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Why it 'pays' to teach

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Teaching is often talked about as one of the most rewarding professions, and justifiably so – very few careers allow you to have such a profound impact on the lives of others. Not only can you improve your students’ qualifications or future job prospects, you can shape their lives as they grow as a person and learn more about the world. The satisfaction of helping young minds develop isn’t the only way you are rewarded as a teacher, however – the financial rewards can be pretty fruitful too.

Teacher in a classroom teaching a group of primary school children

How much do teachers earn?

The minimum starting salary for a teacher in England and Wales is £28,000, which is very competitive for an entry level role, and on average, established teachers earn more than this. This can go all the way up to £64,461 for leading practitioners, and as high as £117,197 if you become a headteacher, so the opportunities for career progression are great too. Salaries are linked to performance rather than length of service, which means that if you are willing to work hard, your earnings can rise pretty quickly.

Teachers are also able to take advantage of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme – one of only eight guaranteed by the Government. It’s inflation-proof to offer you a secure retirement and typically offers around £7,000 in employer contributions every year. Compare this to the minimum 3% contribution to an employee’s pension, which works out at around £900 a year for someone earning the same salary as a typical teacher, you can easily see why this is one of the most generous schemes going.

"There are a vast number of opportunities available within the area of teaching and learning and the PCET course encourages the development of learner skills, attitudes and behaviours in preparation for employment in this sector."


Generous bursaries and grants

If that wasn’t enough, there are a range of teacher training bursaries and grants available. Bursaries and scholarships are available for computing, maths, science (including biology, chemistry, or physics), SEND or English pre-service (pre-employment) Further Education (FE) teacher training. There are also grants available for English, maths or SEND in-service (employed) FE teacher training. You can find more details on eligibility on the Get Into Teaching website.

This is non-repayable funding designed to attract high-quality graduates into certain subjects, which is a fantastic opportunity to tailor your teaching into a specialism, while getting a welcome financial injection to kick-start your career.

Fantastic teacher training courses

There are a wide range of teacher training courses available, depending on what area you’d like to get into, and many are eligible for the above funding. One such course here at Sunderland is our PGCE in Post Compulsory Education and Training (PCET), which is a professional teacher education course that will qualify you to teach in the post-compulsory education and training sector.

Martin Scott recently joined the PCET team as a lecturer and is encouraged by the opportunities offered to students. He says: “There are a vast number of opportunities available within the area of teaching and learning and the PCET course encourages the development of learner skills, attitudes and behaviours in preparation for employment in this sector. The course covers the fundamental aspects of teaching and learning, and learners are encouraged to develop their own teaching identity as a result. Learners are enabled to develop their approaches to delivery and assessment while evaluating their practice reflectively.”

At Sunderland, we have a well-established reputation for quality provision in Education – our Education courses are ranked 24th in the UK according to The Guardian University league tables 2022. Martin adds: “The clear links with delivery partners operating within the FE sector allows learners to explore the many diverse opportunities available to them, either within or as a result of the PCET course. Current practice, both teaching and learning, is informed through active research with both teachers and learners involved in the PCET encouraged to develop their practice.

So, teaching ‘pays’ in a range of different ways, but with funding for trainee teachers better than it’s ever been, there’s arguably never been a better time to get into teaching. Take a look at our Education courses here at Sunderland to take the first step into joining a career which rewards you in more ways than one.

Published: 5 March 2020