(Original post by ThisIsTheLife)
Well, for a start I'm not really convinced that schools would have to offer similar salaries to compete with the finance industry.
In my own case, I'm currently studying for a PhD in Engineering, and I'm currently facing the dilemma of - do I stay in academia where I enjoy the work, have relative freedom in my work, get all the luxuries of the jobs (relaxed hours, relaxed dress code, etc), but accept a relatively low salary with a shallow career progression, or do I go into the finance industry where people of my standing are well-sought after and can walk into £30k+ and expect to be close to or past £100k within a decade or so?
The way both industry's are NOW, it is a difficult decision, only because there's such a vast gulf between the two. BUT, if academia could offer me just HALF of what the finance industry are offering, I'd probably take that in a heartbeat. So, it's not that I want to maximise my income, but that I want to strike the best balance between income and how much I enjoy the job, etc.
Even if you doubled the wages of teachers, it would bring a lot of graduate down on their side of the fence. Obviously not as many as if schools could offer the SAME salary as the finance industry, but enough to fill the positions that so badly need to be filled right now.
Private schools are already a good example of that. Clearly teachers in these schools aren't being paid a banker's bonus, but they still attract far more talent than state schools, despite having only relatively modest increases in salaries (relative to finance, that is).
But that has its own drawbacks too. Who wants to put all that time in effort into becoming a top class graduate if, at the end of it, you have a low market value? Most people who go to University these days (in STEM subjects, at least) are doing so because the government have convinced them (Lord knows how...) that they'll have better job prospects, higher salaries and better quality of life. Removing that incentive isn't going to increase the number of top class graduates, it's going to reduce it. If you bring their market value down so low that a person could get a similar market value in another industry with less requirements for years of training and education, then they're going to flood to that industry. Or, they'll move elsewhere and you'll only be adding to the brain drain that the UK is currently experiencing.