|Date:||13 March 2017|
|Authors:||Neil Amin-Smith , Ellen Greaves and Luke Sibieta|
During the Great Recession, public sector pay increased relative to that of private sector workers. The gap in pay between public and private sector workers has since fallen back to pre-crisis levels as the pay and pensions of public sector workers have been squeezed since 2010. Nevertheless, in new work published today, IFS researchers find little change in the educational achievement of new graduate entrants to teaching and health occupations over the last parliament.
In the new report, funded and published by the Office of Manpower Economics, we use the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education from 2006 through to 2014 (a survey of all higher education leavers in the UK each year) linked to students’ A-level or equivalent results. This allows us to look in detail at the educational achievement of graduates joining major public sector occupations over time (mainly health professionals and teachers).
Key findings include:
Luke Sibieta, an author of the report, said: “Despite the squeeze on the pay and pensions of public sector workers since 2010, there has been no decline in the prior educational achievement of graduates going into teaching or health occupations. However, between 2015 and 2020 public sector pay is set to decline more rapidly relative to that in the private sector. It is hard to believe this won’t affect the willingness of highly qualified individuals to choose these occupations”
Neil Amin-Smith, another author of the report, said: “Although there is clearly a quantity problem in terms of the number of Physics, Computing and Maths teachers, there is no evidence of a quality problem. Those who do go into teaching are relatively high achieving. There is some evidence that the large bursaries created for these subjects may have prevented declines in the educational achievement of new entrants, as has occurred in other subjects. Whether bursaries of over £25,000 (tax-free) represent genuine value for money for the taxpayer will be determined by whether these teachers stay in the profession beyond 1 or 2 years”
1. ‘The Changing Educational Attainment of Graduate Recruits to Major Public Sector Occupations’ by Neil Amin-Smith (IFS), Ellen Greaves (IFS and University of Bristol) and Luke Sibieta (IFS) will be published on the Office for Manpower Economics website (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/office-of-manpower-economics) and IFS website (ifs.org.uk) in the morning of Monday 13 March 2017. Embargoed copies are available from Bonnie Brimstone 020 7291 4818 / 07730 667013, firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. The report was carried out under contract as part of the research programme of the Office for Manpower Economics (OME). The views and judgements expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of OME. This work was also co-funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Centre for Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) (grant reference: ES/M010147/1).
3. The OME provides support for the eight independent Pay Review Bodies, which make evidence-based recommendations to the Government on levels of pay for their remit groups covering 2.5 million workers – around 45 per cent of public sector staff – and a pay bill of £100 billion. In making recommendations, Review Bodies consider the need to recruit, retain and motivate suitably able and qualified people as well as affordability. In supporting these bodies, one of OME’s key functions is to provide high quality research-based technical advice drawing on economic, pay, labour market, statistical and other technical data. More information about the OME, the bodies it supports, and the research it has undertaken, may be found on its website.
4. Our measure of educational attainment refers to individuals UCAS Tariff Point Score on entry into Higher Education, which includes A-Level, Scottish Highers and other equivalent qualifications. In this press release and the main report, we often express UCAS Tariff Point Scores in terms of the equivalent number of A/AS Levels at particular grades.