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What am I worth?

Your job and career questions answered

I'm an NQT who graduated as a primary teacher last year and have been doing supply since September. I'm now looking for a permanent post, but am unsure of what to do regarding salary. I was hoping that my 12 years' experience prior to teacher training would mean that I could ask for points on the main scale However, I spoke to two staff members at one of my schools who had conflicting views. One said that I wouldn't get anything other that the starting salary and that if I asked for more, the school would go for a younger, cheaper NQT. The other said that the head would have to take into account my experience and skills and that they would not expect someone of my age to start as an NQT. Will my year of supply count or will it be seen as a negative?

* There are two answers, both given by your colleagues. The "official' answer is that schools have discretion as to whether your experience would be taken into account in determining your entry point on the pay scale. The "real" answer is, that it depends on the market. Supply and demand always determine price, even for teachers. Sadly, in many parts of the country, there is an over supply of primary teachers and, until the market returns to a balance, schools have little need to pay more than the basic price.

However, some will recognise the advantages you bring and might offer more to secure your services. Much will depend upon how you sell yourself.

However, you have to decide whether a post at the bottom point on the pay scale is worth it, or whether you want to return to your former line of work.

If you have a question for John Howson, please email

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