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Teacher Salary Guide: How Much Can UK Teachers Expect to Earn in 2023?

Charlie Altschul
24 Oct 2023
5 min read
Teacher Salary Guide: How Much Can UK Teachers Expect to Earn in 2023?

As a teacher in the UK, it's important to have a clear understanding of your salary and how it may change over the course of your career. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the latest information on teacher salaries for the academic year 2023-24. From the starting salary for Early Career Teachers (ECTs) to the pay scales for qualified teachers, we'll cover it all.

Understanding the Teacher Pay Scale

The pay scale for teachers in the UK is determined by various factors, including experience, location, and level of responsibility. For teachers working in state schools, the agreed pay scale ensures fair and equal compensation across the education sector. The scale is designed to eliminate discriminatory practices and provide transparency in salary calculations. Qualified teachers without leadership responsibilities are categorised into two main pay ranges: the Main Pay Range (M) and the Upper Pay Range (U). The Main Pay Range includes salary points M1 to M6, while the Upper Pay Range includes points U1 to U3. The salary ranges within these pay scales may vary depending on whether the teacher works in or near London.

To give you a clearer picture, let's take a look at the salary ranges for the academic year 2023-24:

Salaries for early year teachers 23-24 ECT salary banner - upper pay 2023-2024

These figures represent the prospective salary ranges for the academic year 2023-24, subject to the acceptance of the pay offer made in July. It's important to note that these figures are illustrative and may vary depending on the specific circumstances and agreements in place at your school.

Early Career Teacher (ECT) Salary

Early Career Teachers, also known as ECTs, are those who are in their first years of teaching. The starting salary for ECTs can vary depending on several factors, including the location and type of school.

In general, an ECT can expect to start their career at the M1 point on the Main Pay Range. For the academic year 2023- 24, this translates to a salary between £30,000 and £36,745, with the exact amount depending on the teacher's location. ECTs working in or near London may receive higher salaries to account for the higher cost of living in the area.

You can read our full article on ECT salaries here.

It's worth noting that some schools, particularly academies or trusts, may have their own pay scales. These scales are typically similar to the national pay scale mentioned above, but it's important to check with your specific school to understand their salary structure.

In certain cases, a school may offer a starting salary higher than M1 to attract highly qualified ECTs. This can happen if the teacher possesses exceptional qualifications or relevant experience, such as an outstanding PGCE and prior teaching experience. Such cases may result in ECTs being offered a starting salary at M2 or M3 instead of M1.

Progression on the Pay Scale for ECTs

As an ECT, you may wonder about the opportunities for progression on the pay scale. In most cases, teachers can expect to move up the scale by one increment per academic year. This progression is generally automatic, assuming satisfactory performance and meeting the necessary criteria.

However, it's important to note that teachers can be held back from progressing on the scale due to poor performance. If a teacher is not meeting the required standards, their employer will provide early feedback and support to help them improve. It's crucial to address any areas of concern early on to ensure a smooth progression on the pay scale. Apart from the standard progression, there are other ways to move up the scale. Teachers who demonstrate exceptional abilities and aptitude may be considered for accelerated progression, where they are moved to a higher salary point ahead of the usual schedule. Additionally, taking on leadership responsibilities within the school, such as becoming a Head of Department or Year, often results in additional payments known as Teaching & Learning Responsibilities (TLRs).

TLRs are supplemental payments on top of the regular salary and are awarded to teachers who take on additional responsibilities beyond their classroom teaching duties. While ECTs are unlikely to receive TLRs in their first year of teaching, progressing into higher roles and assuming leadership responsibilities can lead to higher pay and additional benefits.

Other Benefits for Teachers

In addition to salary, teachers in the UK enjoy several other benefits as part of their employment package. One of the most notable benefits is the teachers' pension scheme. Teachers' pensions are guaranteed by the government, providing financial security in retirement. Employers typically contribute a substantial amount to the pension scheme, which is linked to the teacher's salary.

Furthermore, teachers in certain subject areas, such as Science and Computer Science, may be eligible for loan reimbursements from their student loans. These reimbursements are intended to incentivise teachers to pursue careers in high-demand subjects and alleviate the burden of student loan debt. It's important to note that the specific benefits and eligibility criteria may vary depending on the school and local authorities. Teachers should consult their school's policies and agreements to fully understand the additional benefits available to them.

Salary Negotiations and Pay Discussions

When entering a new teaching position or discussing salary matters with your school, it's essential to approach the

topic with clarity and confidence. During the interview process, seek clarification regarding the salary offered, ensuring that you have a clear understanding of the pay scale and any additional benefits associated with the role.

It's important to note that most employers will typically start ECTs at the M1 point on the Main Pay Range, as it is the standard starting point for new teachers. However, if you believe that your qualifications and experience merit a higher starting salary, it's crucial to express this during the interview process. Schools may consider offering a higher starting point, such as M2 or M3, for exceptional candidates.

Remember, open and honest communication is key when discussing salary matters. Be prepared to provide evidence of your qualifications, experience, and any exceptional achievements that may justify a higher starting salary. Remember that negotiations are a two-way process, and it's important to find a mutually beneficial agreement.

Looking Ahead: Future Salary Updates

It's important to stay informed about potential changes and updates to teacher salaries in the UK. Teaching unions, such as NASUWT and NEU, are actively engaged in discussions with the government regarding pay rises and the impact of the cost-of-living crisis. As we move into the 2024/2025 academic year, it's possible that salary figures may change due to ongoing negotiations and prevailing economic conditions.

Teachers are encouraged to stay updated through official channels and union communications to ensure they have the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding their salaries.

Earning More as a Supply Teacher

If you're working as a supply teacher, you may be employed through an agency. It's worth noting that agencies often charge significant fees to schools, resulting in a lower pay rate for supply teachers. However, there is an alternative that utilises technology to eliminate unnecessary costs and ensure that supply teachers receive fair compensation.

Zen Educate connects supply teachers directly with schools, cutting out the middleman and allowing teachers to earn more. By joining Zen, supply teachers can maximise their earning potential while enjoying the flexibility and variety that supply teaching offers. It's an excellent option for teachers looking to take control of their career and financial prospects. In conclusion, understanding teacher salaries is crucial for educators in the UK. By familiarising yourself with the pay scale, progression opportunities, and additional benefits, you can navigate your career with confidence.

To conlcude, remember to stay informed about updates and engage in open discussions with your employer to ensure fair compensation.

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