Female secondary teachers earn 6.4% less than men

Unions say female teachers are being ‘denied thousands’, as new gender pay gap data released

Will Hazell

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Female teachers working in secondary schools are earning on average 6.4 per cent less than their male colleagues, new government figures reveal.

However, in primary and nursery education, female teachers are paid on average 0.5 per cent more than men.

Justine Greening, who holds the ministerial brief for women and equalities as well as being education secretary, has launched a new online tool showing the gender pay gap in different occupations.

The figures have been calculated using median hourly pay rates, excluding overtime, and relate to teachers across the UK. They do not include headteachers but do include deputy and assistant heads. 

Women teaching in secondaries earn on average £22.34 per hour, compared with the £23.87 received by their male colleagues – a 6.4 per cent difference.

The gap is slightly smaller for those working full-time in secondaries, at 4.7 per cent, and much larger for those working part-time, at 14.2 per cent.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, said: “The cost of the gender pay gap equates to female teachers being denied thousands of pounds each year in lost income. Gender inequality also signals the failure of employers to recognise and value the potential of all teachers in meeting the needs of children and young people.”

Women paid more in primary schools

But the picture is different in primary and nursery education, where on average women are paid 0.5 per cent more, receiving £21.46 per hour, compared with the £21.35 per hour received by men.

However, there is a big difference between those employed full- and part-time.

Part-time primary female teachers are paid 2.4 per cent more than their male counterparts, but women working full-time are paid 2.5 per cent less.

The figures do not show the difference in rates of pay between women and men doing the same job, but rather an average of what people are earning across an occupation.

Malcolm Trobe, interim general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said that the data for teachers reflected “quite a complex situation”.

He suggested that the gap in secondary schools could be linked to teaching and learning responsibility (TLR) payments and the higher number of female part-time teachers.

“With the part-time [teachers] it will be often female returners, who often may well then not be holding TLRs,” he said.

Ms Greening said: “To help women to reach their potential and eliminate the gender pay gap, we need to shine a light on our workplaces to see where there is more to do.”

This is an edited article from the 16 December edition of TES. Subscribers can read the full article here. To subscribe, click here. This week's TES magazine is available in all good newsagents. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here.

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Will Hazell

Will Hazell

Will Hazell is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @whazell

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