Presented by Catherine FosterĀ 

While the gender pay gap for full time employees in Wales has halved since 2004, it remains around 9% according to 2021 Welsh Government figures. However, the pay gap varies between sectors, and separate research suggests that the gender pay gap is widening in the education sector as a whole in the UK (Thomas and Elliott, 2021) and in schools, particularly for headteachers (WomenED, 2021). In addition, while most of the teaching workforce is female, research in England shows that women are less likely to progress to senior leadership roles (FFT Education Data Lab, 2018).

However, there is little in-depth research on the extent of the gender pay gap in maintained schools in Wales at different levels of seniority, and whether the proportion of female teachers in leadership roles is representative of the workforce as a whole. Much of the existing work is descriptive and further analysis is required to examine factors that predict both pay, and who obtains school leadership roles.

Using data from the Welsh School Workforce Annual Census (SWAC) in 2020 we conducted regression analysis to examine the school and personal characteristics predicting both pay, and who becomes a school leader. Using Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition analysis, we then quantified the extent to which the pay gap between male and female teachers is explained by the available data.

Our analysis shows that for the 2020 sample, female classroom teachers earned more than male classroom teachers, but were less likely to be in leadership positions, and when they did were paid less at senior leadership, but not mid-level management level. The decomposition found that while most of the gender pay gap for classroom teachers is explained by the model, the majority of the gap is not explained for senior leadership roles. In this seminar, I will discuss the findings in detail as well as next steps for this piece of research.

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