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academy chain uses freedoms to attract top teachers

21 August 2013

Working at an academy could become an increasingly attractive option for England’s teachers, with one of the country’s biggest academy chains offering a pay rise 0.5% higher than the 1% nationally agreed for maintained schools. United Learning, which employs around 30,000 teachers, has reportedly made the increase to assist its recruitment of the best teachers.

Although maintained schools now have more flexibility when setting teachers’ pay they are still bound by the maximum and minimum levels and nationally agreed increases, meaning an academy could theoretically always offer a more attractive package. Whether the move will be replicated by other institutions remains to be seen, however it does demonstrate that some academies are starting to make the most of their freedoms.

If the strategy’s success ultimately proves to be at the expense of the maintained sector, by giving academies an unfair competitive advantage, it will be interesting to see what steps, if any, the Government takes to level the playing field.

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