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Enhanced pay progression for experienced NQT

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by m_finn, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. m_finn

    m_finn New commenter

    Could i have your views on this please? I'm considering starting a PGCE Secondary Computer Science in September having just lost my job in IT, i have worked in the industry over 20 years. A long time ago i was told that work place experience would accelerate the level you start on the payscale but i get the impression this might not be the case now.

    Quite simply, if i was to qualify as an NQT, I couldn't afford to start on an M1 salary, it would really have to be starting at M3. I dont think i could afford to take 6 years to get to an M6 scale.

    Any views on this please?

  2. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    It may be possible to negotiate to a higher scale particularly if you can relate your industry experience to the exam specification. Another suggestion might be to look at an independent school where salaries are traditionally (not always) higher than the state sector - I had a 5k increase when moving from state to my current indie.
    DYNAMO67 and m_finn like this.
  3. m_finn

    m_finn New commenter

    Thanks - it does look like its all geared up for graduates - M1 is graduate level starting pay and then constant progression over the next 6 years. The talk of encouraging people with working experience and life skills into the profession doesnt seem to work in practice. People like this have worked for several years, they may have mortgages and dependents, and so its very difficult to expect them to start again at the bottom and spend 6-8 years climbing the ladder.
    Landofla likes this.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    There is no national payscale. You may well start at what appears to be M1, or lower or higher, depending on your school. The good thing for you is that all is negotiable.

    Some independents are small and pay significantly less. I was looking at one the other day who wanted a head of department but were only offering he equivalent of M6 as a top salary. (Would be a huge pay cut for me)
    m_finn likes this.
  5. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    I agree and sympathise. All I would say is that computer science is sought after now. Don't be too disheartened, it can happen.

    This is a public service though. Comparing it ( and you are) to other professions isn't really helpful.

    Also, don't in your mind overplay the value of experience in other professions ( and I speak as a second careerer) teaching is teaching. It is important in certain circumstances. Particularly in schools in working class communities where kids don't have people around who have been in professional jobs. In the leafy, middle class schools ( and i am generalising here, but in my experience as a mentor, it is here where most 'older' trainees desire to be, rather than the idealistic younger ones) it is not of the same importance. Parents demand good teachers. That is it.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
    m_finn likes this.
  6. m_finn

    m_finn New commenter

    Thanks all. Yes, i was expecting different salaries and trying not to compare it to my current salary but i was looking at the bottom levels of the scale and thinking 'I just cant live on that'

    I also agree with your comments about work experience, it may give some ideas and different input but don't see it making a huge difference. If anything it's the life skills, experience of dealing and managing children that will be more benefit.

    Would it be unrealistic to expect to be on an M6 salary within 3-4 years of finishing a PGCE? (i trying to work out if i can tread water for that time)
  7. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    There was a time when outside experience increased yourstarting salary. it did when I became a teacher. Not any more. You may or maynot be able to negotiate an increase. However, and bearing in mind low school budgets, you will need to be able to present a case as to why you are worth more. Computing is a shortage subject, but some schools have dropped it because it is seemingly too difficult, grts poor value added results. It will depend on the area that you want to apply to teach. Things vary greatly from area to area.

    Practically you need to get recent experience of schools. This may put you off.

    And, saying that you have lost your job, so thought you might try teaching doesn't really inspire.

    also have a look here
  8. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I am afraid that it would be. You might have a chance, depending on the school and how good a teacher you turn out to be, but I don't think you can expect it. I took me 5 years to get to M6 (in the days when M6 featured in the national pay scales) after 25 years in banking. Don't forget that your pay can also be increased by getting a TLR, which is quite plausible within your timescale. But this presupposes that you take to teachig - many don't and, as @wanet points out, the reason you have given for 'considering' teaching does not suggest massive enthusiasm. Sorry if I am worng and you have a passion for it.
  9. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    No guarantees.

    You need a job. Well, actually that's incorrect. You need income.

    There is no security of tenure within teaching these days. I could easily see you (or anyone) just being employed on short-term contracts and ditched in favour of someone younger/cheaper and in order that you never got to acquire much in the way of employment protection. Plus you haven't evinced any enthusiasm for the work itself. You'd struggle to maintain a steady upward pay-trajectory.

    Hey, I could so easily be wrong but (looking at the job market in schools) I wouldn't bet on it. Sorry.
    needabreak and m_finn like this.
  10. m_finn

    m_finn New commenter

    Thanks for the comments. I have been very interested in taking up teaching for about 15 years, but my job was secure, i had a young family and mortgage and wouldnt risk changing careers - some people would do this - i wouldnt.

    Redundancy has presented an opportunity that i thought had past me by. When they announced redundancies last year, I used 3 days of my holiday to try some school experience, i didnt see anything in that (albeit) short time to put me off. About 15 years ago a deputy head told me work/life/whatever experience would mean starting at a higher grade, but i got the impression from the school experience last year that this may no longer be the case, hence this thread.

    Your reponses have addressed my concerns - it sounds like its not doable unless i also try bar work on the evenings.

    "...but some schools have dropped it because it is seemingly too difficult, grts poor value added results" - why on earth would that be the case? If its too difficult, it sounds to me like they need teachers with work experience...
    DYNAMO67 likes this.
  11. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    See for example this CAS discussion:
    Plus have a look at the IT computing section on here.
    DYNAMO67 and m_finn like this.
  12. m_finn

    m_finn New commenter

    thanks - sobering reading.
  13. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

  14. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Maybe read a few threads on the trainee teacher and new teacher boards... not sure you'll have the time or energy for bar work in the evenings.

    Bit of tutoring at the weekend maybe.
    needabreak, Landofla and m_finn like this.
  15. m_finn

    m_finn New commenter

    Thanks I wasnt aware of TLR's. I think i would make a decent teacher, but from this i cant see any reason to be optimistic :(

    Sorry my attempt at humour - I've read a lot about the pressures and demands on the role, i think i would have enough on my plate as a trainee without doing evening work to make ends meet.

    I hope this hasnt came across that i think i am better because of being in the workplace, sorry if it has, but its certainly not the case. The question was about something i was told about starting salaries by people in the teaching profession a long time ago and my concern that it doesnt look like i can now afford to be a new teacher.
  16. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Unfortunately that might well be the case for any new career you choose.

    Teaching is a lot of fun much of the time (and bloody frustrating the rest of it!) but you can earn a decent salary if you need to.
    Try larger independent schools, they often pay more as a basic salary and add on bits for smaller responsibilities which you can take on earlier than you would a full on leadership role. If you have some freedom to move, boarding schools sometimes have accommodation which can save you even more money.

    I did tutoring for about 3-4 hours on Saturdays early in my career to earn extra money. At £25+ an hour you can quickly earn close to £100 a week. I think I did it from about my second to my fifth year of teaching.
    sabrinakat and m_finn like this.
  17. moonirules

    moonirules New commenter


    I was in this situation around 8 years ago when I started teaching. I came out of the IT industry working with education software and asked if my experience would qualify me to start higher up the pay scale. My request was granted immediately so it is possible. I made my case by highlighting skills I thought unique and the insight that I had already had into schools before my teacher training. I also pointed out that some of areas I had worked with could be directly useful to the school - for me this meant advising on procurement. All of this was obviously 8 years ago now, and I know recruiting Computer Science teachers is extremely difficult. In fact, of all the applications I've seen for CS posts, only a very very small number of them are actually qualified in the subject and even less with previous experience in what they are applying to teach.

    I wouldn't consider it an entitlement, but I would definitely ask.
    m_finn likes this.
  18. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    A couple of comments. Firstly, there is an ingrained and media fuelled sense of doom and gloom among teachers at the moment which is not entirely reflective of reality. If you are very good and are offering a deep shortage subject in an area of the country with recruitment issues, you will have a chance of commanding a higher starting salary and / or securing agreed salary progression on appointment subject to meeting performance standards. It's not impossible even in what some like to ominously call "the current climate".

    Secondly, the difference between M1 and M3 is a take-home equivalent of what, under £3k, < £250 a month. Could you really not find that saving in your lifestyle for a year if it came to it? Or borrow to plug the gap?

    Thirdly, the pay scales are now guidelines and not a ladder - stop thinking of them as such.

    Finally, look beyond the first couple of years. With your training under your belt and some experience in a well chosen school, go to independent and you should easily achieve your aspiration of M6 equivalent by 3-4 years. Or, you could take additional responsibility to boost your pay.

    I have to question the commitment to the career path of anyone who views the first year's salary as a deal breaker, it's a very odd starting mindset. If you actually really want to teach you will find ways to make it work - posting on a negative biased forum isn't going to give you a rounded picture.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
    Landofla, sabrinakat and m_finn like this.
  19. m_finn

    m_finn New commenter

    Thanks both. I'll be the first to admit i over think things and look too far ahead. I didnt realise the pay scales were no longer in place.

    Its not just the first years salary, its also that if it was following a strict payscale it would take 6 years to get onto a salary i feel is reasonable for a hard days work. Since i started talking openly about teaching last year, i can honestly say i havent had one single positive comment. Poor pay, over worked, too much stress etc. Even then, i looked at the M3 and thought it would be okay to start on and then 3 years to progress. When someone mentioned you may start at the bottom i looked at M1 and the 6 year climb and thought 'why exactly am i doing this?' Is it just for selfish reasons that I've always wanted to be a teacher?

    I'm not expecting money for nothing, i am prepared to add value - if it will be recognised.

    I'm trying to find positives and is spending 6 years on under £30K pa a reality?
  20. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    It's complicated. Schools are under a lot of funding pressures, and I am aware of some teachers who have had their schools attempt to deny pay progression even though appraisal targets had been met.
    The key thing to pay progression will be demonstrating the ability to teach. You will show this through a mixture of observations and data on pupil progression. To get enhanced pay progression you need to be able to demonstrate that you have the subject knowledge to deliver the curriculum and proven teaching skills. As you move up the pay scale there will probably be some expectation that you share your skills with colleagues.
    Good luck
    grumpydogwoman and m_finn like this.

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