Independent school staff face pay freeze despite fees hike


More than 40 per cent of independent school teachers have not received a pay increase this year despite many schools increasing their fees.

A survey of 1,548 independent school teaching staff by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) found that almost half (48.6 per cent) reported an increase in their school’s fees.

Only 3.9 per cent of the teachers said fees had not increased and only 0.3 per cent said they had fallen in their school. The remainder, 47.2 per cent, was unaware of their school’s fees situation.

Despite this, 43 per cent of the teachers said they had not been given a pay rise this year, while another 10 per cent were only getting between a zero and one per cent pay rise. Just under four in 10 (37.2 per cent) are getting between one and two per cent.

A teacher in a West Sussex senior school told the survey: “In the last five years fees have increased by 17 per cent but my salary has only increased by seven per cent.”

Another teacher told researchers: “Pay freeze despite opening of new building and fee increases of seven and four per cent in the past two years.”

A teacher in a Cheshire school added: “We are enduring a 10 per cent pay cut for the second year running. Classes are quite large; we are accepting less able children into school – much wider abilities in classes.”

Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the ATL, said: “We all know that we are in tough economic times, and teachers are highly realistic about what their schools can afford in the way of a pay increase, but they must not use the state of the economy to exploit their staff.

“Despite the recession, many independent schools are in rude health and growing with higher numbers of pupils,” she continued.

“Where schools are thriving it is primarily due to their staff, so it is only right and proper that these staff share in the school’s success and are rewarded properly for the dedicated work they put in. We call on all independent schools to reward their staff fairly.”


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