Teaching organisations say their profession faces a national recruitment crisis, with hundreds of thousands of students taught by staff not qualified in the subject they are teaching.
Six unions representing teachers and school leaders in England and Wales have joined forces to warn that the recruitment crisis will worsen if teachers’ pay remains too low to make the career attractive to graduates, with science and maths teachers the hardest to recruit.
“Teachers need a pay rise,” they urge, in a joint statement to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), which sets their pay.
Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: “The numbers applying for initial teacher training courses are rapidly declining and more teachers left the profession last year than in any previous year.
“Unless teachers get a significant pay rise, schools will have to starts increasing class sizes or shutting subject options.”
Despite the government vision to attract “the best and brightest” to teaching, pay rises have been limited to around 1 per cent for the past five years and teachers expect another four years of pay freezes.
Bousted added that, unless teachers’ salaries improve, the Government “stands no chance of recruiting the 160,000 additional teachers needed in the next three years.”
In October it was revealed that teaching applications fell by 21,000 compared to the same time in 2014, particularly in key subjects such as English and maths.