News story

Teachers’ pay: changes since September 2013

Details of changes to teachers' pay which came into force in September 2013.

New arrangements for teachers’ pay came into force in September 2013 and are included in the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) 2013. We have also published departmental advice on ‘Reviewing and revising your school’s approach to teachers’ pay’ to help schools and governors incorporate these changes into their own pay policies.

The main changes are:

  • all pay progression is now linked to performance and not length of service
  • schools can increase individual teachers’ pay at different rates based on their performance
  • there are new criteria for progression from the main to the upper pay range instead of the threshold test
  • ending the advanced skills teachers (AST) and excellent teachers (ET) designations
  • introducing a pay range for leading practitioners who will improve teaching skills across the profession
  • more freedom for schools to set the starting salaries of teachers new to the school
  • schools no longer have to match a teacher’s existing salary when recruiting staff
  • a new fixed-term teaching and learning allowance (TLR3)

Impact on schools

By September 2013 schools should have reviewed and revised their pay and appraisal policies to:

  • set out how pay progression will be linked to a teacher’s performance
  • ensure that everyone involved in the process understands why and how pay decisions are made
  • remove any reference to annual increments

Our model pay policy will help schools to review and revise their pay policy.

Schools can also refer to the appraisal regulations (The Education (School Teachers’ Appraisal) (England) Regulations 2012 or The School Teacher Appraisal (Wales) Regulations 2011) and the department’s model appraisal policy to rework their appraisal policy.

Governing bodies need to ensure that the appraisal and pay arrangements are transparent and appropriate and hold headteachers to account. To help governors carry out their role, the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) is offering training for around 2,500 governors between January and March 2014.

Maintained schools which do not implement the new system will be in breach of their legal duties. In addition, where schools do not use their staff budget to differentiate between good and poorer performing teachers, this could affect a school’s Ofsted rating for the quality of its leadership and management.

Impact on teachers

The first performance-based pay rises will be paid in September 2014, based on the appraisal cycle that began in September 2013.

It will be up to schools to decide how they link pay progression to appraisal and the criteria that they will employ, but we expect teachers to be judged against a range of criteria and their wider contribution to the work of the school, not purely on exam results.

The changes allow schools to pay teachers in line with their performance rather than every teacher progressing at the same rate. The most successful teachers will be able to progress faster.

Schools can also develop their own criteria for deciding when a qualified teacher deserves to move to the upper pay range. The new criteria for accessing the upper pay range are set out in the revised STPCD.

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