School Improvement

Teachers pay - A landmark victory

By Rachel Foster on 27 May 2017


Teachers have won a ‘landmark victory’ after having too much pay deducted from their annual salaries as a result of taking industrial action.

The Supreme Court ruled this week on Wednesday 24 May, in relation to industrial action which occurred in 2011 at King Edward VI College in Stourbridge, vindicating NASUWT’s claim that the formula used to make the pay deductions for the strike action was wrong. NASUWT is the largest teachers’ union in the UK.

After the teachers were deducted 1/260th of their pay, NASUWT issued a claim to the County Court in 2013. It has taken this long to progress the case through the court system after several findings in favour of the employer. NASUWT’s successful appeal to the Supreme Court was heard in February 2017 and the judgement handed down on 24 May 2017. Time and time again employers have sought to use the 1/260th deduction instead of the deduction of 1/365th that NASUWT has always maintained was the correct deduction.

The union’s general secretary Chris Keates said, “The Supreme Court ruling is a landmark victory for teachers’ rights across the UK…..NASUWT has pursued this issue doggedly since 2011. While others gave up, we continued to fight this important principle, not only for the teachers at King Edward VI College in Stourbridge, but also for all those in sixth form colleges….We will now be seeking reimbursement of the monies unlawfully deducted from our members.”

Graham Baird, director of HR services for the Sixth Form Colleges Association, said, “After several years of uncertainty, we welcome the clarity provided by the Supreme Court’s ruling and fully accept the decision.”

The ruling brings sixth form teachers’ rights up to date with staff in primary and secondary education, and means any college staff taking part in future industrial action must be paid accordingly. It is believed that similar cases may surface against schools and colleges as a result.

If you want further advice and guidance on how industrial action can affect your educational establishment, contact our HR experts, or call 0844 967 1112.



Rachel is the HR Director at One Education, and is a qualified employment solicitor and CIPD HR professional. She has worked for many years in the education sector both as a lawyer and as a senior HR advisor.

Please get in touch or visit this page for more information.

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