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Here’s why our schools can’t afford to pay teachers and teaching assistants: Theresa May doesn’t like children [Image: Getty].

This is the depth to which the UK education system has stooped under Conservative Party leadership (if you dare call it that).

Here’s The Guardian:

Teachers are more than £5,000 a year worse off on average in real terms than in 2010 – according to analysis of official data showing the effect of years of pay restraint on the profession.

With millions of children returning to school this week after the summer holidays, teaching unions said the marked decline in salaries was one of many factors causing an ever more serious recruitment crisis .

The data, released by Labour, and based on school workforce statistics and government inflation figures, shows how teachers’ earnings have been eroded, as annual increases in pay have fallen below the rate of inflation. In 2010, the mean wage paid to teachers in state-funded schools was £34,800. By 2016 this had risen to just £35,100 as the government clamped down on public spending. Assuming the level rises by the 1% maximum permitted under the pay cap, it will hit £35,451 this year. But had the mean salary risen at the rate of inflation (as measured by the consumer price index) every year since 2010 it would now be well above £40,000 a year.

Angela Rayner, shadow education secretary, said: “It is no surprise that schools are facing a crisis in teacher recruitment and retention when the government has handed teachers a real-terms pay cut year after year.

“These stark figures show that the average teacher is now thousands of pounds worse off than they were in 2010, and the government’s plans to continue with the pay cap will only make matters worse. The consequence is that schools are now struggling to find and keep the staff who run our classrooms. The Tories have missed their recruitment targets five years running and for two years in a row more teachers have left the profession than joined.”

Next, here’s BBC News:

A head teacher has asked retired staff to come in and work for free because the primary school cannot afford to pay for teaching assistants.

Martin Turnham, head of Desford Community Primary School in Leicester, said he had lost about 30% of his teaching assistants since early summer.

He said he was worried that it would have an impact on his pupils.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said similar stresses on finances were being felt by schools across England, and with most of their funding going on salaries, cutting staff was frequently seen as a solution to reducing costs.

Spokespeople for the Department for Education have said there are more people teaching than ever before (are unqualified teachers cheaper?), and that a new funding formula means more money will be available per pupil.

Notice that neither statement addresses the issues, which are that teachers’ pay is too low, and that schools cannot afford to employ teaching assistants (we are not told the extra funding will be enough, after all).


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