‘Tax on teaching’ claims over new standards body


A Welsh education union fears the launch of a new professional standards body will herald a new “tax on teaching”.

The General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) is to be transformed into the Education Workforce Council (EWC) next year. All teachers currently registered with the GTCW will be transferred to the EWC.

The fee for membership has not been set but there are concerns that it could be as high as £78. 

A survey by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) found that teachers were opposed to a hike in membership fees and were sceptical of the benefits of the new body.

Responding to the survey, one unnamed secondary teacher wrote of the fee: “This is a tax on Welsh teachers. What do we get for it? They do not give anything back to the workforce. There is no benefit for individuals. Just another layer of bureaucracy sucking up money. What a waste.”

The Welsh government is currently undertaking a series of consultations including ones on the fee and a proposed Code of Conduct.

From April next year, further education teachers will require to register with the new body. From 2016 support staff in schools and colleges will be required to do the same.

However, almost half of further education lecturers (43 per cent) surveyed by ATL were unaware that they would be required to register with the new body. 

More than half (52 per cent) of members thought any fee should reflect full-time and part-time working status. And nearly half (43 per cent) thought any fee should reflect actual pay.

The vast majority (73 per cent) wants to see the National Assembly retain its veto over any proposed fee increase by the new body.

Dr Philip Dixon, director of ATL Cymru, said: “It is very disturbing that with less than six months to go barely half of further education teachers know that they will be required to register with the Education Workforce Council, and that their pay packets will be raided to pay for this new body. Yet again the government’s communication strategy is failing to reach the frontline.

“But even more surprising was the depth of antipathy that already exists towards the new body and scepticism about its worth, especially as ATL has historically been one of the GTCW’s keener supporters. 

“Teachers and lecturers bitterly resent the fee, which they see as ‘a tax on teaching’, and want to know what they are getting for their money. As financial budgets tighten, and given the tiny increases in teachers’ pay over the last few years, the EWC will have to prove that it is adding value to education in Wales and is not just an expensive luxury which we can ill afford.”



Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
Claim Free Subscription