LABOUR is pledging to prevent academies paying teaching assistants “poverty wages” while chief executives take home six-figure salaries reports The Independent.
Academies are able to set their own pay scales – but shadow education secretary Angela Rayner has said that Labour would apply national terms and conditions to all schools to regulate salaries.
Speaking to the annual conference of the GMB union, Ms Rayner pledged to end the “scandal” of teaching assistants and other support staff in academy schools on the minimum wage.
According to the ONS, teaching assistants earned just £12,134 on average in 2017. Meanwhile, a recent report found over 100 academy trustees were paid more than £150,000 in 2015-16.
Ms Rayner said: “The Labour Party will bring back genuine national pay in education. Not just for the teachers, but for other educators too.
“We will reinstate the School Support Staff Negotiating Body. And we will go further.
“National pay settlements will apply to every school that is funded through our National Education Service. There will be no more race to the bottom in our schools, and we will end the scandal of teaching assistants on the minimum wage.”
Karen Leonard, GMB national officer for schools, said: “GMB members in academy schools are often paid poverty wages while bosses pocket £150,000 salaries.
”We welcome this much needed pledge from Labour to stop the kind of academy penny-pinching which sees our dedicated and professional school support staff struggling to get by.
“Ultimately, it’s our children who will suffer if school staff aren’t paid properly.”