To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 15 September 2021 to Question 44466 on Schools and Pay, what assessment his Department has made of the potential impact of public sector pay freezes for 2021-22 on the (a) public sector's ability to recruit and retain the workers it needs to deliver education and (b) delivery and quality of public services.
The pause to headline pay rises for the majority of public sector workforces this academic year (2021/22) is in order to ensure fairness between public and private sector wage growth. The department will reassess the pay policy ahead of the 2022 pay round, taking into account the wider labour market.
Teaching remains an attractive and fulfilling profession. Recent pay awards have helped to increase the competitiveness of teacher pay in the wider labour market. The average pay award for teachers was 2.4% in the 2018/19 academic year, 2.75% in 2019/20, and 3.1% in 2020/21, meaning that the cumulative average pay award for teachers is 8.5% since 2018/19.
The department understands that high-performing teachers drive up pupil attainment and we want schools to be able to reward the best teachers and attract the best graduates into the profession. As a result of the flexible performance-based pay system the department has introduced, schools are able to choose to give teachers or head teachers a higher pay rise where this is appropriate to their particular local context and budget.
The department is committed to providing world-class training and development for teachers. In June, over £250 million of additional funding was announced to help provide 500,000 teacher training opportunities so teachers can access world-leading training appropriate for whatever point they are at in their career, from new teachers to head teachers.
In October, we announced a £129 million investment in recruitment incentives for those starting initial teacher training in the 2022/23 academic year, including tax-free bursaries of up to £24,000 in the highest priority subjects.