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Salaries and benefits

Schools develop their own pay scales to attract and retain teachers that have the greatest impact on their pupils’ learning.

What you’re paid will be linked to performance, not length of service - meaning your salary can increase as you go through your career.

Qualified teachers

Starting salaries in a primary or secondary school will be between £25,714 and £32,157 depending on where you teach.

As you progress in your teaching career, it’s possible to move up through these pay scales:

Area Minimum Maximum
Inner London £32,157 £50,953
Outer London £29,915 £45,766
London fringe £26,948 £42,780
The rest of England and Wales £25,714 £41,604

In 2020/21, the average salary for a primary school teacher was £36,900. The average salary for a secondary school teacher was £39,900.

Holidays

You’ll get more days than people in many other professions. Full-time teachers work for 195 days per year in school.

Early career teacher (ECT) benefits

All teachers are given extra support during their first 2 years in teaching. During this time, teachers are called ‘early career teachers’ (ECTs). It is based on the early career framework.

The support package includes:

  • funded 5% time off timetable in the second year of teaching, in addition to the existing 10% in the first year
  • a range of high-quality, freely available curricula and teacher training materials underpinned by the early career framework
  • funded training for mentors of early career teachers
  • funded time for mentors to support early career teachers

This extra support used to last 1 year, and teachers would be called ‘newly qualified teachers’ (NQTs).

Get a salary uplift for taking on extra responsibilities

You may be able to get ‘teaching and learning responsibility’ (TLR) payments if you take on extra responsibilities such as:

  • progressing the education of people beyond your assigned pupils
  • leading, developing and enhancing the teaching practice of others

TLR payments come in 2 main pay ranges (TLR 1 and TLR 2) depending on your teaching responsibilities. For example, the higher payment involves taking on line management responsibilities.

Level Minimum Maximum
TLR 1 £8,291 £14,030
TLR 2 £2,873 £7,017

Teachers’ Pension Scheme

The Teachers’ Pension Scheme gives you a regular source of income when you retire. It is:

  • based on your teaching salary and service rather than investments
  • 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

Find out more about the Teachers’ Pension Scheme

Career progression

Leading practitioners

A ‘leading practitioner’ is an excellent and highly skilled teacher who consistently demonstrates the highest standards of classroom practice.

They share their skills and experience through the coaching, mentoring and induction of teachers, including trainees and early career teachers (ECTs).

The pay scale for leading practitioners is between £42,402 and £72,480 depending on where you teach.

Area Minimum Maximum
Inner London £50,415 £72,480
Outer London £45,766 £67,828
London fringe £43,570 £65,631
The rest of England and Wales £42,402 £64,461

Headteachers

Headteachers lead, motivate and manage staff.

The pay scale for a headteacher is between £47,735 to £125,098 depending on where you teach.

Area Minimum Maximum
Inner London £55,715 £125,098
Outer London £51,082 £120,513
London fringe £48,901 £118,356
The rest of England and Wales £47,735 £117,197

In 2020/21, the average salary for a headteacher was £73,500.

Other leadership team positions

Headteachers work with other leadership teachers.

The average salary for leadership teachers (excluding headteachers) in 2019 was £54,911.

Unqualified teachers

An unqualified teacher’s salary can be between £18,169 and £33,410 depending on where you teach and your level of experience.

Area Minimum Maximum
Inner London £22,849 £33,410
Outer London £21,582 £32,151
London fringe £19,363 £29,924
The rest of England and Wales £18,169 £28,735

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