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Changing schools and negotiating pay

Discussion in 'Independent' started by rustycat2000, Oct 16, 2017.

  1. rustycat2000

    rustycat2000 New commenter

    Hello all,

    I currently work in a school in the commuter belt and although I love it am looking at moving somewhere in the country with my partner where property prices are lower. My school currently pays quite a bit above national pay scale to reflect 1) the cost of living near London and 2) the significant extracurricular demands placed on staff. I understand that moving somewhere cheaper (we're thinking of various northern cities) will entail a lower cost of living, but I'm worried about two things financially. Firstly, I'm wondering if lots of schools would look at my salary and automatically reject me as they'd think I'd be too expensive for how experienced I am. I'd be open to taking a salary cut since I'd be living somewhere cheaper (and I'd probably have a lot more time to do some tutoring too), but I'm worried that if I put that on my application form I'd be selling myself short and basically asking them to underpay me.

    Does anyone have any experience with this kind of situation? I have no experience with this kind of thing. Thanks in advance
  2. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Lead commenter

    My experience is much more with supply where both gains and losses can be quite brief and I'm not sure it will extend to long-term/permanent.

    Do you have a friend who is a salesman or at least due to salary negotiation on a regular basis?

    My friend is a salesman and I often buy him a few drinks to help me with this aspect (he knows nothing about teaching but I don't need help with that bit). His advice for this is to only discuss salary once the offer is in and deflect any attempts to discuss earlier with "Does this mean you are offering me the job", " Shouldn't we discuss this once you know if you want me" type of statements.
    Don't put it in the application letter, they won't reject you out of hand on the application due to earlier salary (or if they do you're stuffed anyway).
    I'd strongly recommend you wait until the offer/negotiation stage when you'll have a good idea of how far you can push it. Strongly suggest you play scenarios with a salesman though beforehand.
  3. rustycat2000

    rustycat2000 New commenter

    Thanks for this - it's very helpful. If I could move somewhere and not get a pay cut that would be absolutely fantastic. If you think there's no chance somewhere would reject me without trying to negotiate then there's no harm - I can consider whatever offer I get and decide if it's worth it or not.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Generally schools aren't very fussed what you earn now, only what they will have to pay you.
    On the application form, you need to fill in all the boxes and fill them in honestly, so you have no choice about stating it.
    Most Heads also know that school near London pay more, prestigious schools pay more, schools who want their pound of flesh pay more, etc, etc.
    Have a lower limit in mind for when you get to the point of negotiating (usually when an offer is made) and stick with it.

    I once applied to a prep school who sent details of the salary range with the letter inviting for interview. It was about ten grand less than I was earning at the time and so I withdrew. The school closed about 6 months later, with little notice. So do take care and compare offers to what the national scales are, as well as what you can afford.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  5. install

    install Star commenter

    My mate moved from the South and negotiated and bargained. It paid off years later when the school restructured and her pay was protected for three years before she moved on to promotion.
  6. rustycat2000

    rustycat2000 New commenter

    Thanks for these replies. The more I think about it, I am in a strong position as I don't have to accept any job; professionally I'm very happy where I am and I don't particularly have a strong geographical preference either, so I won't feel bad about turning a school down if the money is not good enough.
  7. KMac99

    KMac99 New commenter

    I too have had this concern. The advice that was given to me was to put the band/level I was on and then write competitive where it specifically asked amounts. And then hash out the nitty-gritty once I'd been offered the position or in the interview if it got brought up. Whilst I'm not sure whether this was/is good advice, I thought I'd share it.

    For a former colleague, our current school helped her with the negotiations after she'd been offered a position at a new school. This may just be my school but hearing from an old/current school that you are worth the extra money is probably a reassuring point. If you have a good relationship with your current school, they might be willing to do this for you.

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