Become a Teacher

Becoming a teacher can bring incredible rewards but it's not all about 12 weeks holiday a year and leaving school at 3.30 each day. These days there is immense pressure from both the government and parents for children to get excellent exam results and of course there are other activities for you to undertake apart from teaching such as weekly lesson planning, after school clubs, parent/ teacher associations, governors meetings, putting up school displays, fund raising events and parents evenings.

But don't let that put you off because this vocational career has different rewards as you teach children and see them develop as they get older.

Teaching Qualifications

The teaching qualifications required to teach pupils in primary or secondary schools varies depending on what qualifications you already posses.

Generally you will need to have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) to teach in state schools which is gained through initial teacher training (ITT) including practical work experience within schools.

Many people know they wish to teach before they start university and opt for a Bachelor of Education (BEd) course which takes 3 to 4 years and is the most popular route for those wishing to teach in primary schools

There are also two post-graduate programmes. A Postgraduate Certification of Education which is an add on year at college or university which is solely focused on the practical aspects of teaching in schools. Or you may take the School Centred Initial Teaching Training Programme (SCITT) if you have been out of the education system for a while.

Teacher Salary Levels

Teacher salary levels have improved in recent times and a newly qualified teacher (NQT) in London can expect to earn £25,000 in their first year (and £20,627 outside of London)

There are two scales for teachers - the main pay scale (MPS) and the upper pay scale (UPS). NQTs start at the bottom of the main pay scale and work their way up year after year. Once at the top and so long as performance is good they can make their way onto the upper pay scale.

The pay scales are as follows; for the main pay scale :
MPS 1 - £20,627 (£25,000)
MPS 2 - £22,259 (£26,581)
MPS 3 - £24,048 (£28,261)
MPS 4 - £25,898 (£30,047)
MPS 5 - £27,939 (£32,358)
MPS 6 - £30,148 (£34,768)

And for the upper pay scale UPS 1 - £32,660 (£39,114) UPS 2 - £33,870 (£41,035) UPS 3 - £35,121 (£42,419)

(Figures in quoted in brackets are for inner London)

Teaching Careers

Primary school teachers move up the pay scale as outlined above but may be entitled to additional pay under the advanced school teachers award. These are for teacher who want to continue teaching in the classroom but devoted one day per week by sharing their skills and knowledge in other areas such as producing teaching materials and sharing these with other teachers and indeed other schools.

A teacher can also move into management either as an literacy coordinator, all the key stages coordinator (KS1, KS2 etc), assistant headteacher, deputy head and then onto being a headteacher.

Secondary school teachers are on the same pay scale as shown above but generally they are larger schools so have different jobs. NQTs start as a classroom teacher and can move up to be an advance school teacher. Secondary schools also have heads of year, department heads (heads of faculty), key stage coordinators, assistant headteachers and head teacher or principal. They may also have sports coordinators as well as other staff who work the office and library.

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