Teachers’ body calls on government for more cash

The
Local Government Employers for Teachers body is to ask for more money from the
government to cover teachers’ pay increases after claims it is ignoring the
financial position of local authorities.

This
week the government announced a 3.5 per cent pay increase for teachers along
with a reduction in teaching grades from nine to six – in a bid to allow
teachers to reach the top of the profession after five years.

The government
said total earnings growth for teachers will be around 5 per cent.

LGEfT
will now ask for a specific grant to cover the increase.

“Once again, the government has failed to recognise the
extreme difficulties authorities will face with this increase in teachers’ pay.
The government allows 2.5 per cent for pay increases. Authorities already have
to pay for a 0.95 per cent increase in the cost of teachers’ pensions.

"Local authorities and schools will face a shortfall
of £380m in meeting the costs of the salary and pensions increase,” said Graham
Lane, chairman of LGEfT.

“Unless the government provides more money, schools will
not be able to deal with the increasing demands on them. The 5.7 per cent
increase allowed for by the government cannot be stretched to meet all the
demands the government is making on schools.

"It is unreasonable to expect council taxpayers, cuts
in other services or schools to pay for the government’s decision,” Lane said.

By Paul Nelson

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