16th November 2007 at 00:00
Q: After completing my induction year in a state school, I transferred to the private sector and received a pay rise to the equivalent of point three on the main pay scale (pound;23,472). Since then, I have only received rises for inflation. Are there any rules about how much my experience should be worth? Also, how can I find out what other private schools pay their staff?

A: The pay and conditions of teachers in the maintained sector are transparent, and the main details can be found in the annual pay and conditions document laid before Parliament each year. However, pay in academies and in the private sector is a matter for the school to decide and for teachers to negotiate, sometimes on an individual basis. Some schools follow the scales paid in maintained schools, others don't. Schools in the independent sector can set their own pay levels and conditions of service - such as the number of teaching hours and holiday periods - subject only to the statutory minimum requirements. They are also not required to pay an annual increment or teaching and learning responsibility payments. Finding out what other private schools pay is difficult since salary isn't usually mentioned in job adverts, except in vague terms. You could try sending for some job details to see what applicants are told about pay and conditions. If you are unhappy about the direction of your career you can always consider a move. This could even be back into the maintained sector.

John Howson is a recruitment analyst and visiting professor of education at Oxford Brookes University. To ask him a question, email him at

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