Pay guide: teacher pay scales

Qualified teachers salary can vary depending on your years of experience and geographical location. Use our guide to work out what you could, or should, be earning.

Grainne Hallahan

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is to announce a 3.1 per cent teacher pay rise

Teacher pay scales in state schools are used as a guide to decide salaries.

Click here to download the NEW 2020-21 teacher pay scale (PDF)

On 21 July, a pay increase was announced for 2020-21 of 3.1 per cent. However, starting salaries for new teachers will rise by  5.5 per cent, while experienced teachers and school leaders will get just 2.75 per cent.


CHECK: School leaders and headteacher pay scales

READ: Teaching assistant pay scale

MORE: Pay and conditions


Getting a pay rise

All teachers are usually awarded a pay rise when the pay scales and allowances are updated. Subject to satisfactory performance, each September, teachers on the main pay scale move to the next point on the scale.

Once at the top of the main pay scale, teachers can apply to go 'through threshold' and be paid on the upper pay scale.

More on the post-threshold pay scale

On the upper pay scale, you move up a point every other year. Once at the top of the pay scale, your pay cannot increase unless you take on extra responsibilities, such as a teaching and learning responsibility.

Typically, this pay will not change until the December pay, when the previous three month increase will be back paid.

Teachers who have recorded excellence performance may even advance by two points.

WATCH: How to negotiate pay in a teaching interview

Additional payments

Qualified teachers may also be eligible for additional payments on top of their regular salary.

Special educational needs (SEN) allowance: If you work with pupils with SEN, you could be eligible for an allowance of between around £2,270 and £4,479 a year.

Teaching and learning responsibility (TLR) payments: If you take on more responsibilities you may be entitled to additional payments of between £2,873-£7,017 (TLR 2) or £8,291 - £14,030 (TLR 1) a year. Or a one off payment of £571 - £2,833 (TLR 3).

More on additional payments for qualified teachers.

*Salaries vary due to location. Figures shown are for 2020/21, and are revised annually.

Please note: The teachers' pay scales listed apply to teachers employed by a local authority or by the governing body of a foundation, voluntary aided or foundation special school. Academies and free schools are not legally required to implement the pay scales, so it is best to request to see their own pay policy.​

Want to keep up with the latest career advice? Follow Tes Jobs on Twitter and like Tes Jobs on Facebook

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Grainne Hallahan

Grainne Hallahan

Grainne Hallahan is Tes recruitment editor and senior content writer at Tes

Find me on Twitter @heymrshallahan

Latest stories

Teaching primary pupils movie editing skills

5 ways to introduce primary pupils to movie editing

Learning to use video editing software on tablets and smartphones with young learners may sound tough – but follow these simple steps, and you'll have a class of cinematic auteurs in no time
Gregory Adam 29 Jul 2021