THE extent to which teachers’ pay has fallen behind other professions is to be looked as part of moves to tackle the country’s school recruitment crisis.

The review comes after concerns from teaching unions that salary levels are no longer attractive to graduates following 15 years of decline.

This year teachers will receive a one per cent pay increase backdated to April, with an additional one per cent applying from January to March.

The Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers also revealed that cuts to supply teachers’ pay, which led to a collapse in numbers, will be reversed.

John Swinney, the Education Secretary, welcomed the current agreement which includes a wider review.

He said: “Having the right number of teachers in schools, with the right skills, is vital to delivering our aims of excellence and equity.

“We will provide an additional £24 million through the local government settlement to make this deal happen.”

Gail Macgregor, from local government umbrella body COSLA, said she was pleased “long and protracted discussions” over pay had reached a positive conclusion.

“Undoubtedly, we will be meeting again shortly to discuss the pay claim for 2018/19, but it would be good to recognise that, for the current year, we have been able to reach a satisfactory position,” she said.

Helen Connor, salaries convener for the Educational Institute of Scotland teaching union, also welcomed the agreement.

She said: “While this pay settlement does not meet our aspiration to restore teachers’ pay to pre-austerity levels, it does represent an uplift that exceeds the current one per cent public sector pay cap.

“We welcome that the cap will be lifted from 2018 onwards in Scotland, and will continue to engage constructively in discussions with the aim of delivering improved salaries for all teachers.”

However, the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (SSTA) said a survey of members showed workload was still a major concern with some staff prepared to strike.

Initial findings of the poll showed 78 per cent were not content with the current increase and 96 per cent believed it would fail to attract more people into teaching

Half of SSTA members said they were prepared to take strike action on the current pay deal with a higher proportion threatening disruption if the 2018 offer was lower than the rate of inflation.

One teacher told the SSTA survey: “Although pay is critical in retaining teachers the never ending workload is pushing many teachers away.

“There needs to be a commitment to focus on the retention of teachers with a significant pay increase instead of looking at new recruits to solve the problem.”

Another said: “They are relying on goodwill and I feel that it is time that our goodwill and patience is recognised. Enough is enough and reluctantly it is time for strike action.”

Seamus Searson, general secretary of the SSTA, said: “The initial findings highlight the lack of recognition of the important work teachers undertake and the unhappiness of the profession.”

Last year, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said the average salary for an unpromoted teacher in the developed world was around £43,000.

Currently, unpromoted teachers in Scotland earn just under £36,000 and the EIS argues pay has fallen more than 16 per cent behind its 2003 value.

The issue of a significant increase for teachers has come to the fore after the Scottish Government agreed a new £40,000 salary level for college lecturers.