Hourly Pay for Teachers

The hourly rate for UK teachers is a difficult one to calculate. We can assume that the majority of teachers work more than 37 hours a week and don’t necessarily stop working during holidays. With this in mind, what is the hourly pay for teachers in the UK and how can we use this information to plan our careers? Hopefully, you are clear on your current yearly salary and understand how to progress through the pay scale.

Hourly Pay for Teachers

The below table of hourly rates works on the following scenario:

  • Works for 47 hours per week (the average determine by Schools Week)
  • Doesn’t work in the holidays
  • Works 40 Teaching Weeks

I realise these numbers might not align with your experience (not working in the holidays?!) but it provides use with a useful baseline to work out your current income by the hour. It is worth stating that in Leadership I was lucky to stop at a 60-hour week so if you applied this rule you’d be earning less for your time as a school leader than as a Main Pay Scale teacher. The Scenario above gives us a formula for working out the hour pay for teachers as follows:

Yearly Salary ÷ 40 = teacher’s weekly rate (y)

y ÷ 47 = teacher’s hourly rate

Applying this thinking to the Main Pay Scale (outside London) we can work out the following hourly rates for teachers:

Yearly SalaryWeekly PayHourly Pay

What about pension, tax etc.?

The table above isn’t your take-home pay, it’s your pre-tax and benefits salary. Things get a little scarier when you factor in tax, national insurance, and minimum pension contributions. Remember this baseline calculation is based on an average 47-hour week and no work during holidays. Using the handy Salary Calculator website to calculate tax etc. the following are final hourly rates for a teacher in 2020:

Final Hourly Rate (after tax & pension etc.)

The above doesn’t take into account Student Loans so if you are in the position of having to pay this back, knock a few more pence of the above figures.

Can you afford to move jobs?

One of the biggest challenges people share with me is the idea that they cannot afford to change jobs. When I quit teaching I was on the Leadership Pay Scale (L5) and working approximately 60-hours per week. In the interests of clarity, let’s apply the same formula and assume I worked 40-hours and relaxed during the holiday. Based on this process, my hourly rate would be £16.30. If I apply this to 60-hours I would be earning £12.77 per hour. When I decided to quit teaching I took a job for £38k; I get fewer holidays but work 37 hours a week and then stop. I also never work during my annual leave and by company-policy have to turn on my ‘out-of-office’ email setting. Based on a £7000 a year pay drop my hourly rate was now £16 an-hour! Fast-forward a few years and pay rises and it’s more like £17.47 – to be earning an equivalent hourly rate on the teaching pay scales I would have to be around L10 (£51,311) and somehow managing to fit my role into 47-hour, term time only working weeks!

Thinking of quitting teaching?

If you are considering your options beyond the classroom, take the time to read our guides to resignation and get started with researching the types of jobs that would welcome your skillset.

Alternative Careers for Ex Teachers



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