EMPLOYMENT chiefs at Herefordshire Council raised concerns over the financial pressures on schools as they recommended a 2.75% pay increase for all teachers.

The council’s employment panel also agreed to call on the UK Government to actually pay for the salary rises it recommends.

Councillors supported the 2.75% pay and allowances increases which takes effect from September 1, 2019, subject to approval by Parliament.

The increase is for school leaders and teachers at Herefordshire Council schools on all scale points within all pay ranges.

Councillor David Hitchiner said: “The 2.75% is made up of one percent which is in the budget. So it is already allowed for.

“The government are putting in 0.75% so there is a one per cent gap which the schools unfortunately have to find.

“Presumably, the schools are going to have to find in their budget the extra one per cent?”

Julie Davies, HR services manager, confirmed there was a shortfall as a decision was taken in Herefordshire to recommend a one per cent increase.

“Headteachers were of a view that although it would mean that budgets would be tight, and they would have to be careful on what they spent in other areas, it was important to maintain equity across the teaching population,” she said.

Coun Liz Harvey recommended writing to the Department for Education calling for the recommended pay rise to actually be funded by central government.

“I note there are a number of comments from headteachers who are saying how difficult this is from a budgeting point of view,” she said.

“If we are going to support the recommendation can we also agree that we make such a representation to the DfE to really reinforce the point.

“I’m aware as a school governor there are really huge pressures on school budgets where even ordinary materials in schools like books are now being weighed against costs of teaching staff and other things that need to be done to keep the school going.”