From education to employment

School leaders vote overwhelmingly to reject government’s ‘inadequate and unaffordable’ pay offer

students sat in classroom

School leaders in England have voted overwhelmingly to reject the offer put forward by the government on teacher pay.

School leaders’ union NAHT closed its online consultative ballot at 5pm on Tuesday 4th April, a week after it opened.

64% of its eligible membership responded, with 90% voting to reject the offer.

92% said the offer was unaffordable, saying they did not have the headroom in their budget to be able to afford the proposed pay offer for the next academic year (2023/24).

Paul Whiteman, NAHT general secretary, said:

“This is a conclusive response to the government’s offer. It has been judged inadequate and unaffordable.

“Our members do not recognise the government’s calculations on the affordability of the offer, with the vast majority of head teachers and school business leaders saying they could not pay the rise from their existing budgets.

“This is a very clear stumbling block and one the government must listen to and solve if we hope to bring this dispute to an end.”

NAHT also asked its members whether, should the offer be rejected, they would be prepared to vote for and take industrial action, up to and including strike action. 78% responded that they would be.

NAHT’s National Executive will now meet to discuss next steps, including a formal ballot on industrial action.

Mr Whiteman continued: “The government must now come back to the table and solve this dispute. To do otherwise would be to stick two fingers up to a dedicated profession whilst at the same time turning their backs on children.

“The response from the members of all the education unions has been overwhelming – the government can be in no doubt of the strength of feeling of the education profession or their determination to stand up for themselves and for their pupils. We are calling on the government to match that ambition and invest seriously in the future of education in this country.”

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