ATL comment on pay for education staff and pupil numbers

Press release
29 June 2017 by ATL Media Office
Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), commented today ahead of the vote on an amendment to the Queen’s Speech on lifting the public sector pay cap.

She said: “We urge the Government to think seriously about what’s best for children and vote today to end the public sector pay cap. If teachers’ and support staff pay, which has fallen in real terms since 2010, continues to be capped at 1% it is hard to see how the Government can ensure there are enough staff to teach and support the growing number of pupils.

“It is unsurprising that today’s pupil statistics show that there has been a rise in the number of secondary pupils in classes of over 30, when there are 2,700 fewer secondary teachers but 30,000 more secondary pupils. And this situation is likely to get worse with rising pupil numbers and real term cuts to school funding.

“Larger classes put added pressure on the staff for whom it creates a greater workload, making them more likely to think twice about staying in teaching, and means they have less time to spend with each child. Unless the Government acts soon the teacher shortage crisis will intensify and even more children will be in classes of more than 30 pupils.”

ENDS

Note to editors:

  • The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing approximately 170,000 teachers, headteachers, lecturers and support staff in maintained and independent nurseries, schools, sixth form, further and higher education colleges and universities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • ATL exists to help members, as their careers develop, through first rate research, advice, information and legal advice, and to work with government and employers to defend its members’ pay, conditions and career development.
  • ATL is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). ATL is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.
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