Teacher helping a child with their reading.

Salaries and benefits

For teaching the next generation of citizens you’re entitled to a competitive salary, generous holidays, and a substantial pension.

Teaching salaries

As a new teacher, your salary will be between £25,714 and £32,157, depending on where you teach.

The school you teach in will have their own pay scales for qualified teachers. Pay increases will always be linked to performance, not length of service.

Annual teacher pay scales for qualified teachers are:

Area Minimum Maximum
London £26,948 £42,624
Rest of England and Wales £25,714 £36,961

On average, established teachers earn more than this.


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. 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. You can find out more on the teachers’ pension scheme website(opens in new window).

Support for early career teachers

All teachers are given extra support during their first 2 years in teaching. This helps early career teachers (ECTs) develop their knowledge, teaching skills and working habits.

This support includes:

The term early career teacher (ECT) replaces newly qualified teacher (NQT).

Career progression

There are different ways to progress and increase your teaching salary.

For example, you can move into a more senior role, or take on additional responsibilities that help your school.

Senior teacher salaries

If you take on extra responsibilities, like being a head of department, you can be put onto a higher teacher pay scale.

Teachers in this pay scale are important members of a school’s leadership team, and they often work closely with Headteachers.

Annual salary ranges for senior teachers are:

Area Minimum Maximum
London £39,864 £50,935
Rest of England and Wales £38,690 £41,604

Leading practitioner salaries

If you’re an established and exceptional teacher, and regularly show the highest standards of classroom teaching, you can be put onto a higher pay scale.

Although they may not lead departments, leading practitioners coach and mentor other teachers and induct trainees and early career teachers (ECTs).

The teacher pay scales for leading practitioners are:

Area Minimum Maximum
London £43,750 £72,480
Rest of England and Wales £42,402 £64,461

Headteacher salaries

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.

Annual salary ranges for headteachers are:

Area Minimum Maximum
London £48,901 £125,098
Rest of England and Wales £47,735 £117,197

Other payments

You might also get extra payments for taking on extra responsibilities.

These payments are called ‘teaching and learning responsibility’ (TLR) payments. The extra responsibilities you might take on are:

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

Unqualified teacher salaries

Many schools in England require teachers to have ‘qualified teacher status’ (QTS). If you do not have this, you can work in some schools as an unqualified teacher.

Annual unqualified teacher salary ranges are:

Area Minimum Maximum
London £19,613 £33,410
Rest of England and Wales £18,419 £28,735

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