As a second meeting between the DfE and education unions this week yields "no progress", the National Education Union says it is “willing to enter into negotiations any time, any place” to avert seven days of planned strike action.

An NEU industrial action ballot involving more than 300,000 teachers in England and Wales closed last week and saw more than 90% voting to walk-out in their dispute over pay.

The ball is now in the government’s court, but an initial meeting last week between the Department for Education (DfE) and four education unions including the NEU and a second meeting on Wednesday (January 18) have yielded “no progress” (see later).

The dispute centres on historic real-terms cuts to teachers’ pay which equate to as much as 13% since 2010 (Sibieta, 2023).

The latest pay settlement has proved the final straw for many. Coming in September, it saw the government agreed to pay rises of 8.9% for new teachers falling to 5% for more experienced teachers. However, against the backdrop of soaring inflation, which hit 10.5% in December, and a cost of living crisis, it means most teachers are likely to experience real-terms salary cuts this year (Sibieta, 2023).

Register now, read forever

Thank you for visiting SecEd and reading some of our content for professionals in secondary education. Register now for free to get unlimited access to all content.

What's included:

  • Unlimited access to news, best practice articles and podcast

  • New content and e-bulletins delivered straight to your inbox every Monday and Thursday


Already have an account? Sign in here