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Secondary to Primary pay gap

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by Holkidman, Jun 20, 2020.

  1. Holkidman

    Holkidman New commenter

    Hi, I have been teaching Secondary Art and Design for the past 17 years. After having a really bad experience in my old school I left and considered doing supply and then reassessing my options. I did some supply work in a secondary school and enjoyed it and in January to help boost my finances I got a job as a cover supervisor in a Primary school. I absolutely loved it and began to think going into Primary is what I really wanted to pursue. My dilemma is that the school that I did supply work for (secondary) has offered me a position as a HOD from September. However, the primary school I am currently teaching in has offered to give me some training towards becoming a primary school teacher hopefully from September 2021 (although it's not guaranteed). Obviosuly, as I am currently a cover supervisor the pay is half of what I would be earning in my current role and what I have been offered as a HOD. The question is do I risk a yesr of being paid very poorly to pursue the primary teaching in the future or just take the job I am trained in because it pays well?? Also, can I be sure that if I get a Primarty school teaching job that I would be paid on the same band I am getting now (UPS 1)??? Any advice would be gratefully received, I'm in such a dilemma and time is running out to decide as I will have to let somebody down.
  2. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    I'd be very surprised if you got UPS1 in primary as you have between little and no experience. Effectively an NQT.

    I'm sure you could negotiate further up the payscale, but I wouldn't hold my breath for UPS1 initially. Having said that, where would you rather be in a couple of years time? Step back to move on in a new and rewarding environment, or start at UPS doing same old, same old. You know that if you move to primary, you will progress through the scale, it's a temporary set back. If you've managed on CS pay for a while, it's only another year and then a complete change, for the better.

    You've been burned, you've made a huge choice already and have found a Key Stage you're happy with. I know what I'd do.
    Holkidman likes this.
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    UPS1 + TLR for a head of dept role as a definite.
    CS for a year and training (that you don't need) to maybe have a possible job perhaps in 2021 still at a much lower rate of pay.

    You don't need to train to move to primary, but some experience would be useful. Maybe try primary supply teaching instead. Ask your agency for any long term primary roles in schools keen to give you a chance.

    Depends a bit on what the 'bad experience' was. One poor experience in one school in 17 years and you want to leave the entire sector? Really? A HOD role in a fab secondary might well reignite your passion for art teaching in secondary.

    I'd take the HOD with very little thinking if it was me.
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. DrJay

    DrJay Occasional commenter

    @Holkidman, do not let the bad experience in that school put you off from the sector. The fact that you have an HOD job lined up would suggest you have something to give or contribute. If every school were to be like the school where I completed my NQT year, I'll have left teaching. Alas, some schools are hellish. Others are heavenly. My current school is fab in many (certainly not all) respects, and I could spend the rest of my career there but I won't because “the only constant in life is change.” -Heraclitus

    If I were you, I'll take the HOD job and give it my best shot. Good luck.
  5. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    With regard to pensions (it's never too soon to start thinking about it!) then you are in a reasonable position but it's worth checking you know how your pension will be calculated when the time comes.

    You have, I am presuming, had a break in service which will mean your pension will have an extra calculation made using the salary you were on when you started the break - UPS1 + a TLR possibly. You are likely to be able to have all of those 17 years counted as 'final salary' scheme ones due to the court case and tribunal.

    I suspect you also have a number of years left in you before you take retirement so you are also likely to be able to add a few more years - so long as the tribunal rules in the way I think it will - and that could mean that you get the better 'unrestricted' hypothetical pension calculation.

    However, in the coming years you are likely to be in the Career Average scheme and as that adds 1/57th of your salary to your pension each year then taking a position that pays less will have an effect. With a HOD and UPS1 you are likely to be over the £40,000 a year mark. Dropping to Mainscale and losing the TLR would mean a drop of over £5,000 - to make the maths easier call it £5700. That drop means each year your pension is increasing by £100 less. That doesn't sound like much but it is compounded each year and if it continues throughout builds up - roughly if your career was another 20 years that would equate to well over* £2000 less a year in your pension.

    *(Well over because of the 1.6% boost that CA pension amounts get over inflation each year...it's actually around £2335 a year less)
    Piranha likes this.
  6. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    FWIW, I moved from secondary to primary and never looked back. I also know others who have gone on to become HTs after making the move.

    Life's too short and teaching's too hard to work where you're miserable. I knew from the minute I stepped foot in a primary school I'd made the right decision; I was happy. If I'd stayed in secondary I would have left, no amount of money could make it worthwhile.
  7. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    You mentioned a bad experience, but then say you enjoyed supply teaching at the school which has offered you a job. If you were happy there, it seems logical to take that job. It is not as if you are preventing yourself moving into primary later.

    I am a little confused (sorry) about your current status. You say that you are teaching in a primary school, but then go on to say that you are a cover supervisor. If you have QTS (am I right in thinking that you have?) and are teaching, then you should be employed as a teacher. You don't need further training to become a primary school teacher. What this school has offered seems very vague. If you really want to move into primary, @caterpillartobutterfly's suggestion of doing supply work seems a better way forward.

    My suggestion would be to take the HoD job, and see how it goes. If you don't like it, then look at primary. I doubt if you would get onto the UPR very quickly, but perhaps you might prove me wrong. You obviously create a good impression given that a school is willing to offer you a HoD job based on your supply work there. I doubt if that happens very often!

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