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I need some help understanding this- salary for job.

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by pickles124, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    Hello All,

    I have been offered and have accepted a Teaching Assistant position,which to my knowledge they made clear i would be paid on skills and qualifications.

    I have a BA degree, no Level 2/3 qualification as of yet.

    I was told verbally i would be on a starting salary and pay grade of around £19,238 per annum at Grade 3 Point 20, pro rata term time.

    However im struggling to understand why my annual salary is £14,979. Why do i have two different figures. I don't understand this very well.

    Do i accumulate the rest of the money eventually as it doesn't look like im on a salary of £19,238. This is my first proper TA job in an LEA school, and need help understanding this as simply as possible.
  2. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    Just to add im starting out on a temp contract until the end of July, where if i do well i may be offered a permanent contract.

    I am still extremely confused by all this. If anyone can please help to explain this to me i would be very grateful.
  3. Trekkie

    Trekkie Occasional commenter

    Firstly, well done on getting the job pickles124!

    Pro rata means that the salary quoted is what a full time worker would receive for the same job (£19,238). Your salary is calculated according to what proportion of a full-time job your hours make up (£14,979). In a Primary setting you might only work 25 hrs pw (as I did) which is basically the time the children are in school. Some TAs work 30 hrs+ pw. How many hours pw are you working?
  4. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    Assuming you have been appointed full-time: if you were working the whole year, instead of just term time, you'd earn £19k. But you won't be paid for school holidays which reduces the figure to £15k.
    needabreak and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  5. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    I see- thank-you for the clarification. If i do well and my contract changes over to permanent, is there a possibility that in time my salary would go up. If i'm entering this at Grade 3 Point 20 how would that work?
  6. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    And my final question is, will i be paid for holidays too? Thanks x
  7. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    But the school said i will be paid a salary each month so is that deducted from my wages of 19k?
  8. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    I cant remember off the top of my head- 32 i think. Would i get a payment every month say in the summer holidays? The school said that i get paid.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  9. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Lead commenter

    Congratulations on getting the job, Pickles! As has often been said, you need at least a degree in Applied Maths to understand TA salaries. But basically, the salary quoted is for 35 hour week, for someone who works all through the year (probably with 5 weeks holiday). Your salary will be based on that figure, but pro-rated for the amount of hours you work. Then it will also be worked out pro-rata on a term time only basis. That's 39 weeks per year, plus your holiday allowance - again, probably 5 weeks - which would work out at 44 weeks per year. Once they've worked that out (and it always brings the original figure well down), it will then be annualised, so that you received an equal payment every month, even when you are not working in the holidays. Someone will come along on here who can explain it much better, but I hope that makes it a bit clearer.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  10. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    By eck! I think i need a phD in understanding pro rate salaries!! I think i have been confused for most of the day. I was worried that i would not receive a payment or a reduced payment for months with holidays in.

    I do hope this is correct as the summer holidays will be a right struggle otherwise.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  11. chocolateworshipper

    chocolateworshipper Occasional commenter

    Congratulations OP.

    You need to see what the pay range is in your LEA. Here, if you go to the county council website, you can find a link to education vacancies and the salaries. Most LSAs here start on Grade B - salary range £15,315 - £15,774. Some LSAs move up to Grade C - salary range £15,909 - £17,758. Grade D is only for HLTAs, so £17,758 is the top possible salary for an LSA. So yes your salary may go up - but unless your LEA is very different, there isn't a massive difference between bottom of the scale and top of the scale
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  12. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    You're not the only one to be confused by pro-rata pay.
    Good explanation by @sunshineneeded.

    Basically the pay scale quoted is always artificially inflated by quoting as if one worked 52 weeks (incl holdays) whereas Schools generally only work around 39 weeks with 4 weeks 'holiday, making 43 weeks. then that amount is divided equally over the 12 months, so you will not have any months without actual pay.
  13. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    But why tell me verbally this is what I am going to be paid per annum when it simply does not correlate. It is pointless to tell me that really, because I've been sitting here rather stupidly thinking that I will be bringing home around £1,500 pounds per month (tax and NI deducted). You see. Nobody really explains these things, then when you look at the letter you end up with an almighty shock.

    At least I do get paid every month, but I genuinely thought I was on £19,298.

    Can my salary ever realistically go up?
  14. tackles

    tackles Occasional commenter

    Unfortunately @pickles124, probably not. As others have said, your actual take home salary will always be far less than the annual salary they quote, given that you are employed on a pro-rata basis.

    As an example, if an annual salary of £18,000 was quoted, you would naturally assume that your gross salary (before tax, NI and any other deductions) would be £1,500 per month. However, that is on the assumption that you work for 37 hours a week, 52 weeks of the year, including your annual holiday entitlement.

    As a TA you are only paid for the time which you actually spend in school, so around 44 weeks of the year (39 term time weeks plus holidays), and you say you're part-time, so doing 32 hours a week.

    In the hypothetical example above, an annual salary of £18,000 would (using the weeks and hours explained above) be reduced to £15,230 for 44 working weeks, assuming that was at 37 hours per week. As you do around 32, this would then reduce the £18,000 further, meaning the actual annual salary for a 32-hour term-time pro-rata employee would be £13,172. This would be divided equally throughout the year if they've said you'd be paid throughout the year, so your monthly gross salary would be £1,097.

    It's highly misleading to quote pro-rata salaries for TAs as the hours they work can vary so much. It's worth asking your school or HR to clarify exactly what figures they use so you can understand it better. I doubt they'll mind, given that actual TA salaries are so hard to work out they've probably be asked this many times before.

    Sadly, your actual annual salary of £14,979 sound about right for a stated pro-rata salary of £19,238.
    josephjdavis13 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  15. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Probably only in line with yearly pay increases if you get them. (Though I'm willing to be told differently by people with more know-how and experience.)

    One thing you have learnt though, is to be wary of 'pro-rata' pay statements. ;) Though when one considers the plight of people on 'zero-hour contracts which mean legally they are 'employed' yet may not be actually earning, you are on a regular wage and will be paid for all 12 months.
  16. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    Thank-you all for your responses. Well yes it does appear to be very confusing but I think I'm going to look at this positively as I want to work in a school, and its a good opportunity for me. I do feel a little nervous as this is my first proper teaching assistant job in a mainstream school.

    If anyone has any final advice that would be great. I was thinking of buying the Level 3 Supporting Teaching & Learning handbook as I saw it on Amazon. I'm not sure if I need it, but I figured it would help. How long is a normal probation period for a TA?
  17. snugglepot

    snugglepot Occasional commenter

    Congratulations I read your other threads.
    Yes, you go up an increment point I think it is every year but it is a small amount.
    Yes, it is confusing even our secretaries admit that.
    After Single Status it became confusing because different councils consider full time different hours. Ours put it up from 32.5 hrs to 37 hrs. So it would be say £19,298 for 37 hrs but pro rata is the amount of hours you work. You will get a monthly pay packet for twelve months because they work it out then divide it by twelve months, as others have said.
    The best thing would be for you to ask the secretary for the phone number of the company that works out your pay . Then ring them and they will be able to tell you your hourly rate and any other questions you have.You get a set number of paid holiday which slowly increases. I have had 25 years of service and I think mine is 30 days to give you an idea.
    To increase your wage you could work in the holidays in holiday clubs, childminding or as a nanny because working mums need childcare.
    Join a union.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  18. snugglepot

    snugglepot Occasional commenter

    3 months at our school.
  19. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    Snuggles- are you able to PM please.
  20. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    Mine is longer than that.

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