Teachers' pay in England and Wales

Report explains what the planned changes to the teachers' pay structure in England and Wales mean for members

The government has announced significant changes to the pay structure for teachers in England and Wales from September 2013. ATL opposed the changes to the new pay structure through our evidence to the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB) and we will continue to work to ensure that the changes are implemented sensitively and are workable.

ATL's evidence to the STRB argued that the government's proposed one per cent salary increase is insufficient and that any increase must be applied to all salaries and allowances. The STRB is not due to make its recommendations on pay to the government until 31 May 2013.


We expect that teachers eligible to progress to the next point on the leadership, main or upper pay scales will do so in September. It looks as though the government has agreed to delay implementation of performance-related progression until 2014.

Teachers moving schools

As recommended by the STRB, teachers' salary points on the main and upper pay scales will no longer automatically carry with them if they move schools from September. ATL robustly argued that it is essential to allow and encourage mobility for teachers moving schools to be paid on the same point at any new school but the government has not listened. Teachers moving school from September will need to ensure that they negotiate their starting salary with their new school before accepting a post.

Teachers will need to make a new application for payment on the upper pay scale at every school. It may not be possible for schools to appoint a new teacher on the upper pay scale as the criteria for moving a teacher onto the upper pay scale require them to have made a 'substantial and sustained' achievement and contribution at the school. ATL is pressing the government to revisit this criteria and to at least allow schools discretion to place post-threshold teachers on the upper pay scale at appointment. 

Teachers currently paid on M6

The government has announced that teachers currently on M6 have until 31 October 2013 to apply to cross the threshold on to the upper pay scale under the existing provisions. For teachers who do not or cannot apply by 31 October, a new procedure for accessing the upper pay scale will apply. This new procedure will allow any classroom teacher to apply. Success will depend on the school being satisfied that the teacher is highly competent in all elements of the Teachers' Standards, and if the teacher's achievement and contribution are substantial and sustained. The government believes that this change will allow schools to move the best teachers on to the upper pay scale earlier.

ASTs and ETs

From September all advanced skills teacher (AST) and excellent teacher (ET) posts will be abolished. Schools will be able to replace them with a leading practitioner post. All ASTs and ETs who are not given leading practitioner (LP) posts should be placed on the upper pay scale and receive a safeguarded sum for the next three years.

If your school decides to create an LP post, existing ASTs or ETs may be appointed to this post. The primary purpose of the LP post is to 'model and lead improvement of teaching skills'. LPs must be an exemplar of teaching skills and take a leadership role in developing, implementing and evaluating policies and practice that contribute to school improvement. Their role may include: coaching or mentoring; sharing material or advising on practice, research or CPD; demonstration lessons; classroom observation; or helping teachers experiencing difficulties. LPs will be paid on a range identical to that of the current AST pay scale.

TLR payments

The government will introduce a third level of TLR payment from September. TLR3 will be awarded to classroom teachers who undertake a fixed-term or time-limited project for the school. TLR3 will be paid at between £500 and £2,500 per annum (pro rata for part-time teachers). Teachers awarded a TLR3 should be told at the outset how long the project and payment will last.

Supply teachers 

The end of the portability of salary points means that directly employed supply teachers will no longer be entitled to receive a salary commensurate with their experience. Schools will be able to pay whatever they wish for each assignment. From September, supply teachers will need to be sure of the salary rate they will be paid before accepting any assignment.

For more information and a series of FAQs on changes to pay, see the latest news page.


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