The Burnham Committee

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1918 the recommendations of a Departmental Committee on the construction of scales of salary paved the way for the first Burnham report of 1919. This established a provisional minimum scale for elementary school teachers payable from January 1920 and was followed in 1921 by four standard scales of salary allocated by areas which were to operate for four years. Negotiations for scales of salary to operate following the four year settlement ended in disagreement and were finally decided by arbitration with Lord Burnham acting as arbiter. Four new scales were formulated as well as some re-allocation scales for individual authorities.

In 1919 the Standing Joint Committee on Scales of Salary for Teachers in Public Elementary Schools was established at the request of the President of the Board of Education "to secure the orderly and progressive solution of the salary question in Public Elementary Schools on a national basis and its correlation with a solution of the salary problem in Secondary Schools". Similar committees were subsequently established concerned with the salaries of teachers in secondary schools and those teaching in technical schools. The committees became known as the Burnham Committees after the chairman Lord Burnham and following his death in 1933 the title was officially adopted.