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How much does an average teacher earn? Just as the latest report of the Review Body sets out new pay rates for later this year, and while the press is full of speculation about the first headteacher to reach a six-figure salary, the Department for Education and Employment has published figures showing what the average teacher in England and Wales was paid in March 1999.

According to the DFEE, the average salary for female teachers was pound;22,620, whereas male teachers earned an average of pound;24,420 - some 8 per cent more. However, these numbers disguise some interesting differences. Women under 30 in the primary sector, and under 35 in the secondary sector, earned more on average as classroom teachers than their male counterparts.

In the primary sector, th differential between men and women teachers is only pound;180 per annum. This is a bigger gap than in 1998, when the difference was pound;130.

In secondary schools, the gap between men and women teachers' average pay is much bigger - pound;1,320. This, too, was up by around pound;50 from pound;1,270 in 1998. Proportionally, however, the rise is much smaller.

On average men earned more than women at both deputy and headteacher levels, as well as at classroom teacher grade. The gap was most marked among secondary heads. The average female secondary head, who earned on average pound;42,700, received about pound;3,000 per annum less than her average male colleague. This trend of higher average salaries for male heads and deputies could also be found primary and special schools.

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