Kirsty Williams AM, Minister for Education

First published:
22 July 2019
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I am pleased to publish today the first report of the new Independent Welsh Pay Review Body (IWPRB), covering recommendations for amendments to teachers’ pay and conditions from September 2019.

I welcome the report and the work of the new IWPRB, particularly given the very short timescales involved. They have produced a report, in less than four months, which analyses evidence, offers constructive challenge and looks beyond immediate issues. I am grateful to the Chair and Members for their work.

The IWPRB’s main recommendation is that all statutory pay ranges and allowances be increased by 2.4% and the statutory minimum of the teacher main pay range (M1) be increased by 5%.

However, I remain committed to the principle of ‘no detriment’ as we use our devolved responsibilities for the first time. I am therefore consulting on the basis of uprating pay for teachers in Wales by 2.75%. I do so whilst recognising that this goes beyond the recommendation of the IWPRB.

I am determined that we continue, and re-double our efforts, to promote teaching as a profession of choice for graduates and career changers. I am therefore proposing to accept the IWPRB recommendation to uplift the minimum pay point on the teachers’ pay scale (M1) by 5%. I believe this will have a positive effect on ensuring we continue to attract high quality teachers to the profession in Wales alongside our reforms to professional learning, the curriculum and teacher training.

I am also keenly aware that the pressures on funding for public services arising from the last decade of public spending constraint mean that schools and local authorities will rightly ask how the increase is to be afforded, as well as recognising the value and importance of our teaching workforce. The UK government has not yet provided the Welsh Government with any forward indications for its budget. As part of the consultation I am committed to discussing with local government leaders the implications of this proposed way forward.

In addition to the eight recommendations, the IWPRB makes a series of ‘further observations’ to be taken forward by Welsh Government and key partners. These will be discussed with the IWPRB in full over the coming weeks, as part of the feedback process for Year 1.

The IWPRB also makes a number of recommendations relating to employers’ interpretation and implementation of teachers’ pay in Wales.

It is my view that some of these recommendations, whilst giving us a useful basis for further work, need more detailed examination and I am therefore not in position to accept these at this time. I will be including these matters in future remits to the IWPRB. My detailed response to each of the recommendations in the Report is at Annex A.

I will now be inviting written comments from key stakeholders on: the IWPRB’s report, my response to the IWPRB key recommendations to Welsh Ministers and on the enhanced proposed increases to teachers’ pay.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.