Starting salaries for teachers in England could rise by up to £6,000 under new government plans.
The Department for Education said the move would make new teachers’ salaries – set to rise to £30,000 by 2022-23 – “among the most competitive” in the graduate labour market.
Unions say the increase is long overdue, and necessary, to attract enough graduates into the profession.
The proposal is the latest education announcement by the government.
On Friday, a multi-billion pound cash boost was promised for schools in England over the next three years, while Chancellor Sajid Javid also pledged to invest an extra £400m into further education for 16 to 19-year-olds.
The minimum salary for teachers in England and Wales, excluding London, is currently £23,720, according to the government’s Get Into Teaching website.
The minimum for inner London is £29,664.
Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said the proposed increase to teachers’ starting salaries was “fundamentally necessary” if the government was going to get enough graduates to choose teaching.
She said: “Teacher training targets have been missed for six years in a row, and this announcement may go some way to making teaching more attractive.”
However, she said it did not address the issue of retaining experienced teachers, adding that almost half of teachers in England leave the profession within 10 years.
The DfE said the investment announced by the prime minister last week would ensure that “pay can be increased for all teachers”.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson will set out his proposal to increase teachers’ starting salaries in a letter to the School Teachers’ Review Body, asking for their recommendations.
He said: “I want the best talent to be drawn to the teaching profession and for schools to compete with biggest employers in the labour market and recruit the brightest and the best into teaching.”