay over the last four and a half years as a result of pay freezes and pay caps.

“Pay has been further eroded by significant increases in pension contributions.

“This is already having a serious adverse impact on teacher recruitment and retention, as teaching becomes increasingly unattractive to graduates. Over 30% of the places on the Coalition Government’s flagship School Direct teacher training programme remain unfilled.

“This miserliness by individual schools is putting the whole education service at a serious disadvantage. Teachers and our children and young people deserve better.

“The NASUWT will be making strong representations to the Secretary of State for Education and to the Review Body on this issue. The Union will also be consulting members in schools where the cost of living award has not been paid with a view to taking escalated industrial action in those schools.”