Pay gap between teaching and other professions harming education

The entitlement of children to a high-quality education is at risk because of the widening pay gap between teaching and other professions, according to research commissioned by the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union.

The report by Incomes Data Services (IDS) on teacher salaries at different career points show that since 2010 the pay gap between teaching and other professions has widened.

The analysis by IDS shows that the 2013 average starting salary for graduates among major recruiters was nearly 20% higher than the national M1 starting point for a qualified teacher.

The lead over teachers in terms of average salary after three years is 44%. After five years the graduate lead on average salaries is 73%.

The disturbing figures, which come on top of changes by the Coalition Government to pay progression, mean teaching is becoming a less attractive profession and is compounding the recruitment and retention crisis among the workforce.

Even fewer graduates of shortage STEM subjects such as maths, chemistry and physics are likely to be recruited to teach those subjects as a result of the pay gap.

Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary said: “Teaching has moved from being the number one choice for graduates in 2010 to one now where graduates are increasingly looking to other higher paid professions.

“There is already a recruitment and retention crisis in the Education Service. The stark differences in graduate pay highlighted in our research will unfortunately mean this crisis will worsen.

“Children and young people are entitled to be taught by qualified teachers who are recognised and rewarded as highly-skilled professionals.

“The widening pay gap between teaching and other graduate professions is putting children’s entitlement to a high-quality education at risk.”

Notes to Editors

The report uses full-time basic weekly earnings data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and compares teachers’ salaries with those in areas of science, research, engineering and technology, health, legal, business, and administrative professions.

The NASUWT submitted the research as part of its evidence to the School Teachers’ Review Body.