How Much Does a Secondary School Teacher Earn? (Jan 2022)
Secondary school teacher salaries
The pay scale of secondary educators in England is broad, ranging from a low of about £25,000 for NQTs to upwards of £50,000 for teachers with more experience. If you are in a more senior position or a leadership role, it can be as high as £100,000. Although pay rates for teachers have been frozen for the 2021/22 school year, secondary teaching is still a highly-paid and rewarding career option.
It isn’t difficult to find out how much a secondary school teacher earns in England, as pay scales are fully transparent on the NASUWT website. You simply have to check what type of job position is available. In a rough estimate, the average pay of teachers is about £15.73 per hour. Going up the career ladder and gaining more skills and experience will also come with higher salaries of up to nearly £29.73 per hour.
Like in most industries, the salary for a secondary school teacher in England varies based on qualifications, experience, and responsibilities. If you’re an Unqualified Teacher, you would be earning less than more experienced Head Teachers. Job progression can be achieved by gaining experience, taking continuing education programs, and assuming more responsibilities.
Basic teacher salary scales
To give you an idea of how much does a secondary school teacher earn in England, here’s a rundown of the projected salaries across the ranks:
- Unqualified Teachers (UT) – these standard classroom teachers earn salaries from £16,626 to £26,295
- Newly Qualified Teachers (NQT) – these teachers enter into a probationary contract for screening for possible promotion. The salary scale for these standard classroom teachers is £22,917 to £28,660.
- Qualified Teachers (QT) – these standard classroom teachers earn anywhere from £22,917 to £38,633 and may apply for the Lead Practitioner Accreditation.
- Supply Teachers – these teachers fall into three categories: Unqualified, Main, and Upper. Their salary scales follow those of UTs, NQTs, and QTs respectively. They’re irregular employees who are paid on a daily basis. They’re allowed to leave after a week if they wish.
- Head Teachers – they’re the highest paid teachers in the UK education industry. If they wish, they could serve as standard classroom teachers too in addition to their responsibilities in organizing and assessing the performance of faculty members. Their salary ranges from £44,544 to £109,366.
Topping up a teacher's salary
Secondary educators may receive additional pay when they assume additional responsibilities. This also comes from ‘specializing’ in particular areas of education. For instance, a qualified Special Education Needs (SEN) teacher receives an additional salary of anywhere from £2,106 and £4,158 per year. On the other hand, Teaching and Learning Responsibility (TLR) programs offer an additional £2,667 to £13,027 for teachers taking extra duties.
Apart from their salaries, secondary school teachers in England also receive these special privileges: cheaper access to property investments, pensions, and 195 working days a year.
Getting started as a secondary school teacher
Being an Unqualified Supply Teacher is a good place to start for those who wish to ease into the industry. From this position, you can work your way up for job progression. In England, you may apply through the Teacher First Programme. You need to have a General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) with no grade lower than C in English and Mathematics, a grade mark of 2.1 or higher in major subjects, and a minimum score of 300 points in the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
To achieve a Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), a Professional Graduate Certification in Education (PGCE) and a School-Centered Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) are some of the requirements that you’ll have to work on. With the tens of thousands of teachers needed to meet the expected 600,000 plus students in the coming years, following the secondary education career path in England is a lucrative option.
Some secondary teachers decide to register with an agency like Flourish Education and try supply work. Supply teaching work offers flexibility, which suits some people. Although it is less stable than a permanent contract supply teaching can lead to long-term and permanent work within a school.
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