The Pay and Workload discussions with the Secretary of State for Education for schools in England

NSEAD Trade Union update for members 28 March 2023

What has been offered?

The Government have announced:

  • a non-consolidated £1,000 one-off cash payment for the present school year (2022/23)
  • a 4.3% consolidated pay rise for most teachers for next year (2023/24).


What does this mean?

  • The Government claims the 2023/24 pay award and the £1,000 non-consolidated payment for 2022/23 is fully funded but a significant majority of schools would have to make cuts next year to afford it. Schools will only receive additional funding for the non-consolidated payment. There is no extra money to fund the original pay offer. NSEAD is justifiably concerned that cuts may mean Art/Craft/Design subject areas are disproportionally targeted.
  • This offer is solely for teachers in England and is notably less than teachers in Scotland and Wales have been offered. Teachers in England will be paid at a lower substantive rate for performing an equivalent teaching role.
  • The offer does nothing to address the year-on-year long-term decline in teacher pay and therefore does nothing to solve the problems in teacher recruitment and retention.
  • 4.5% is the average pay offer across all teachers, but every experienced teacher – M6 and above, including all on the leadership spine - will get 4.3%. When inflation is projected to be 8.1%, this is equivalent to another 3.8% real-terms pay cut, leaving many teachers struggling to make ends meet.
  • This compounds the real terms pay cut of 2022/23 when most teachers saw a 5% uplift in wages against the backdrop of double-digit inflation that was in excess of 10%.
  • The non-consolidated £1,000 payment for 2022/23 means this additional money is a one-off payment. That is, your 2022/23 pay packet will see an increase of £1,000, but unlike a pay award which increases your pay by a defined percentage, a one-off payment applies to this year only and does not impact on future years pay awards.


In addition, Gillian Keegan proposed several non-pay measures to support teachers and leaders in schools and a reduction in teacher working time. In fact, this amounts to some minimal adjustments to Ofsted period of notice of inspection, and the establishment of a Joint Taskforce on Workload Reduction. Broad in scope, but without power to enforce their recommendations. As the outcome of any such group would only be ‘guidance’ and not backed by statutory legislation, then this is no offer at all.


In Wales, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language Jeremy Miles put forward an offer for this academic year (2022/23), which will be fully funded by the Welsh government. The offer comprised a 1.5% consolidated award, a 1.5% unconsolidated lump sum, and a 5% pay rise from September 2023.


What is likely to happen?

The Government has made it conditional that NEU, NASUWT, ASCL and NAHT present this offer to their members and that there must be unanimity in their response to accept this offer, or otherwise the pay offer will be withdrawn and will be passed to the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB) for their determination.

The STRB is the ‘independent body’ tasked by government to determine the teacher pay award. The government set the parameters for the STRB to work within and are under no obligation to accept any recommendation they make. In recent years they have routinely accepted the STRB recommendations, but this is because the STRB have recommended either a no pay award increase or 1% in recent years.

It is highly likely that the pay offer will be overwhelmingly rejected.

We anticipate and fully expect that there will be further periods of industrial action affecting maintained schools in England in the coming months. The NEU has publicly stated that ongoing action will not impact on those students taking examinations this summer. NSEAD will write to the NEU setting out the distinct nature of examination assessment, portfolio preparation and moderation in art and design, and ask for assurances that this will be considered. The timeframe required to secure a mandate for strike action means that NSEAD members will not be directly involved in action during this vital examinations period. However, any action by other unions could negatively impact on your students. We will be working to ensure that this is well understood by any union calling their members out on strike.

In Wales, almost three-quarters (73%) of Welsh National Education Union (NEU) member teachers voted to accept the Welsh government’s 3% pay rise offer, ending the ongoing dispute. NASUWT confirmed that they will not be blocking the provision of additional pay to teachers. The dispute with the Welsh Government has therefore been resolved.

NSEAD will continue to engage with government ministers, our sister trade unions and our members to represent your needs and take the course of action best for you and your students.

Read our latest letter to Gillian Keegan here