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Teaching In London | Everything You Need To Know

Derek Bailly, London-based teacher
3 Sep 2023
5 m read
Teaching In London | Everything You Need To Know

So you’re considering relocating to England’s capital to enhance your experience in education. With 90% of schools in London are rated as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, this could be an amazing decision – but there are other things you should probably consider.

In this post, we’ll take you through some of the reasons teaching in London is great, but keeping in mind some of the drawbacks you may experience.

We'll look at London's:

  • Resources
  • Financial Initiatives & Investment
  • Diversity
  • Quality of Life
  • Challenges


London has always been known as being rich in activity. It thrives on the buzz of people rushing around and making spontaneous purchasing decisions.

But in the nooks and crannies of London are the most beautiful, historic and utterly incredible museums, libraries and other tourist attractions.

What’s more? They’re very often free.

We understand the hassle of organising a school trip for a class, year group or whole school cohort. But with so many free resources at your disposal, it makes teaching a far more interactive and wholesome experience.

There's the Tate Modern and Britain for unforgettable art experiences, The Imperial War Museum and the British Museum for historical artefacts, The Science Museum, the Natural History... it's an almost endless list of school trip gold.

Financial Incentives and Initiatives

There is no hiding the national shortage of teachers, amplified by the number of strikes that took place earlier this year.

It's worth taking a look at our breakdown of teacher pay to get an idea of how London compares to other areas of the UK. By the time you get into the upper pay scale, you’ll be earning almost £10,000 more than those out of London.

You may be thinking that London is a lot more expensive to live in, and whilst that may be true, you could consider living further out while working in a central London school, meaning you're still eligible to receive London pay weighting.

In addition to this, the government is investing even more money into London schools, in an effort to increase reputation, students on-roll and staff.

“The Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme has seen £1.3 Billion invested in building, updating and refurbishing London’s schools.” - Teach Lambeth


London is known for its cultural diversity – students from all over the world with different backgrounds and individual needs. This means you have to learn to adapt your practice to fit all the needs of those students in your classroom.

You’ll develop your SEN skills and work with students from disadvantaged backgrounds. With an estimated 15% of students in London having special educational needs (as of 2016, but this is thought to have risen dramatically since COVID-19), you’ll work closely with SEN specialists to allow your students to learn in the most appropriate way. Whether that’s using Assistive Technology or working closely with SEN Leads and TAs.

With 2.2 million students in England estimated to be on Pupil Premium, the majority of those are present in London schools. So, if you’re thinking of working in London you should be excited about the prospect of helping the most vulnerable students in the UK.

Quality of Life

If you’re looking to work in London, the majority will also be looking at relocating to the area as well.

Let’s not forget that London is a tourist hotspot for a reason. With a diverse selection of cultures to witness, restaurants and bars to visit and a buzz of energy, London is the perfect place to enjoy the famous work/life balance.

With the additional London-weighting salary, you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of life that London has to offer. Whether it’s new activities you want to try or hanging out with friends at an independent coffee house, you won’t ever find yourself getting bored.

The Challenge

It’s an interesting statistic that in 2016 56% of schools in London recorded a shortage of teachers, compared to 20% in the North West of England.

In a report by the Evening Standard, the major reasons stopping teachers from pursuing careers in London are the attractive salaries of other more ‘corporate styled’ jobs combined with the cost of living.

And yes, London is the centre of high-paying law firms and creative agencies. But that’s only a very small and niche sector of London.

With additional funding, higher salaries and recruitment packages from schools in London that are desperate for teachers, salary and cost of living barely come into the equation.


So, if you want to work in a school with a higher salary, ethnically diverse population and incredibly motivated students sitting in ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ schools, then start applying today!

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