Hourly Pay for Teachers

hourly pay for teachers what is the hourly rate for teachers in the uk

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.

Can you afford to move jobs?

If you just want the numbers – Scroll down!

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 I’m using below and assume I worked 47-hours and relaxed during the holiday. Based on this process, my hourly rate would be £16.57. If I apply this to 60-hours I would be earning £12.98 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 at time of writing) and somehow managing to fit my role into 47-hour, term time only working weeks!

Hourly Pay for Teachers in the UK

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 a year

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.

Upper Pay Scale Hourly Rate (after tax & pension)

Upper Pay Scale comes with the expectation of taking on extra responsibility; consequently, I have provided a comparison between a 47 and 50 hour week. You can see that this makes a marginal difference to the hourly rate. This allows you to compare with the Main Pay Scale Hourly-Rate with UPS and work out which promotions are worth your time e.g. Moving from M6 to a UPS1 role with an additional 7 hours of work a week would mean you actually earn less!

UPS Final Hourly Rate

(after tax & pension etc.)

47 Hours per Week

UPS Final Hourly Rate

(after tax & pension etc.)

50 Hours per Week



Leadership Pay Scale Hourly Rate (after tax & pension)

Calculating Hourly Pay for School Leaders becomes somewhat trickier given that some members of SLT never seen to stop. Let’s assume a baseline of the Schools Week average 47-hour week and compare it with an approaching realistic 60-hour week. 60 hours works nicely as it is likely Leaders will be regularly required to be in beyond the 40-weeks contracted for classroom teachers. Therefore, using the results you can begin to unpick your value to the school. A School-Leader working 60 hours a week might be earning a lower hourly rate than the people they line manage; in fact, speaking from experience, this is going to be the case more often than not!

I won’t include all Leadership Pay Points but if you do require support calculating your pay you can contact me on Twitter anytime.

Leadership Final Hourly Rate

after tax & pension etc.)

47 Hours per Week

Leadership Final Hourly Rate

after tax & pension etc.)

60 Hours per Week


This table distresses me the most as this was the PayScale I was sacrificing my mental health and relationships to climb. I was desperate to negotiate pay rises and anxious over Performance Management for literally a few pence.

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.


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