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Negotiating NQT salary above MP1

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by elizabeth1972, May 31, 2010.

  1. I'm looking for a job for September, as an NQT. Finger crossed....
    I'm wondering, at what stage would it be appropriate to try and negotiate a starting salary above MP1? I'm a mature student, with years of TA and other school experience, I have a first class degree in Education and have almost completed my MA in Education (I'll finish it during my NQT year if I'm fortunate enough to get a job for September).
    Would it be appropriate to try and negotiate? If so, when do I try and negotiate, and how?

  2. I'm looking for a job for September, as an NQT. Finger crossed....
    I'm wondering, at what stage would it be appropriate to try and negotiate a starting salary above MP1? I'm a mature student, with years of TA and other school experience, I have a first class degree in Education and have almost completed my MA in Education (I'll finish it during my NQT year if I'm fortunate enough to get a job for September).
    Would it be appropriate to try and negotiate? If so, when do I try and negotiate, and how?

  3. Probably not the way I did it. I didn't discuss it at interview - and I think that's right.

    Then the school phoned with the offer and I asked whether they would pay me at a higher level (I am a science teacher and have many years relevant industrial experience) - and the (Deputy) Head told me that it wasn't the school's decision - it's all decided by the LA. I thanked her and accepted - having seen the LA's code of practice that indicated I would be paid above M1. Then called the LA - who said it was nothing to do with them - down to the school. Back to the school - Head gets involved and grudgingly offers me M2. Later ... and this is tricky during induction year ... I raised it again, got referred to Chair of Governors - feeling slightly like a naughty boy - who reads the LA guidance and offers *much* more.

    Don't know what would have been best ... suggest read LA code of practice in advance (and that's an extra pressure I suppose) and be ready to have an informed conversation when you get the offer.
  4. Hi
    The best time to discuss salary is at interview. It almost all cases it is the school which has discretion over what you are paid and it is the governing body which can authorise higher payment (some defer this to the head but in some schools a head may have to get permission from the gov. body.
    Payment above M1 will depend on your subject, your previous experience etc. There are no automatic rights for higher pay, just what you can negotiate. Schools will assume that NQTs are M1 so make it part of your questions to the panel.
  5. That's interesting James. You know what you're talking about and I don't so I'll stand corrected .... but ... just seems odd to discuss it at interview - school has your CV or information on the form about your former life so should recognise if there is an issue of payment above M1. In industry, I would consider if very odd for a candidate to raise the topic of money before the interviewer - though I recognise there - without fixed pay scales - it's likely to be an inevitable question at some point if the interview is going anywhere. Still think it's a good idea to find out LA or school policy beforehand, if you can.
  6. The accepted way is to approach when they say 'Are you still a firm candidate for this post' at the end of the interview. You should then say something along the lines of 'yes, subject to terms and conditions'. This means that they are aware that there is something you want to talk about if you do get it and it seems to be some kind of secret code to be honest!
    That said, it sounds like you're primary since your degree is in education? You would have a better chance if you had a 1st in maths or physics and were looking for a secondary post. Unfortunately primary teachers are ten a penny and you will be in a more difficult bargaining position because of that. It's simple economics unfortunately, suppy and demand!
  7. You will find that interview an employment practices in schools are very different from industry e.g. many schools require an 'instant' decision on the day of interview which is binding - some even place a contract to sign on the day.
    Most schools look to save money on staffing (after all it is the biggest expense that a school has) and will make the assumption that most, if not all NQTs start on M1. Others will defer the 'salary decision to govenors (as the actual employers) or misleadingly state that fixed pay scales mean there is no room for negotiation - even though this is not correct - schools (govenors) can pay above the scale.
    I am aware of mature entrants to teaching who are NQTs starting on M5 or M6.
    Exactly when you raise the question will all depend on how the interviews are structured and run.
    It may well be that the best time is at the point you are offered the job - but could that look a littlre mercenary?
    If it is during the 'any questions' at the end of the panel interview, some people are afraid that it may sway the decision.
    Not bringing it up on the day but afterwards could lead to an 'assumption' of M1 then comes the embarrasment of trying to haggle after the fact.
    The truth is that there is no one simple cover all answer about how and when and my thought is that it should be during the any questions and phrased around a statement like.
    "ould the school, if they decided I was the best candidate take into consideration my previous work and experience and conbsider appointing above M1 for this NQT post?"
    It does leave the door opena nd is not a 'done deal' i.e. offer me more or else and provides the candidate with an opportunity to argue their case. Of course a school can still say no and some will if they are pushed for cash.

  8. That's really helpful: thanks. It does seem a little mercenary, and I don't want it to bias their decision in any way, knowing how budgets are at the moment, but I think it's a fair point to raise if I am to be compared like for like with a younger and less experienced candidate.
    I like the idea of the sensitively phrased question during the "any questions" part of an interview. It doesn't come across as pushy or mercenary, and gives them a clear opportunity to say "no!" if necessary!
    In answer to a question above, yes I am primary. I know places are sought after, but I also know that my qualifications and experience have had a huge impact on my classroom practice.

  9. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    These issues will not influence any decision to pay you more, so don't bother mentioning them. Many candidates possess such qualifications.
    You may be able to demonstrate that your work experience in schools has improved your skills as a teacher - but be prepared to explain exactly how. As a head, I never bought the 'I've worked so pay me more' argument and expected such staff to make the case for why this meant I should pay them more. Not all older/more mature/more experienced in the field teachers are actually better than 22 year olds fresh from college.
    toffeeCookie101 likes this.
  10. pilko

    pilko New commenter

    Hi - I qualified last year as a mature student. Mine and fellow students experience was mainly down to leaving it to the school/ LA. I figured that it was my choice to change career and retrain and so accepted I would go in on M1. As it happened, I started on M3 (1 point for a first and 1 for previous career salary at £25k). My peers went in from M1 to M4 in differing LAs. I don't think it hurts to ask but I also think you need to accept you may go in on M1.
    Good luck!
  11. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I agree with you, Middlemarch. I find your advice very useful. I think it's wise to accept that the starting salary is M1 and there's little right to expect any more simply because you've worked in industry or in a 'related' career. Being the the classroom and being responsible for results is entirely different from being a TA, or working in a related industry. You might very well have experience in the catering industry and have run your own business for years; this doesn't mean to can relate to the children bettern and produce beterrn results than someone straight out of uni.
    That said, many TAs are absolutely brilliant and DO regularly take control of the class. The TA in my department has a track record of improving standards through intervention and reading schemes which have trackable results showing how pupils have developed. I'd have thought that being able to demonstrate this sort of experience is the most likely to get you started at more than M1. Simply working with children in a supportive role does not demonstrate that you will be any better than any other NQT.
    As for when to ask... I wouldn't advise doing it at panel, as this could influence their decision. That said, they do usually ask if you are still a firm candidate, at which point you should say, 'Yes, subject to contract, terms and conditions'. This allows for discussion afterwards.
  12. I am an NQT this year aged 35, with plenty of industry experience behind me. I was offered the job after my first interview. I wish I had read this advice 14 months ago! When my letter came through I was offered M1 - and with a September start, whereas some of the young PGCE students from my course were offered a higher starting salary and starting from the time they finished the PGCE - nothing like being paid over the summer! I struggled over what to say, and eventually rang the Headteacher, who wasn't in - and spoke to his secretary, who was brilliant. I made it clear all along that I wanted to work there, but felt that my experience and additional skills were worthy of a salary above M1. I was brought up to M2 without a problem, but still I know I could have got more... Oh well. I would really recommed that you bring it up when you're offered the position - and be prepared to justify why you deserve to start above M1. Good luck!
  13. Hello
    I don't know if this sounds totally mad, but I would worry about starting above M1. At the moment there aren't enough jobs to go round and very few permenant posts on offer (in primary that is) as everyone is saying 'temporary depending on funding' and waiting to see what the new government has in mind for schools. It seems to me if you started up the pay scale and needed a new job after a year you'd be putting yourself at a bad disadvantage that isn't worth the bit more money for one year (once you've deducted tax etc not very much!), or you wanted to move within the first 3 or 4, remaining cheap for as long as possible is your best chance, whilst getting all that brilliant experience that will make you worth paying more for ...
    My aim is to remain as employable as possible for as long as possible, not to try to inflate my salary early on in my career ... it's not worth the risk of being stuck and unable to move / find a job a few years down the line!

  14. Most companies operate a last in - first out policy, mainly because an employeee is not fully protected by Employment Law till they are in position for 2 years and because the costs of 'letting go' older term employees sky rockets with each successful year after that period.
    As for teaching practice to offer at the interview or get the interviewee to sign a contract there and then, well that is just sharp practice. There is only going to be one party disadvantaged by this, people must be giving time to consider the complex terms and condition of any offer, especially when it's likely to be there first real job and Employment Law is there to protect them.
    Frankly however well meaning the intent, Heads etc are doing the potential employee a dis-service by such practices.
    As for discussing salaries at an interview, then the employer should should act professionally and inform the candidate, otherwise by all means ask, but don't subsequently haggle.
    Many people, especially young people, consider it rude to haggle over such matters - and frankly are at a huge disadvantage against a Head or LA who regularly hire people -, and my advice then is to get someone else to agree the terms and conditions. If your in the low 20s there is absolutely no inherent harm in getting your father/mother/older sibling to agree the terms - you need to inform the schools before hand, indeed you can do this at the interview if your lucky to get an offer. But don't discuss terms and conditions at an interview unless your really really know your stuff, odds are you will be at a huge disadvantage.
  15. Hi. I've got 14 years' experience teaching young learners in the TEFL industry, have a CTEFLA, a Masters in teaching French as a foreign language, and most recently a PGCE in MFL (French with German). Would Ms Middlemarch still place me on M1???
  16. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I find the tone of this post extremely rude. Middlemarch offers very good advice and I'm sure that those who have followed this advice in the past have done well in subsequent interviews.
    Middlemarch clearly said that, whatever your qualifications, you must be prepared to explain how these qualifications will make you a better teacher, and therefore deserving of a higher rate of pay. After all, to move up the pay scale, you must complete a successful cycle of Performance Management, demonstrating that you have set targets for improving teaching and learning, and have met them. In addition, you must have dishcarged all of your usual duties successfull.
    Your experience sounds impressive. If you can demonstrate that this makes you equally as good, or better than, someone who has been teaching in post for a few years, then by all means you could well be placed at a higher point on the pay-scale.
    However, it would be worth bearing in mind that, although you have undoubted experience in teaching and working with young people, you are still unproven in the classroom when following the National Curriculum, have yet to demonstrate that pupils make good progrss in all of your lessons, and have no track record of exam results and improving standards within the subject for which you (presumably) wish to teach.
    If salary is important to you, with your qualifications you could probably earn a far higher salary in a different professional to teaching.
  17. I didn't discuss my salary at interview to be an NQT because I was told it would be bad form. Having accepted the post I contacted the salary people at my LA who said they had a policy of allowing 1 spine point for every 7 years previous experience. This meant that as a 38 year old career changer, I got 2 spine points.

    I'm not sure it's the same all round, but if you don't ask you won't get. Maybe if you have an interview, contact the LA 1st and ask their policy to save you bringing it up at interview if you don't need to.
  18. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I really wouldn't do this! How can anyone apply for a professional job and have parents involved in negotiating terms and conditions for them?
    Universities and employers have complained in recent years about 'helicopter' parents interfereing in the recruitment and employment process, even to the extent of writing to employers and telling them not to make demands of their daughter because she doesn't handle stress well or to please increase their son's pay as deserves more money etc.
    Involve your family at your peril! A school will likely give you a wide berth as they won't want further parental interventions later in your career if they take you on.
  19. I was so bemused by the comment about parents I couldn't even respond! If you are an adult about to enter a profession, you don't take your parents along to hold your hand.
    No wonder so many people can't stand on their own two feet any more [​IMG]
  20. I totally agree about the parent issue! I think its far to easy to unravel all of the hard work over the interview establishing yourself as a mature responsible adult with one little mistake like that. Lets face it, as teachers we all know the pain of overly protective parents!!!

    Another question on this topic:
    Im an NQT (Physical Education), I have just graduated with a 1st doing a 4yr BA with QTS. I am also a national standard athlete with over ten years heavy involvement at high level, coaching and training and a lot of additional knowledge and expertise in theoretical elements like strength and conditioning, diet and nutrition etc which a vast majority have no idea about when it comes to G&T GCSE or A-Level. Is it worth a stab trying to get M2??

    Any advice needed!!!

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