Working in the education sector – whether as a teacher or support staff – has many advantages
Education is the third largest sector in the UK in terms of workforce, employing 1.5 million people in the public sector alone. This doesn’t just include teachers in a traditional school environment – some teachers work in adult and community learning, while others teach in the workplace and the voluntary sector. There are also roles in human resources, business and finance and administration.
There is plenty of scope for different opportunities, as well as the potential to transform young lives. Here are some of the other advantages to working in this sector.
The 12-plus weeks of holiday those working in school environments are entitled to each year aren’t to be sniffed at. For one thing, if you have children it means you’ll be off at the same time as them while still being paid, avoiding costly childcare. However, ask any teacher and they’ll tell you a good percentage of the break is devoted to admin and lesson planning, so it may not be as work-free as you’d like!
Pay and promotion
Teachers are paid a competitive salary – newly qualified teachers earn at least £22,917, excluding London weighting. With experience, you can earn up to £38,633 and leading practitioners up to £59,857.
Teachers are awarded pay rises when the pay scales and allowances are updated. Each September, teachers on the main pay scale move up to the next point on the scale, subject to satisfactory performance.
Teachers have a unique opportunity to make a difference to someone’s life by inspiring them. If you’re passionate about the subject you teach and are able to engage your audience, whatever age they are, the job satisfaction can be huge.
When a struggling pupil suddenly “gets it”, all the frustration of the job becomes worthwhile. You’ll also be working with a cross-section of people from different backgrounds, both those you teach and those you work with, making it a diverse and interesting environment in which to work.
Support during training
If you can teach in certain subjects and have a 2:1 degree or above, you may be eligible for a £26,000 bursary as well as additional support and services throughout your training. If you teach maths, you could qualify for £30,000 - £20,000 tax-free while training and £10,000 once teaching. On some courses you can also earn while you learn.
What skills do I need?
- A genuine interest in children and young people and the ability to relate to them and their parents
- A good depth of knowledge and a passion for the subject or subjects you teach
- Excellent communication skills and the ability to impart knowledge in an accessible and interesting way
- Confidence in your ability to teach successfully
- Great organisational and planning skills
- The ability to juggle many demands, including pupil and student needs, lesson preparation and ongoing assessments
- The ability to deal well with conflict and to diffuse difficult situations quickly and effectively
- The ability to command respect from pupils, colleagues and parents