Financial headache

27th January 2006 at 00:00
Will I receive summer holiday pay if I start a new job in the spring or summer terms? I am trying to find my first teaching job and am worried about finances.

Assuming you are employed on an open contract then you will be paid from the date you start work. So, if you are employed from July 1, you will be paid for the period when the pupils are not in school; some of this will be holiday, but the rest will be preparation time. Unfortunately, some schools still expect newly qualified teachers to undertake lesson preparation over the summer at the newly qualified teacher's own expense. This is short-sighted as, with debt levels averaging around pound;10,000, many newly qualified teachers will opt to work over the summer anyway to reduce their debt burden. This means they may not be as well prepared in September as they could be. It is time for schools to wise up to the realities of modern student life before the generation that also have had to pay top-up fees arrive.


Do you think that delaying my NQT year doing something unrelated to teaching for a while will affect my chances of finding work in a school afterwards? I've completed my PGCE but have so far not found a job I want.

There are lots of new teachers in your situation. Having completed training courses last summer they discovered that there weren't enough teaching jobs to go around. However, as we have shown in JobWatch (right), secondary schools did advertise around 3,000 teaching posts last term. More posts are on offer this term. But flexibility is the key. It may be a long wait for the job just down the road, or you may strike it lucky.

When you do find a post to apply for, the school will want to see evidence of initiative on your part. Have you been sitting at home drawing benefit or working in a related area to teaching, even just as a volunteer? A blank in your CV with no explanation other than there were no jobs available is unlikely to impress anyone except the most desperate headteacher.

We're happy to answer your problems about any aspect of your NQT year.

Unfortunately, our experts cannot enter into personal correspondence with readers but will treat all your enquiries in the strictest confidence.

Please email any questions you have to:

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today