Commenting on the publication of the OECD’s Education at a Glance report, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The OECD highlights important issues for the education landscape in the UK, particularly with regard to pay, educational outcomes and the treatment of women teachers and older teachers.

“The deep cuts to pay as a result of the Government’s policy of public sector pay restraint in operation since 2010 have taken a bitter toll on the profession as confirmed in this report, which points out that teachers’ salaries in England have declined by 10%. Teachers have faced pay freezes and pay caps, year-on-year pay cuts and the situation is likely to get worse.

“In the midst of one of the worst recruitment and retention crises the profession has ever seen, the report confirms that the UK has seen the largest decline in the proportion of teachers over 50. Many are facing both discrimination in the workplace and the increasing difficulty to access early retirement.

“The NASUWT has continued to highlight and campaign against this disturbing trend, representing members who have much to offer but are being forced out of the profession. It is simply unacceptable to see so many older teachers being forced out of the profession.

“The report highlights the gender pay gap in the profession and in England this is widening, with discrimination and equality rife. This pay gap can only be worsened by the Government’s obsession with de-regulation and its drive to give more freedoms, flexibilities and discretions to schools over teachers’ pay, creating a pay system akin to the Wild West.

“The OECD report highlights that strong and high-quality education systems are built on foundations of valuing, supporting and investing in the teaching workforce.”

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