New teachers’ hourly rate ‘just 10% above minimum wage’

Some newly qualified teachers are working a 54-hour week – putting them on an hourly rate that is only 10 per cent more than the minimum wage, the NEU teaching union said this morning, TES is reporting.

At a pre-conference briefing in central London this morning, joint general secretary Kevin Courtney said some teachers in London couldn’t afford new clothes and were turning to charity shops.

“Some of them are not in a place where they can afford to buy new clothes,” he said, adding that “many of them” were living at home with their parents. 

Mr Courtney said: “There are newly qualified teachers who tell us they’ve worked out how many hours they’ve worked in a week, and they’ve divided that by the amount of pay they get per week, and they’ve come up with numbers which show they are slightly – only around 10 per cent – above the minimum wage with their hourly rates. Some are working more than 54 hours a week.”

The NEU teaching union annual conference will also address issues including schools funding, privatisation of education, pay and conditions of supply teachers, workload, T levels, recruitment and retention, teacher mental health and climate change.

The national minimum wage is currently £7.70 per hour for 21- to 24 year-olds, and £8.21 per hour for over-25s.

Read more here New teachers’ hourly rate ‘just 10% above minimum wage’

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Emma

Are you a trainee teacher, NQT, teacher, headteacher, parent or  just someone who cares about education and has something to get off  your chest in a Schools Improvement Guest Post? Follow this link for more details at the bottom of the page.

Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link.

We now have a Facebook page - please click to like!


Is our school system failing dyslexic students?
LGBT+ lessons: Hundreds of children could be withdrawn from Birmingham school over relationships education, protesters warn
Categories: Employment and Teaching.


  1. Steve L

    What is often overlooked is the total value of their compensation package – i.e. including their pension benefits. How would their compensation compare with this included? It doesn’t help pay the bills but it is very valuable and a benefit unmatched in the private sector (for most).

  2. Steve L

    To illustrate how this scheme compares to others available: a teacher who joins the pension scheme at 23 and follows a typical career path could expect to accrue a pensions product worth around £600,000 – that’s £30,000 a year – and the average classroom teacher will benefit from at least £7,000 a year in pension contributions from their employer on top of their salary.

Let us know what you think...