Secondary school teachers could earn almost 40 per cent more if they left their classrooms to go into private tutoring, according to findings published today.
Private tutors are paid £31.35 per hour on average, according to tuition company Tutor Hunt, which has carried out the analysis.
In contrast, secondary teachers are paid £22.73 per hour on average, Office for National Statistics figures show.
The gender pay gap also appears to be lower in the tutoring sector, the analysis finds. In teaching, full-time female teachers are paid £22.26 per hour, whereas their male colleagues are paid £23.24 per hour.
Private tuition gains
The difference is even greater when it comes to part-time teachers, with men paid an average of £27.17 per hour and women paid an hourly rate of £22.94 – 15.6 per cent less.
However, in private tuition, women earn an average of £31.34 per hour – one penny less than the £31.35 hourly rate charged by men, according to Tutor Hunt's data from more than 2,200 qualified teachers who teach English or maths at up to A level.
John Underhill, marketing manager at Tutor Hunt, said: “When we first looked at this data and saw the differences not only in how much a teacher earns compared to private tutors, but also the differences in the gender pay gap, we were shocked”.
He added: “We always had an inkling that private tuition could be a good way for teachers to earn more money but now it seems as though they could earn more money and reduce their hours – with women, in particular, gaining financially for their time as well as deriving the additional benefits of flexibility offered by tutoring”.
The findings come just months after TES reported a surge in the number of teachers leaving the profession.
'Lack of security'
But the rewards of teaching go far beyond a simple hourly rate, argue unions.
Valentine Mulholland, head of policy at the NAHT headteachers union, said: “Tutoring does offer some flexibility, but this is balanced by a lack of security regarding pensions, sick pay and holiday. Classroom teachers also have the benefits of training and development and of course the sense of community offered by working with groups of young people and other staff and parents”.
But she added that, in addition to tackling fairness regarding pay, “prospects for career progression, and expectations of workload also need to be improved in order to address the recruitment and retention crisis that is currently facing all schools.”
Ms Mulholland warned: “Until this happens, other professions or opportunities to earn will always be attractive to many teachers”.