Little for Scottish education or Scotland's teachers in Scottish budget

Created on: 16 Dec 2022 | Last modified: 20 Apr 2023

Commenting following the Scottish Budget statement, EIS General Secretary Andrea Bradley said, "There is little to get excited about for Scottish Education in today's budget.

"While there may be a relatively small amount of additional money for local authorities, it is far from clear how much of this will be spent on Education which this week’s School Census data shows, is crying out for additional funding. The Scottish Government had the opportunity to re-affirm its commitment to Scottish Education today, but failed to do so. Indeed, there was scant mention of Education at all in the budget statement."

Ms Bradley added, "The Deputy First Minister also failed to deliver any positive news on pay for Scotland’s hard-working teachers. Scotland’s teachers currently remain in dispute over the series of inadequate, sub-inflationary pay offers that have been made by the Scottish Government and COSLA this year. 

"At a time when inflation is at around 11% on the CPI measure and 14% on the RPI measure, the latest offer to teachers had an average value of 5.07%. This represents a deep real-terms pay cut for teachers, something that the Scottish Government has done nothing to address today."

On tax changes, Ms Bradley said, "Whilst the EIS is in favour of progressive taxation as a means of funding public services, we have no specific policy on income tax, or rates of taxation at each tax band. The majority of Scotland’s teachers are on the main-grade scale, with the level of salary that is taxed at no higher than the intermediate rate of 21%.

"Headteachers, deputes, many principal teachers and most associated professionals pay higher rate tax. A further number of promoted teachers may be impacted by the increase in the higher rate in April 2023. This has already been factored into our negotiating position and communications to members."

Ms Bradley added, “Scotland’s teachers continue to be paid less on average than their experienced counterparts in other countries within the OECD, and their pay has fallen by at least 20% in real-terms since 2008.

"A poll in a Scottish newspaper indicated overwhelming public support for the current campaign of strike action in pursuit of an improved pay settlement for all of Scotland’s teachers. It is deeply regrettable that the Scottish Government has not taken account of this today in the budget statement but the EIS will continue to fight for fair pay for the teaching profession as a key component of proper funding of Education overall."