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Salaries in independent schools in Exeter area?

Discussion in 'Independent' started by charlieeh, Dec 29, 2019.

  1. charlieeh

    charlieeh New commenter

    Hello. Long shot but I wonder if anyone can advise? I'm currently working in a private school in Surrey. I earn just over £50k (full time) for standard teacher (no responsibility) which I realise is a decent wage. My husband and I are considering a move to Devon or Cornwall- ideally the Exeter area. I know there are a handful of independent schools in that area but I have no idea what sort of salary I might be offered. I'm anticipating a substantial pay cut but we'd love to be able to afford a reasonable house down there (we're currently in a terraced 2 bedroom house with 2 kids ... Surrey is so expensive and childcare is bleeding us dry!). If anyone works in the independent sector in the Exeter area, I'd love a rough idea of pay although I know it can vary widely school to school (and even within schools between teacher to teacher!). Just looking for a figure we can plug into a mortgage calculator I suppose to see what sort of house we might be able to afford if we moved. Thanks.
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Flippin heck! I need to move to Surrey! I earn nowhere near that.

    Are you prep or senior?
    It really does depend on how large/affluent the school is.
    In the area I teach, salaries for people with my experience doing my post range from £28000 - £45000.
  3. charlieeh

    charlieeh New commenter

    Senior. Yeh I know it's a good salary. Property is expensive here though - my brother gets a fraction of the wage I'm on but can afford a much bigger house up north and lives a comparable lifestyle!

    Thanks for the reply. It's so hard to even estimate what I might be on elsewhere!
  4. tonbridge87

    tonbridge87 New commenter

    Hi, As I used to work in Surrey I can understand the salary! I work north of Exeter but still classed as West Country and salaries here are about the same as Caterpillartobutterfly mentions. Most schools pay around state school wages or, even less in some cases such as head of Departments etc plus the issue of leaving TPS is facing a number of them. The hard thing is getting a job as there are far fewer independent schools and staff don't always move on if they are in a good, safe post. Also, there are more boarding schools in the area so whilst Exeter has day schools head further north or west and you find that many of them are part boarding so be prepared for Saturday school, Sunday duties etc. For the West Country, Exeter is quite expensive as well. For most coming this way from London and the south east one has to take a pay cut but the pay off is a better quality of life. I did four years ago and would never head back now.
  5. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    Suggest you take a glance at the teachers’ pay scales. Although they are not mandatory, some independent schools will base their salary structures on them. Yes, a well-established, well-known and affluent school may pay well, but a smaller school may be very similar to the teachers’ pay scale. The pay scale ranges from about £23,000 (M1) to £39,500 (UPS3).
  6. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Do you have the financial wriggle-room to reverse this calculation?
    ie) Decide on the house(s) and then haggle the required salary.
    I assume that You're Worth It and have the necessary skills to push for this at interview time (or if you don't Husband does and he can coach you).

    DISCLAIMER: All this advice is based on my experience of haggling for long(ish)-term Secondary supply in West Yorks so about as far away from your situation as possible.
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    A smaller school is likely to pay well below the published guidance of pay scales.

    I was invited to an interview once, while on UPS3 and earning around £38 000. Their offer of pay was in the region of £28 000. When I telephoned to ask for clarification of what they meant by 'in the region of', their answer was that £28 000 was the absolute maximum they could possibly pay and they were expecting to pay £25 000. A £13 000 pay cut wasn't for me!
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  8. charlieeh

    charlieeh New commenter

    Many thanks for the replies. Yes I have had a look at the maintained sector pay scales but still don't know what I'm worth I suppose. 10 years experience and have a PhD so I was thinking maybe £35k? That's probably the least I could afford to take.

    Thanks for the suggestion of haggling. I suppose I need to decide on my rock bottom salary and be prepared to refuse any less. I've never haggled for salary before but am sure I could. I guess it depends on how much the school can afford/ How much they want me.

    Wow caterpillar to butterfly - that's exactly what I'm afraid of! And all the effort and preparation and stress that goes into a job interview... Just to be offered such a drastic pay cut. I wish there was a little more transparency with pay scales.
  9. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Absolutely, my solution to this was a friend in business-to-business sales, he knows nothing about education but this has nothing to do with it. He's coached me in both interview technique and negotiating pay rates (the BS is similar in both cases). Well worth the beers I've bought him in gratitude.
    Do you know anyone similar to run "What if...…" past?
    This is the Brave New World of Education that we work in, if we all abuse this like a lot of schools are doing then maybe it will turn out that National Pay Scales are launched as a Good Thing.

    The good news is that schools are also rubbish at haggling (little experience of it) which is why supply agencies do well, not just inexperienced teachers. So you could benefit by being the only one who pushes for a raise.
  10. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    Some small schools may pay below but I believe there are ones which at least keep some parity with the basic pay scale in the state sector. In my area (where there are quite a few independent schools) only one, so far as I know, does not pay the state school pay rates.

    I am not sure how schools are approaching the upper pay scale now. You were supposed to step onto the first rung of the ladder by showing evidence of your skills and competence and then be able to progress on up by demonstrating your increasing experience and value to the school.
    Heads of Department are usually offered something extra for their responsibilities.
    If you research the school carefully you may gain a picture of its financial situation - look on the Companies House website to see their latest accounts, look at the level of fees they charge, staff lists/qualifications (if they show them) etc. This may give you a hint as to whether the school is just making ends meet or is doing very well.

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