Jeremy Miles MS, Minister for Education and Welsh Language
I am pleased to announce today there will be an uplift of pay to reward our highly skilled and hardworking teachers in Wales.
I announced on the 11th June that subject to consultation with key stakeholders I agreed in principle to accept all of the Independent Welsh Pay Review Body’s recommendations for 2021/22 including:
- Introducing a pay award from 1 September 2021 to provide for a 1.75% uplift to all pay scales and allowances
- Clarification and/or a review of policy in relation to certain existing terms and conditions.
I have now considered the responses to that consultation and can confirm that nothing new has emerged that warrants any significant reconsideration of the proposed pay award for teachers for 2021/22.
Consequently, I will shortly make the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions (Wales) Order 2021 which gives effect to the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions (Wales) Document 2021.
The pay award will be backdated to 1 September 2021.
It is the third year, since the devolution of powers over teachers’ pay and conditions, where we have been able to introduce changes to improve pay and conditions for teachers in Wales. I welcome the IWPRB’s contribution to this and I thank the members for their work.
I accept all twelve recommendations from the IWPRB, including an uplift to Teachers’ Pay of 1.75% to all pay scales and allowances, and I welcome the opportunity to work together with stakeholders on a comprehensive review of the structure of teachers’ and leaders’ pay and conditions. This will provide us with further opportunities to develop a more distinct national system here in Wales that not only improves and enhances the system but is also fairer and more transparent for all teachers.
Given the UK Government’s decision to freeze public sector pay, the Welsh Government did not receive any additional funding through the Barnett formula to provide for public sector wide pay awards in 2021-22, with the exception of the NHS and those on the lowest wages.
This is a decision of the UK Government’s making but has a direct consequence for Wales. It was intended that local authorities would meet any additional costs arising from this pay award from the increase in funding allocated to local authorities from the Welsh Government via the Revenue Support Grant, combined with provision from local authorities’ own revenue raising powers. Following discussions with local authority representatives on ongoing and exceptional budget pressures as a result of the pandemic this financial year, I can confirm that, in addition to the funding already provided, we will provide a further £6.4m towards supporting the cost of the pay award in schools and sixth forms this financial year.
In announcing this Teachers’ Pay award, I recognise that negotiations between Further Education colleges and unions are ongoing. The Welsh Government has a long-standing commitment to pay parity between teachers in school and lecturers in Further Education. Therefore, in addition to the funding already provided to the Further Education sector, we will also provide a further £1.5m towards supporting the cost of the pay award in Further Education Institutions this financial year.
Today’s announcement shows the benefit of the Welsh Government gaining responsibility for these powers when combined with the positive approach of working in collaboration with all stakeholders. In setting teachers’ pay for the third time, we have continued to diverge from the proposals in England by awarding teachers in Wales higher pay and introducing some key changes requested by the profession. Moving forward, the longer term research and review of teachers’ pay and conditions in Wales will also help to promote teaching as a profession of choice for graduates and career changers.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.