Teachers’ unions unite to highlight ‘national crisis’ in profession

The Guardian is reporting that teaching unions are urging the government to ward off a “national crisis” in the profession and warning that increasing numbers of pupils face being taught by unqualified staff.

In an unusual joint submission to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) – the pay review body for England and Wales – six unions, including the National Union of Teachers, have combined to call for pay increases above the 1% annual level the Department for Education (DfE) is seeking to offer over the next four years…

“The STRB must accept that we are facing a national crisis, not ‘a challenge’ in teacher supply, which means more children will not be taught by teachers qualified in the subject they teach,” argues the submission, whose signatories include the National Association of Head Teachers and Undeb Cenedlaethol Athrawon Cymru, the national union of teachers of Wales. 

“The public sector pay policy of the past five years has depressed teachers’ real earnings to the extent that recruitment and retention are being seriously harmed,” the letter concludes, saying that the DfE’s published data “has failed to capture the scale of the crisis”.

In response, the DfE said: “Unlike those who are constantly claiming there is a crisis and scaremongering, this government has worked with the profession to raise the status of teaching and is attracting the best and brightest to a career in the classroom, with the result that record highly qualified graduates and experienced career changers are now teaching in our schools…

The unions also claim that school budgets are “at breaking point”, requiring the government to fully fund pay increases and other costs such as national insurance increases coming in later this year…

More at: Teachers’ unions unite to highlight ‘national crisis’ in profession


What do you make of this move for six unions to prepare a joint submission to the STRB?

It has certainly achieved coverage across the media this morning – do you think it will have an impact on the policy too?

And is teachers’ pay, ultimately, the key driver in teacher recruitment?

Please let us know what you think in the comments or via Twitter…

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Categories: Employment and Teaching.


  1. Bedtonman

    SchoolsImprove well… Nearly all of them.. Recruiting more teachers isn’t the answer as we can’t retain them! More for the scrap heap

  2. The ‘best and brightest’, eh?  Presumably that means only first class honours graduates will be able to enter teaching.  But, hang on, you can get on Teach First with a 2:1.  An achievement, yes, but hardly the ‘best and brightest’ if judged solely on degree grade.
    And how does ‘best and brightest’ match allowing untrained personnel to enter teaching?

  3. Mark Simmons

    About time the unions did something together. 
    Amalgamating to speak for the profession with one voice – it’s a great idea, they should work towards unity.

  4. Dai_James1942

    SchoolsImprove The #GreatEducationHoax has been rumbled, like that other fantasy construction, the USSR. The wall is coming down.

  5. MaryBoustedATL

    SchoolsImprove The DfE press office are living in an alternate universe if they continue to believe there is no teacher recruitment crisis.

  6. Jonesboy110

    SchoolsImprove How the hell has this Govt. worked with unions to raise status of the profession!? You don’t have to be qualified to teach!

  7. colin_lever

    SchoolsImprove 1% will not make much difference.Conditions of service, the key driver 4 the exodus. Who’s telling the truth? Time will tell

  8. colin_lever

    SchoolsImprove in 1 school, 1/2 of tt taught by 1/8 of teachers, most non-specialists & they expect grades to improve. Good luck to ’em

Let us know what you think...