Appointment of the new chair of the school teachers’ review body

Commenting on the appointment of Patricia Rice as the new Chair of the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said:

“Congratulations to Patricia Rice on her appointment to this important role.

“The NASUWT has always maintained that an independent pay review has served well the interests of the teaching profession.

“However, in recent years, the Review Body’s independence has been placed under undue pressure from coalition government Ministers who have been determined to hold down pay regardless of the damaging impact this is having on recruitment and retention in the teaching profession.

“Ms Rice will need to grasp quickly the critical state of the teaching profession as a result of recent coalition government reforms and that teacher morale is at all-time low.

“The teaching profession is on the brink of a recruitment and retention crisis which has been the result of the pay freeze, the assault on teachers’ pensions and debilitating levels of workload.

“Ms Rice will need to give priority to addressing these major challenges, and to the fact that over the past four years teachers’ pay has fallen significantly behind that of other professional occupations.

“We urge Ms Rice and her team to study carefully the evidence on teacher recruitment and retention. She will need to demonstrate that the Review Body is capable of making sound, evidence-based and independent judgements which have the basis for ensuring that all children and young people have the high quality teachers they deserve.”