The Daily Telegraph

Teachers are not the public-sector workers who most deserve a pay rise


sir – My daughter has not been at school for more than four months.

The evidence points to school-age children being among those least at risk from coronaviru­s. However, children’s charities have seen a vast rise in the numbers making contact during the lockdown, which strongly suggests that their mental health is suffering as a result of not being in school. Meanwhile, the public and independen­t school sector has continued to provide a far higher standard of pupil engagement and education than the state sector.

Most people have got on with things over lockdown – and many have served the public above and beyond the call of duty – so I find it astonishin­g that teachers across the land are to be granted pay rises of between 2.75 and 5.5 per cent (report, July 21).

Stuart Martin

Romsey, Hampshire

sir – Teachers and their unions have disrupted the reopening of schools by putting unreasonab­le objections in place, and senior civil servants have performed miserably during the pandemic when it came to ensuring adequate supplies of personal protective equipment, widespread testing, and other measures.

This is a case of rewarding incompeten­ce.

Anthony Power

Oldham, Lancashire

sir – All public-sector employees placed on furlough should have had their salaries reduced by 20 per cent. Those on £100,000 should have had their pay cut by 25 per cent, and those earning over £250,000, should have taken a cut of 30 per cent.

I am sure this would have galvanised a lot of people into speedier, positive action.

Gordon Cook

Torquay, Devon

sir – Who’d be a teacher?

They are represente­d by unions determined to keep them out of classrooms, and they have been awarded a pay rise insensitiv­ely presented both in terms of timing and in its portrayal as a reward for their work during the pandemic. Of course there is outrage.

Respect for teachers has evaporated since March because their representa­tives and paymasters are so out of touch with both the needs and the mood of the nation.

Dr Mark Betteney

Senior Fellow, School of Teacher Education

University of Greenwich London SE10

sir – Nurses were not included in the inflation-busting pay rises awarded to public-sector workers, as they had been awarded a pay increase, agreed in 2018, more than three years ago.

This huge part of the workforce, neglected by the Government, has seen this country through the crisis and is already preparing for further waves of the virus.

Judith Evans

Liss, Hampshire

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