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Complaint about ‘misleading’ £65k salary claim in teacher recruitment advert

A claim in a government recruitment advert that teachers can earn up to £65,000 a year has prompted a complaint to the ASA

A claim in a government recruitment advert that teachers can earn up to £65,000 a year has prompted a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority saying the amount is ‘misleading’.

At least one complaint about the Department for Education’s advert has been submitted, the watchdog confirmed. The advert, launched online, will be shown during prime time TV programmes in the coming weeks.

The complaint, submitted by National Union of Teachers’ executive member Martin Powell-Davies, relates to part of an advert which reads “Up to £65k as a great teacher”, as he claims the advert was “deliberately misleading” because such a “small proportion” of teachers actually earned the full rate.

Powell-Davies told Schools Week: “The DfE is clearly deliberately ignoring the real issue, that we are facing a growing crisis of teacher recruitment and morale.

“Instead they have spent millions of pounds on an advert which is clearly deliberately misleading, because the proportion of teachers who actually earn £65,000 a year is absolutely miniscule.”

Teachers can earn up to £65,000 as a leading practitioner, however only 0.6% of teachers are paid on that scale, with salaries starting at £35,000 – the complaint to the ASA reads.

A spokesperson for the ASA said: “If we consider that the complainant has raised a valid point and that the ad could potentially break the rules, we will contact the advertiser and ask for their comments. An advertiser may, at that stage, be able to provide evidence to immediately back up its claim and satisfy us that the rules haven’t been broken.

“In other instances, the advertiser may agree to amend or withdraw its ad without the need for a formal investigation. In those instances we consider the matter ‘informally resolved’ and close the case.”

A DfE spokesperson said: “Teachers have the potential to earn up to £65k and hundreds do – that excludes those in leadership roles who can earn more.

“Teachers play a vital role in raising standards and ensuring all pupils can reach their full potential. That is why we have given all heads much greater flexibility to set staff pay and reward their best teachers with a pay rise.”

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