Female teacher in front of class

Pay equality FAQ

Frequently asked questions on pay scale, allowances for additional responsibilities and pay progression.

Three quarters of the teaching workforce is female and yet the pay gap between men and women in schools is 18.8 per cent (compared to a national figure of 13.1 per cent).

The school workforce census for England published by the Department for Education (DfE) in June 2020 showed male teachers were paid more than their female counterparts across all grades. It also showed a higher proportion of men were head teachers. Equivalent data for Wales and Northern Ireland was not available at the time of writing.

Pay portability ceased in September 2013, so you must negotiate your salary with your new employer. Schools have discretion to recognise previous experience and pay portability may be included in school pay policies. You should always ask about this when considering a new post.

If you have taken on a significant additional responsibility in relation to the management of teaching and learning, you should be awarded a teaching and learning responsibility (TLR) payment.

TLR payments are awarded for additional management and leadership responsibilities undertaken by classroom teachers. There are three bands of the allowance: TLR 1, TLR 2 and TLR 3.

No, the school teachers’ pay and conditions document (STPCD) (Wales: School teachers' pay and conditions (Wales)) does not require teachers to take on additional responsibilities to apply for UPR, nor to maintain UPR status.

To progress to UPR, a teacher must demonstrate that they are “highly competent in all elements of the relevant standards” and that their “achievements and contribution to an educational setting are substantial and sustained”.

No, it is not right. The DfE guidance document, Implementing your school’s approach to pay, expressly states: “Where a teacher is away from school because of maternity leave, it is unlawful for the school to deny that teacher an appraisal and subsequent pay progression decision because of her maternity. When a teacher returns to work from maternity leave, the school must give her any pay increase that she would have received, following appraisal, had she not been on maternity leave.”

State schools in England are expected to follow this guidance. A failure to do so will be used by the union as evidence of unfair and, where appropriate, discriminatory practice.

You should not be denied pay progression because of budgetary constraints. The school should budget for pay progression. The school’s budget is completely outside your control and any decision to deny you progression on these grounds is unfair and should be challenged.

If you are denied pay progression for any reason, you should ask for reasons in writing and submit an appeal against the decision. Contact your local NEU rep or the [email protected] for further assistance.

You should negotiate your starting salary, setting out clearly your skills and experience and why you deserve to be placed higher on the pay scale to reflect your experience as a teacher.

Employers have discretion to recognise any additional experience that they consider relevant. The school’s pay policy should explain what experience will be taken into consideration when setting your starting salary.

You can ask your employer for information about other colleagues’ pay, although you should be prepared to have your request denied on the basis that disclosure would breach the data protection rights of the individuals in question. Employers are more likely to comply with a request for salary information if disclosure will not lead to the identification of an individual.

Yes, they are. Pay ‘secrecy clauses’ or ‘gagging clauses’ which seek to prevent or restrict workers from making or seeking a ‘relevant pay disclosure’ are unenforceable under the Equality Act 2010. A relevant pay disclosure is any sought or made to find out whether – or to what extent – any pay differences are related to a protected characteristic.

Yes, a relevant pay disclosure may be made to anyone, including a trade union rep, or requested from a colleague or former colleague. Contact the union immediately if any action is taken against you for seeking or disclosing information about your terms and conditions of employment.

No, they cannot do so lawfully. See the FAQ above.

Yes. A part-time teacher can meet all the criteria for TLR and is entitled to receive a TLR payment. As a part-time teacher, your TLR payment is paid proportionately to your part-time hours except for TLR 3.

If you are job sharing and your post attracts a TLR allowance in the staffing structure, both teachers undertaking the job share will each receive a proportion of the TLR payment. Therefore, if both teachers are doing 0.5 of a job share, they will both receive half the payment.

You should ask for an explanation as similar weighted/sized jobs should attract the same level of TLR payment.

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Teachers' pay and allowances

Advice on leaders and teachers' pay scales, TLR, pay safeguarding and equal pay.

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