Teacher pay and benefits

If you’re a primary or secondary teacher in England, your salary will depend on the type of school you work in, where the school is, and the pay range you’re on.

The pay ranges below apply to maintained schools (schools funded by local authorities).

Non-maintained schools (for example, academies, independent schools and private schools) can set their own pay, but often follow these pay ranges.

Figures apply from 1 September 2023.

Primary and secondary teacher salary

If you have qualified teacher status (QTS), you’ll get a minimum starting salary of £30,000 (or more in London) as a primary or secondary school teacher in England.

Your salary will be reviewed every year, with most teachers moving up the pay range annually. This will depend on your school’s performance management arrangements.

A typical teacher could earn at least £41,333 (or more in London) within 5 years.

Qualified teacher salary

Area Minimum Maximum
England (excluding London) £30,000 £46,525
London fringe £31,350 £47,839
Outer London £34,514 £51,179
Inner London £36,745 £56,959

Additional payments

You may also receive additional payments on top of your regular salary for taking on extra responsibilities.

This could be a one-off payment for a specific project, for example, creating a timetable.

Or it might be an extra responsibility attached to your job role, for example, being the head of department.

Depending on your responsibilities, you could earn up to an extra £15,690. Your school will determine how much you receive.

Career progression

Leading practitioner salary

Some schools also have a leading practitioner pay range for teachers with exemplary teaching skills who lead the improvement of teaching in their school.

What this will involve will depend on your school, but could include:

  • coaching and mentoring other teachers, including trainees and early career teachers
  • undertaking a national professional qualification (NPQ)
  • supporting your school with plans to reduce workload
Area Minimum Maximum
England (excluding London) £47,417 £72,085
London fringe £48,723 £73,393
Outer London £51,179 £75,850
Inner London £56,377 £81,051

Headteacher salary

You could also go into a leadership position, such as a headteacher.

A headteacher is the most senior person in a school. They are ultimately responsible for all teachers and pupils.

Their role is wide ranging, but includes leading and motivating teachers, and ensuring all pupils get a good education.

Area Minimum Maximum
England (excluding London) £53,380 £131,056
London fringe £54,685 £132,352
Outer London £57,124 £134,765
Inner London £62,304 £139,891

Find out more about how to move up the career ladder in teaching.

If you do not have qualified teacher status (QTS)

You need qualified teacher status (QTS) to work in maintained primary, secondary and special schools in England.

If you do not have QTS (for example, if you just have a PGCE), you can work in some schools as an unqualified teacher.

This means you will be on a lower pay range and will not be entitled to the same benefits as a teacher with QTS.

If you’re already working as an unqualified teacher and have the right experience, you could be eligible for the assessment only route to qualified teacher status (QTS).

Or find out how you can earn an unqualified teacher salary while training to get QTS on a salaried teacher training course.

Unqualified teacher salary

Area Minimum Maximum
England (excluding London) £20,598 £32,134
London fringe £21,933 £33,464
Outer London £24,415 £35,954
Inner London £25,831 £37,362


You’ll get more days holiday than people in many other professions. In school, full-time teachers work 195 days per year.

For comparison, you’d work 227 days per year (on average) if you worked full time in an office.

Teachers’ pension scheme

The teachers’ pension scheme is one of the most generous in the country and includes an employer contribution of 28.6%.

It is a ‘defined benefit’ pension and is:

  • based on your teaching salary rather than the amount of money you pay in
  • registered with HM Revenue and Customs - so your contributions are tax-free
  • flexible and allows you to take some of it as a tax-free lump sum

You also get other insurance benefits too. Find out more about the teachers’ pension scheme.

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