This article by Will Hazell in the TES 25th January 2018

Deadline for submission of evidence to pay review body moved back because the government was unable to meet it

Fears have been raised of a delay to the 2018 teacher pay award because the government has not been able to submit its evidence to the pay review body on time, Tes can reveal.

The original deadline for submissions to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) was moved back because the Department for Education was unable to meet it.

The STRB makes recommendations to the government on the annual pay award for teachers. To help shape its recommendations, the body receives evidence from various parties, including teacher unions, organisations representing school governing bodies and local authorities. It also receives evidence from the DfE itself.

The deadline for the submission of evidence to the STRB was originally 5pm today. However, a spokesman for the body confirmed to Tes that the DfE informed the secretary of the STRB on Monday that “the department was going to be unable to meet that deadline”.

A union source suggested to Tes that the delay could result in “knock-on implications for the rest of the [STRB’s] timetable” for the next teacher deal.

This year’s teacher pay award is keenly anticipated because it is the first following the government’s lifting of the 1 per cent public sector cap, leading to hopes of a bigger rise for teachers.

The STRB spokesman said that “in the interests of the review body treating everyone equally”, the deadline for all submissions would be moved to “the date on which the department will submit its evidence”.

He said the review body’s secretary was “still awaiting the department’s advice about when that will be”.

The setback adds to the delay to the teacher pay award process flagged up by the Treasury in the autumn. In September, the then chief secretary to the Treasury, Elizabeth Truss, wrote to the STRB to warn it that it would receive information from the government later than usual because of the move to an autumn Budget.

The letter stated: “The process will…run to a later timeline this year: a letter will follow this in due course from relevant secretaries of state and written evidence will likely be received in December rather than September as is usual for most pay review body workforces.”

Ms Truss added: “I realise that the change in timing will impact on when the government can expect to receive your report and, as a consequence, on when individuals will receive their pay award.”

The DfE has been contacted for comment.

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