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School Teachers’ Review Body

Volume 712: debated on Thursday 9 July 2009

Statement

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (Ed Balls) made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Part 2 of the 18th report of the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) is being published today, which reviews the appropriateness of the pay award for September 2009 and 2010 which was referred in June 2008. I am grateful for the careful consideration which the STRB has given to this matter. Copies of the report have been laid before Parliament today and my detailed response to it is available in the Vote Office, the Printed Paper Office, the Libraries of the House and at www.teachernet.gov.uk/pay.

The STRB has recommended that teachers’ pay be increased by 2.3 per cent from September 2009 and September 2010; with adjustments to the inner London pay scales from September 2009 and September 2010.

I am grateful to the STRB for these recommendations which, subject to the statutory consultation process, I intend to accept and implement in full. These recommendations represent the second and third year of a three-year pay award and confirm recommendations first made by the STRB in January 2008.

I also note the STRB’s recommendations for regular diversity and equality data collection; encouraging schools to use existing recruitment and retention flexibilities in shortage subjects; and consideration being given to the introduction of new measures to improve the supply of mathematics teachers. My detailed response contains further information on all of these recommendations.

Annexe to Written Ministerial Statement of 9 July 2009.

School Teachers’ Review Body recommendations and response from the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (Ed Balls)

[The following sets out the full set of recommendations from the School Teachers’ Review Body and published in the 18th Report part 2 (Cm 7652) on 9 July 2009, together with the response from the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families. The STRB’s recommendations below are in bold.]

The Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (Ed Balls): Part 2 of the 18th report of the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) is being published today. It covers the review of teachers’ pay which was referred to the STRB in June 2008. Copies of the report are available in the Vote Office, the Printed Paper Office and in the Libraries of the House and at http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/pay.

In making its recommendations, the STRB was required to have regard to considerations a-f set out in the remit letter of 25 June 2008. This report reviews the appropriateness of the teachers’ pay award for September 2009 and September 2010. It also makes recommendations about regular diversity and equality data collection; encouraging schools to use existing recruitment and retention flexibilities in shortage subjects; and consideration be given to the introduction of new measures to improve the supply of mathematics teachers. I am grateful for the careful and detailed attention the STRB has given to these matters. I am inviting comments on the STRB’s report and my response to its recommendations by 5 August 2009.

Teachers’ Pay

The STRB has recommended:

an increase of 2.3 per cent from September 2009 and 2.3 per cent from September 2010 in the values of the pay scales and allowances;

that there be an adjustment to the main and upper pay scale for inner London as proposed in STRB’s Seventeenth Report Part One: a minimum starting salary of £26,000 for teachers in inner London from September 2009 and £27,000 from September 2010 and consequential adjustments to the main pay scale; and further enhancement in the value of the upper pay scale in inner London from September 2009 and September 2010.

I am grateful to the STRB for conducting its review of teachers’ pay and subject to the statutory consultation process I intend to accept and implement its recommendations in full. These recommendations represent the second and third year of a three-year pay award and confirm recommendations first made by the STRB in January 2008.

Other matters arising from the STRB’s review

The STRB has further recommended that the department:

undertake regular data collection and analysis to monitor developments in the teacher workforce related to issues of diversity and equality. This should include an ongoing review of matters relating to equal pay and of the extent to which the teaching profession reflects the diversity of the population it serves;

should review and strengthen the ways it encourages schools to use existing recruitment and retention flexibilities to address local teacher shortages in mathematics and other priority subjects; and

should consider the introduction of new financial and other incentives and measures to improve the quantity and quality of the supply of mathematics teachers. If asked to do so, the STRB would welcome the opportunity to explore the form these might take in a future remit.

I agree with the STRB’s recommendation about data collection and analysis. That is why my department is developing the new school workforce census which will provide comprehensive data on an annual basis about the individual characteristics, contract details and pay of school teachers. The development is being piloted with a view to full live rollout in 2010. The data collected from schools and local authorities in England will include age, gender, ethnicity, disability and qualifications—all at individual teacher level—to allow detailed analysis related to diversity and equality issues.

I note that the STRB recommends that my department should take steps to encourage schools to use existing recruitment and retention flexibilities to address teacher shortages in mathematics and other priority subjects at a local level. Following an earlier consultation on how best to encourage increased use of existing pay flexibilities, there was no appetite for any action plans or guidance or other communications. However, a note was added to the 2008 model pay policy, which states schools should consider making use of existing pay flexibilities within the school teachers’ pay and conditions document—particularly to help with the recruitment of teachers of shortage subjects such as mathematics, science and, in Wales, Welsh. Schools will be expected to meet the costs of any payments from within the budgets they have available. I would like to invite consultees’ views on whether any other strategies might usefully be adopted.

I note that the STRB has also said that consideration should be given to the introduction of new measures to attract high-quality mathematics teachers in the required numbers. While there is some evidence that the measures we have taken to increase recruitment to shortage subjects such as mathematics and science are working, I would prefer to return to this recommendation once I have further evidence of their impact. Meanwhile I would welcome consultees’ ideas, in the context of the recently published 21st century schools White Paper, as to what might be acceptable forms of any such incentives or measures to improve the quality and quantity of mathematics teachers.