Teachers' Pension Plan 'Crucial' To Profession
Private school teachers believe that their public pensions scheme is "crucial", with many saying they would leave the profession if forced out of it, a survey suggests.
A poll of almost 1,500 independent school staff by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers reveals that more than 90% have access to the Teachers' Pension Scheme (TPS).
Half (49.6%) say that the scheme is "crucial" to them, and they would not consider working at a school that did not give them access to it.
A further 28% said it was "very important" that they are offered the chance to belong to the pension scheme.
More than one in four (27.6%) said they would consider leaving teaching if the Government decided in the future to exclude independent schools from the TPS. And more than one in five (21.9%) said such a move would make them consider returning to work in a state school.
Two in five (40.3%) said they would take out a personal pension, the findings show.
One teacher told researchers: "The TPS is highly valued here by staff, the senior management team and governors alike. To remove independent schools from the TPS would be an unfair, unjustified and retrograde step."
A report on public sector pensions by former Labour cabinet minister Lord Hutton, published in March, said it was "undesirable for future non-public service workers to have access to public service pension schemes".
A Department for Education spokesman said: "The Government has accepted the commission's recommendations as a basis for consultation and the issue of private sector access to the public service schemes is one that is still to be determined.
"Consultation will take place before any decisions are made and that will include detailed discussions with representatives of all stakeholders including those in the independent schools sector."