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15 January 2013
Commenting on the Secretary of State's announcement that he is to proceed with the implementation of the School Teachers' Review Body recommendations on pay flexibilities for teachers in England and Wales, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers' union, said:
"This announcement was entirely predictable. The Secretary of State never intended to do anything other than accept these recommendations.
"The consultation on the recommendations has been nothing but a sham.
"It is only six working days since detailed responses were submitted to the Department for Education (DfE), a timescale which in itself indicates there can have been no attempt to give the important points made serious consideration.
"From now on the only pay existing teachers can expect is the salary they are on. New entrants to the profession can aspire no higher than their starting salary.
"At a time of severe economic austerity and where there is already stark evidence that schools are using existing pay flexibilities to deny teachers pay progression however well they perform, the claim that these recommendations will result in good teachers being paid more is risible.
"Parents and the public are being shamefully misled.
"Teachers are already leaving the profession in droves and the number of entrants to teacher training had already plummeted even before this latest announcement.
"Teacher morale is already at an all-time low.
"The Secretary of State will no doubt continue the reckless pursuit of his deeply flawed ideological agenda, but the casualties of this course of action will not just be teachers.
"The future of children and young people is being sacrificed as their entitlement to be taught by qualified teachers, recognised and rewarded as highly skilled professionals, is stripped away.
"With every announcement by this Secretary of State, the anger and resentment of teachers grows deeper.
"Every day, resistance across the profession grows, as demonstrated by the determination with which thousands of teachers are following the NASUWT/NUT industrial action short of strike action.
"Arrogant disregard for the workforce and a failure to respect and recognise its central importance to high quality service delivery will be this Government's undoing."