Staff at hard-pressed private schools facing pay squeeze

Private schools are continuing to feel the effects of the economic crisis, with almost half slashing spending and many raising fees, a poll suggests.

The survey of private school teachers also reveals that, while few are expecting their schools to make redundancies in the year head, staff are facing pay freezes.

Nearly half of the almost 1,500 people questioned by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) said they expect to see a reduction in spending in their school this academic year.

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Just under one in four said they did not expect to see a cut, while almost a third did not know. At the same time, more than a quarter of teachers questioned said their schools had increased fees by two per cent or more, with one in 10 saying they had risen by more than four per cent. Almost two-thirds said they are not expecting their school to make redundancies this year. But more than a third said they did not get a cost of living pay rise in 2011.

A further 18.9 per cent said they had been given a rise of no more than one per cent. One Hertfordshire teacher told researchers: “I do not expect a pay rise for the next two or three years.”

Around a third of teachers said their school now has more pupils compared with the same point last year.