Wales

Extra £23.5m for teachers' pay in Wales announced

A stock image - showing a blackboard with lots of equations in the background. In the foreground a female hand puts a coin into a piggy bank that is standing on top of a pile of three books. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Education has been devolved in Wales since 1999 but not the power to set rates of pay

The UK Government has said it will give Wales an extra £23.5m towards pay rises for teachers.

The salary boost was originally announced in July, but funding details were not given until now.

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns confirmed teachers will receive £8.7m in 2018/19 and £14.8m in 2019/20.

The Welsh Government, which is soon to gain powers over pay, welcomed the news.

Mr Cairns said: "I hope this will go some way in providing the Welsh Government with the additional levers to be able to attract and retain the teachers Wales needs to educate its young people."

The Welsh Government will take responsibility for deciding pay from next month and will set future pay and conditions for academic years from 2019/20 onwards.

A Welsh Government spokeswoman said: "Both the finance secretary and education secretary had written over the summer making the case that July's announcement must be fully funded.

"We are therefore pleased the UK Government has recognised its responsibility and funded this much-needed pay rise.

"We will now consider how this funding will impact on our outline draft budget which will be published on 2 October."


Analysis

By Bethan Lewis, BBC Wales education correspondent

Schools, councils and Welsh Ministers started this term unclear about how much they would have to pay towards what was otherwise a welcome increase to teachers' pay.

The pressure on education budgets is well documented and there were serious concerns about what it could mean for schools.

The situation arose because the UK government's Department for Education said it would fund most of the increase in England from its own budget - and that didn't trigger extra cash for Wales.

But a similar situation is unlikely in future, because powers over teachers' pay and conditions are being devolved.

Once an already delayed process to decide this year's pay is finalised - the focus will shift to progress with setting up a system for Welsh Ministers to set pay levels in future.

More on this story