Potential difference in starting salary

13th February 2009 at 00:00

New teachers don't all earn the same. According to newly published Department for Children, Schools and Families figures, average starting salaries are at their lowest in the North East at Pounds 19,850 and highest in London at Pounds 24,330. Outside of London pay rates, new teachers in the West Midlands are among the highest earners, at Pounds 20,110.

The figures also show that those who were older when they gained qualified teacher status in 2006-07 were paid more than younger teachers. But the difference isn't that substantial. Nevertheless, it does mean that asking for more as an NQT, if you have worked for any length of time before starting teacher training, can pay dividends.

Despite equal pay rules, the average starting salary was higher for men than women in all regions of England, differing by as much as Pounds 300 in the North West, where men averaged Pounds 20,330 and women just Pounds 20,020.

Despite primary and secondary teachers notionally being paid on the same salary scale, there were differences in starting salaries, with secondary teachers generally starting on higher salaries than their primary colleagues. For instance, in London new primary teachers averaged Pounds 23,630, whereas secondary teachers were paid Pounds 24,330 on average, some Pounds 700, or 3 per cent more.

What might explain these differences? Partly, it will be down to supply and demand. Authorities in the North East, where teacher recruitment is less of an issue, will be less prepared to offer incentives such as higher starting salaries than those in the South of England where recruitment is more of a problem and living costs have traditionally been higher.

John Howson is a director of Education Data Surveys, part of TSL Education.


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