I am pleased to publish today the second report of the Independent Welsh Pay Review Body (IWPRB), covering recommendations for amendments to teachers’ pay and conditions from September 2020 (https://gov.wales/independent-welsh-pay-review-body-second-report-2020).
I welcome the report, which provides a very detailed and comprehensive analysis of the current issues and offers constructive advice for the short and longer terms. I am grateful to the Chair and Members for all their efforts particularly during these challenging times.
The IWPRB make 7 main recommendations, all of which I accept in principle and aim to implement from 1 September. The full list of recommendations in the Report is at Annex A. Briefly, these include:
- Recommendation 1, which deals with uprating pay rates – including, in effect, a proposed increase of 8.48% for those on the minimum of the Main Pay Range
- Recommendations 2 and 3, which propose a return of national pay scales, with annual pay increments based on experience rather than performance
- Recommendations 4-6; dealing with current flexibilities within the system
- Recommendation 7, which relates to longer term considerations for discussion.
I also remain committed to the principle of ‘no detriment’ as we use our devolved responsibilities for only the second time. I am therefore consulting on the basis of uprating pay for teachers in Wales for an overall cost of 3.1%. I do so whilst recognising that this goes beyond the recommendations of the IWPRB which would collectively have increased costs by 3.0%.
I therefore propose raising the pay ranges for school leadership, unqualified teachers and leading practitioners, as well as teacher allowances, by 2.75% rather than the 2.5% recommended by IWPRB.
More specifically on teachers’ pay, the IWPRB recommends:
- the starting salary for new teachers in Wales increases to over £27k
- Teachers currently on the Main Pay Range receive at least a 3.75% rise
- Teachers on the Upper Pay Scale receive at least a 2.75% rise
- Introduction of a new statutory 5 point pay scale so that new teachers will advance to the maximum of the Main Pay Range in 4 years, i.e. £37,320.
I intend to add to the recommendations of the IWPRB with the following additional measures I propose to include:
- School Leadership pay ranges uplifted by 2.75%
- Teacher allowances and all other pay ranges should be uplifted by 2.75%.
Details of the new pay ranges for teachers are at Annex B.
The recommendations provide some key measures which highlight the clear differences in how we expect teachers’ pay and conditions to develop here in Wales following devolution of these powers. The replacement of the overly bureaucratic and inefficient previous system of pay progression to one based simply on experience is a prime example. It will provide a much fairer and more transparent pay system for all teachers.
The overall increase in costs for the pay award largely equates to funding previously estimated for this purpose. It was anticipated that these increased costs would be met from the increase in funding allocated to local authorities from Welsh Government via the Revenue Support Grant, combined with provision from LAs own revenue raising powers. In light of the pandemic, we will be discussing the funding implications with local authorities to ensure that school budgets are not adversely affected by these changes.
I would like to reemphasize the determination, in our efforts, to promote teaching as a profession of choice for graduates and career changers. I believe these changes to pay and conditions in Wales will have a positive effect on ensuring we continue to attract high quality teachers to the profession in Wales alongside our reforms to professional learning, the curriculum and teacher training.
I will now be inviting written comments from key stakeholders on: the IWPRB’s report; my response to the IWPRB key recommendations; and on the proposed increases to teachers’ pay.