Are salaries negotiable?
Academies often advertise an ‘attractive remuneration package’. But can teachers working in classrooms across the country haggle over pay in the same way?
If you are entering the profession, there is nothing to stop you asking to start above point one on the main scale. However, you have to have a reason to do so.
A twenty two year old who went to university straight from school and a gap year would have few skills that might be marketable, even if part of the gap year was spent volunteering in a school in south east Asia. However, the one third of new teachers who are over thirty and who presumably have had another job before training as a teacher should always ask at interview whether their previous experience is worth anything on the salary?
Clearly, an ICT teacher who worked as a software designer for five years is probably in a stronger position to ask for extra salary points than an English graduate who was an administrative assistant in an office, but even there the knowledge and maturity might be seen as worth something: it’s a case of don’t ask and don’t get.
How about those of you looking departmental responsibilities? Can you haggle over the amount of a TLR (Teaching and Learning Responsibility Payment)? Officially, the answer should be no. Every school will have a staffing policy and the level of the TLR for a particular post should have been set within that framework.
For this reason, monitoring what is happening on this website will pay dividends. However, what seems to be emerging are two different approaches to the use of TLRs. There are those posts in secondary schools where the value of the TLR is fixed by the nature of the duties. These include posts for heads of departments such as Mathematics, Science and English where there seems to be a surprising uniformity in the amount on offer almost regardless of the size of the school.Expect £8,200 to be the current value of most of these jobs.
For other departmental leadership, it depends upon the value the school places on the subject and what is included. The value of a TLR for something like a head of RE can vary wildly from a low to mid TLR2 to somewhere on the leadership scale in some church schools. So, even if you cannot haggle, it pays to shop around.
Don’t forget that there are other salary additions that are negotiable. There are still recruitment incentives available. Even though these are now time limited, they can add to your salary, especially if you face a cut when your ‘golden hello’ runs out.
Finally, remember that there is the option of asking for a relocation allowance if you are moving to a new area. These are usually tax free, which is an additional bonus.
Need more advice? Visit Teachers’ pay and conditions