Agnew: ‘Unrealistic’ for schools to fund pensions hike

Lord Agnew was speaking ahead of the government spending review, which is expected to set the Department for Education’s funding levels for the following three years. Tes reports.

His comments at the Festival of Education at Wellington College yesterday came after the DfE announced a 43 per cent increase in the contributions schools have to make to teachers’ pensions.

The government has said it will cover the increased costs for the first year, while decisions afterwards would be made as part of the spending review.

He said: “It is an enormous amount of money, on an annual run rate basis about £1.4 billion and it is unrealistic to expect schools to be able to fund that themselves.”

He listed the other three areas as high needs, post-16 provision and rural primary schools.

The minister also raised the prospect of making unspecified reforms to teacher pay.

He added: “We won’t get the teachers we need unless we focus on creating the right conditions for them to excel. There is clearly a strong case to explore the reform of teacher pay to ensure the money schools spend on pay is targeted where it will have the biggest impact on recruitment and retention.”

Read more Agnew: ‘Unrealistic’ for schools to fund pensions hike 

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