What are teachers pay demands and what's their average salary?

3 April 2023, 10:43

Male teacher in classroom with his students
Teachers are demanding more pay as they reject their first pay offer. Picture: Alamy

Teachers confirm further strike dates as they reject their first pay offer calling it "insulting" so what was the offer? And what do teachers want?

Teachers from primary school all the way up to college have been taking part in strikes across the country as they fight to secure themselves a better pay packet.

In March, teachers made progress with their walkouts when they received their first pay offer from the government but in April, they overwhelming rejected the proposal, calling it "insulting" and "outrageous".

Related article: How will the teacher strike affect me and students?

Related article: What strikes are happening in April? Dates for your calendar

The National Education Union held a ballot for the pay offer and found that 98% of members were in favour of turning the deal down.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said it was "extremely disappointing".

Teacher in front of primary school class
Teachers want their pay rise to come from the government and not the education fund. Picture: Alamy

What are teachers pay demands?

Most state-school teachers in England and Wales were given a 5% pay rise in 2022 but despite this, teacher salaries fell, on average, by 11% between 2010 and 2022. This is according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

The NEU are therefore saying, that when you take inflation and the cost of living into consideration, the recent pay rises were really cuts.

The union and teachers want schools to receive extra money to ensure important pay rises don't come from the existing education budget, which is already as stretched as it can be.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan has said an extra £2bn in funding is being sent to schools which will "take real-terms spending on schools to its highest level in history".

A female teacher working with two young students
A teacher's salary has fallen in the last decade. Picture: Alamy

This passionate teacher smashes the narrative of 'greed' surrounding striking teachers.

How much do teachers earn?

According to latest stats and figures obtained from the latest 2023 period, a teacher's starting salary is set to be £30,000 by September 2023.

On average in the school year 2021/22, a teacher's pay was £38,982 with the average head teacher earning £74,095. Other senior leaders in schools, including head of years, were on an average pay packet of £57,117.

In Wales, for the same school period, an average teacher salary was £39,009 and in Scotland it was £40,026.

No figures were provided for teacher's salaries in Northern Ireland.

What was the teacher's pay offer?

In April, it was confirmed teachers would be rejecting the pay offer from the government.

They were offered a £1,000 one-off payment this year, and a 4.3% rise next year. Starting teacher salaries would also rise to £30,000 from September 2023.