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Relocating back to UK - school not honouring pay scale

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by FraPandolf, May 13, 2020.

  1. FraPandolf

    FraPandolf New commenter

    Hi all

    I was looking for some advice from anybody who has relocated back home and had issues with salary. The school I have interviewed for back home have decided not to put me on the correct pay scale point for my years of teaching. Rather it’s as though my years abroad do not count. I realise this does sometimes happen but I am curious about the general experience of this.

  2. colacao17

    colacao17 Senior commenter

    Since the advent of academies, salary scale points can't be guaranteed even when moving within the UK but I think it was always a bit of a grey area with overseas experience, sometimes taken into account, sometimes not.

    I suppose you just have to decide whether you're prepared to accept the job for the salary offered. You could always take it if what you're looking for is to be back in the UK, then look around from there for another move.
    FraPandolf and JL48 like this.
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    There is no such thing as "the correct pay scale". There are no national pay scales. Schools can (more or less) offer what they like. Whether you accept it is up to you.

    You have to negotiate!
    kstainsb, FraPandolf and JL48 like this.
  4. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    There's no such thing as 'correct pay scale point'. It's all turned into the wild west over the past few years. Basically state schools don't have the money to hire the teachers they actually need, so government changed the rules and said they can pay what they want to try and drive down salary costs.
    They never counted. It was always up to a school if they wanted to count them, and most state schools didn't. Independent schools are more open to counting overseas experience.

    I moved back to London about five years ago now. The one thing I found was that it's easier to get a job in the UK if you are already working in a school in the UK. Good luck with the move. :)
    DocShew, the hippo and FraPandolf like this.
  5. nemo.

    nemo. Occasional commenter

    That's normal. Overseas experience means zero.
    FraPandolf and the hippo like this.
  6. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, the comments that have been made so far are more or less in line with what I have heard from various sources.

    Lots of heads in the UK seem to think that teaching in an international school is not really "proper" teaching at all, so of course it will not count, FraPandolf. Many heads in the UK will see your "international experience" as a tax-free skive in the sunshine, away from the harsh realities that exist in most schools in the UK (lousy weather, underfunding, OFSTED, Council Tax, more and more stupid paperwork, endless staff meetings, the latest government initiative in Education etc., etc.)

    Although some private school heads think that international school experience has value, things are not exactly rosy in the independent sector at the moment. The Coronavirus pandemic could mean the closure of quite a few private schools, so now might not be the best time to get a job in an independent school..

    Having taught in international schools for about twenty years, I must say that it might perhaps be the case that teaching in an international school is NOT a good preparation for teaching in the UK. Anyone who has had hard-working, polite and respectful students in SE Asia will find it rather hard to adjust to the bad behaviour and laziness of many students in the UK.

    The good news, FraPandolf, is that there is a simple solution to your problem: get another teaching job overseas. That is what I did, after I foolishly returned to the UK. Hey ho, we all make mistakes...
    DocShew, Jonny29102, JL48 and 2 others like this.
  7. PhuMyHung

    PhuMyHung New commenter

    There's a clear pay scale in Scotland based on years of experience. As well as this, I have a colleague whose years abroad put them at the top of this pay scale.
    DocShew and lucyfletcher like this.
  8. FraPandolf

    FraPandolf New commenter

    Thank you all for your replies. This has been helpful. Bit of a kick in the teeth but I do want to move home so I suppose I’ll have to take what I can get.
  9. Bytor

    Bytor Occasional commenter

    Where were you on the pay scale before you left the UK?
    Can you prove it?
    What is their published pay policy?
    Does it discuss potability?
    Do they follow old LEA and Burgundy book?

    Last year I did a long term supply in London.
    After the 22 week period, asked to be put on pay scale as if I was a permanent teacher

    I had had had UPS3aUPS3 before leaving UK.

    School argued the toss. Said they would not employ any new teacher above main scale.

    Found their published pay policy amongst their electronic info.

    They followed previous LEA guidelines and Burgundy book.
    Explicitly stated portability given.

    They grudgingly relented, but warned I might have to do extra, but that never happened, and I would have fought it.

    Union were prepared to assist.

    Teaching agency were unsurprisingly supine

    I won because I had the information to thrust in their face.

    Rarely will you get international experience added, or they may acknowledge 2 years being equivalent to 1 in UK.
    DocShew likes this.
  10. Bytor

    Bytor Occasional commenter

    "Last year I did a long term supply in London.
    After the 22 week period, asked to be put on pay scale as if I was a permanent teacher"

    Meant 12 week period.

    All fingers and thumbs on my phone
  11. 4019775

    4019775 New commenter

    The posts above do not apply to Scotland. Scotland's state sector has a national pay scale which is followed by all state schools. The private sector, generally, pay between 10-20% more and also stick to pay scales. I know of no school in Scotland (state or private) that would ignore years of teaching but you may well be asked to provide evidence to support your claims.

    English state education is in the gutter, Best avoided at all costs.
    DocShew likes this.
  12. mrbrightside842

    mrbrightside842 New commenter

    Where abouts were you teaching and was it your same subject that you’re applying for now? Are you applying to state or academy? You should be able to negotiate.
  13. migratingbird

    migratingbird Occasional commenter

    I've just been offered a job back in the UK. I left the UK before the threshold thing came into play. I've been put at the top of the main pay scale which is what I expected, despite having 15 years experience. I'd checked the pay policy of different councils before applying so knew what to expect. Oxfordshire, for example, count 3 years teaching internationally as 1 year in the UK. It's annoying but just the way it is. They get huge amounts of experience for cheap.
  14. FraPandolf

    FraPandolf New commenter

    I was MPS5 when I left and have since done 3 years abroad. So I did not go through UPS threshold at home but realistically would be on UPS1 now and I asked for this. They gave me MPS6. I can provide evidence of performance management from my current school for last few years. It is the same subject (a core one) and I have been in the Middle East and I’m returning to quite a difficult area.

    They are an academy and the MPS wage they have offered me is a 300 LOWER than it is on national teacher pay scales, so that’s even less than I would have got had I stayed in the UK and progressed to MPS6 naturally. I wouldn’t feel so annoyed about it if that wasn’t the case.

    I have also been given a small TLR - point 2ish.
    Last edited: May 14, 2020
  15. Jonny29102

    Jonny29102 New commenter

    I've had the pleasure of teaching in both England and Scotland within the last five years and I can quite categorically state that this is not the case.

    You only need to take a look at the most recent Pisa results to see the sad decline of Scottish secondary education. Obviously, neither compare to teaching in the private sector UK/abroad but why would you compare state/private.

    When any school hires they generally need to stick to a budget and state schools are no exception to this. Quite rightly, in my opinion, xx years teaching does not always equate to a better teacher.

    If a state school feels that you value for money and they would struggle to find another teacher of your calibre AND the budget is available then they will be open to negotiation.

    Having said that, it took me a good year to adapt to life back in the state system after seven years in Asia. I freely admit that I was perhaps a little rusty when returning to the UK.

    Like it or not, teaching abroad and the UK are two different beasts
    kstainsb, motorhomer and FraPandolf like this.
  16. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    For once, I find myself agreeing with 4019775 - Jonny29102, yes there are problems in Scottish education, but they're nothing compared to the rot in England! The Scottish pay scale increases based on the number of years teaching, so as long as you can demonstrate it you get the scale level.
    FraPandolf likes this.
  17. Jonny29102

    Jonny29102 New commenter

    Fair point,
    I was looking at it from an educational perspective rather than one of employment. Obviously, not needing to prove a level of competency to achieve a higher salary is beneficial for the recipient.
    FraPandolf likes this.
  18. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    That can only be a recommendation to their schools though, probably in a model pay policy. Councils don't decide pay in schools and can't direct the governors what to pay. They can only recommend.
    migratingbird and FraPandolf like this.
  19. MyLastDuchess

    MyLastDuchess New commenter

    What a disturbing picture, Fra Pandolf :)

    Still, just be thankful you have a secure job back in the UK now. It's wild all around the circuit now, and a sure job is very reassuring.
    FraPandolf likes this.
  20. motorhomer

    motorhomer New commenter

    I think it's all nonsense. At the end of the day, it comes down to what a headteacher is willing to pay (or what they think they can get away with). They have an increasingly tight budget & will save money where they can.

    From my experience, headteachers in the U.K. actually prefer young and naive teachers who will do more for less. If they have pressure from governors to appoint a more experienced teacher but the more experienced (and more expensive) applicant turns them down over a pay issue, then they are free to appoint a cheaper alternative. I may sound like I am bitter over some sort of past negative experience but being a relatively young teacher, I've probably actually benefited from this attitude to some extent.

    Maybe they really do believe that international teaching experience counts for nothing but I doubt that otherwise they probably wouldn't want to hire a teacher from overseas in the first place.

    I reckon headteachers know that those who are returning to the U.K. usually have a very good reason for doing so & will most likely take the lower salary because of this. It does make me wonder how that headteacher treats his/her staff though, it's not a promising sign really is it?

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