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The impact of changes to teachers’ pay on equality in schools in England

This project is concerned with the impact of changes to teachers' pay on equality in schools in England. On the recommendation of the Teachers' Pay Review Body, the Department for Education changed the system of pay and reward for school teachers in England from the autumn of 2013. The new system linked pay and career progression much more closely to satisfactory performance. The particular interest of the NASUWT is on whether 'protected groups' have experienced disadvantage as a consequence of this new system. The prtected groups of interest were women, disabled teachers, younger and older teachers and ethnic minorities.

The project had four strands:

  • A review of the evidence on systems which link pay to performance and the impact of these on the relative pay of teachers from minority groups;
  • Analysis of data on teachers' pay from national statistical data sources and the DfE School Workforce Surveys;
  • Interviews and focus groups with techers with protected characteristics;
  • a longitudinal web survey of NASUWT members which asked about their experience of the pay and reward system and their experience of unfair treatment in their jobs. This asked both quantitative questions and open-ended text questions enabling teachers to describe their experience in more detail.

The research found evidence of disadvantage for women and teachers from some ethnic minority groups. Three reports drawing together the findings from this research were submitted to the NASUWT in February 2016. Together, these form the 'baseline study' for this project. We are in negotiation with the union to take the project forward to provide a longitudinal perspective on the patterns identified.

Click on the links here for the reports on the literature review, quantitative analysis and qualitative research and longitudinal survey. The report was published by NASUWT in May 2017: The impact of changes to teachers' pay on equality in schools in England.

Project Team

David Owen (Principal Investigator)
Gaby Atfield

Sally-Anne Barnes
Clare Lyonette

Project Duration

September 2014 - Februrary 2016

Project Funder


NASUWT web page about the project