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While there isn’t a simple answer to how much teachers get paid, it’s important to be aware of the pay scales and benefits schools and education providers offer across the country. To help you navigate this, here is a helpful guide to the average teacher salary in the UK.

Average teaching salary ranges

The varying teaching positions within schools, such as supply teacher, teaching assistant and headteacher, all receive different salary and benefits packages depending on the role and external factors, such as length of service, location, and qualifications. Teachers in state schools receive the same salary whatever subject they teach or type of school they work in. This means that a PE teacher salary is the same as a maths teacher salary, while primary school teacher salaries and secondary school teacher salaries are also identical.

The average annual salary range for some teaching roles across England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are:

Unqualified teachers:

  • England and Wales - £20,598 to £32,134

  • Scotland - £31,584 to £32,217

  • Northern Ireland - £24,137 - £28,139

Qualified teachers:

  • England and Wales - £30,000 - £46,525

  • Scotland - £38,655 - £48,516

  • Northern Ireland - £28,139 to £41,094

The average teacher salary in London

Teachers working in London receive higher salaries due to the higher living costs in and around the capital. Schools are organised into three areas based on their location – inner London, outer London and the ‘fringe’, with salaries different in each area:

Unqualified teacher salaries in London:

  • Inner London - £25,831 - £37,362

  • Outer London - £24,415 - £35,954

  • Fringe - £21,933 - £33,464

Qualified teacher salaries in London:

  • Inner London - £36,745 - £56,959

  • Outer London - £34,514 - £51,179

  • Fringe - £31,350 - £47,839

Teaching assistant:

The average salary range for a teaching assistant in the UK is between £19,525 to £21,072.

Supply teachers:

The average salary range for a supply teacher in the UK is between £25,714 to £36,961.

Annual leave entitlement

Teachers in the UK receive more holiday days than people in other professions. Employees in the UK must legally receive 5.6 weeks of annual leave if they are employed full time, and this is no different for teachers. They receive 13 weeks of leave for Christmas, Easter, and summer break, which includes three, one-week half-term breaks. However, many teachers choose to continue to work during these periods to prepare for the upcoming term.

For comparison: a full-time office worker typically works 227 days a year, while full-time teachers work 195 days annually.

Teachers’ pension scheme

The teachers’ pension scheme is one of the most generous in the country and includes an employer contribution of up to 28.6%.

It is a ‘defined benefit’ pension and is:

  • based on teaching salary rather than the amount of money paid in

  • registered with HM Revenue and Customs - so contributions are tax-free

  • flexible and allows to take some of it as a tax-free lump sum

To find out more visit the teachers’ pension scheme website.

Learning and development

All teaching professionals in the early stages of their career are entitled to benefit from the government organised ‘early career framework’. This is a professional development programme spanning teachers’ first two years in the profession to provide them with:

  • A mentor to offer guidance and extra support

  • Paid time away from their role to access further learning opportunities

  • A range of training sessions from accredited DfE institutions

While this programme is not compulsory for teachers, it is a statutory requirement for any school inducting early career teachers to offer this package.

Career progression

Teaching professionals can progress their careers and increase their salary by taking on additional responsibilities, adding to their years of service, or moving into a leadership role. We outline the responsibilities and annual salary range for these roles.

Senior teachers

To be classified as a senior teacher and therefore qualify for higher pay, you must have either accumulated a long length of service or taken on extra responsibilities, such as being a head of a department.

The annual pay scale for senior teachers across the UK is:

  • England and Wales - £39,368 - £42,333

  • Scotland - £42,696 - £50,772

  • Northern Ireland - £38,216 - £41,094

Leading practitioners

Progressing to a leading practitioner requires being an established teacher who practices to a high standard. Often leading practitioners will coach and mentor their colleagues, as well as induct early career teachers (ECTs) and be vital in the induction process for trainee educators.

The annual pay scale for leading practitioners across the UK is:

  • England and Wales - £47,417 - £72,085

  • Scotland - £55,077 - £78,237

  • Northern Ireland - £41,884 - £49,781


In a school environment, a headteacher is considered the most senior position, as they are accountable for all students and teachers. The role varies depending on the needs of the institution, but ultimately includes ensuring all the students are given a high standard of education and managing and motivating teachers. Given this responsibility, headteachers’ salaries are the highest available within a school.

The annual pay scale for headteachers across the UK is:

  • England and Wales - £53,380 - £131,056

  • Scotland - £59,994 - £110,808

  • Northern Ireland - £53,309 - £130,715

Additional payments

On top of a teacher’s basic salary, some can also benefit from the following additional payments:

  • Teaching and learning responsibilities (TLR) – taking on extra tasks that enhance teaching practices for others or progress non-assigned students, pay increases range from £3,214 to £15,690 annually

  • Special education needs and disabilities (SEND) – this involves working as a qualified teacher for SEND students, pay increases range from £2,539 to £5,009 annually

Independent and private school teacher salaries in the UK

Independent schools are not bound by the same pay scales as state schools. This means that salaries in the sector can vary.

To attract teachers from state schools or other independent schools, private education settings will often offer higher salaries than those stipulated in state school salary bands. However, this may not always be the case, so use the bands above to calculate how pay for a role in an independent school would compare to an equivalent role in a state school.

To kickstart your journey in teaching, or find a new role in education, contact one of our recruitment specialists today.