The Department for Education has just launched an advert
to encourage teacher recruitment. It shows young teachers being inspirational and describing ways in which teachers make a difference. It ends with a claim that ‘great teachers’ can earn up to £65k a year.
The claim was met with snorts of derision on Twitter. And Martin Powell-Davies, an executive member of the NUT teaching union, has lodged a formal complaint
with the Advertising Standards Authority pointing out that £65k is only available to teachers at the top of the leading practitioners' pay range in Inner London.
The DfE stood by the advert. A spokesperson told TES
‘hundreds’ of teachers earned this amount.
But there are 454,900 full-time equivalent (FTE) teachers in state-funded schools in England (November 2014 figures
). The 'hundreds', then, are a tiny proportion of the workforce.
The average salary for all teachers remained unchanged between 2013 and 2014 according to Government data
. This also revealed the average salary for all teachers (full and part-time classroom including
leadership group teachers) in service in November 2014 was £37,400.
Laura McInerney, Schools Week editor, tweeted that the ASA had censured a similar advert in 2008. She linked to a Telegraph
article which described how claims made by the Training and Development Agency for Schools had misled viewers.The DfE advert doesn’t make it clear that teachers would have to be a leadership group teacher to earn up to £65k. It says £65k is available to a ‘great teacher’. This implies any teacher earning less than this isn’t a great teacher.
That implication will have seriously annoyed 454,000+ teachers whose earnings, according to the advert, reflect their status as 'not great teachers'.
But if asked what they ‘make’, then this video
from Taylor Mali, Teaching Channel, will give teachers their answer.CORRECTION
30 October 12.15. The article originally said, '£65k is only available to teachers at the top of the leadership group pay range'. This was incorrect. It should have read 'only available to teachers at the top of the leading practitioners' pay range in Inner London.' Teacher pay scales are here
. I have emphasised this in bold to make it clear. Thanks to Barry Wise for pointing this out.UPDATE
20 November. Schools Week
reports the ASA is to launch a formal investigation into the advertisement.