Get Into Teaching

A recent television advert to get more people into teaching has recently sparked controversy after receiving 140 complaints, according to the advertising watchdog. The television advert for the Get Into Teaching campaign; Your Future: Their Future, recently suggested that teachers in England could earn up to £65,000, however teachers and unions have been quick to claim that this figure is exaggerated and misleading.

Last week, Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw warned headteachers that teacher shortages should be a ‘burning issue’ for schools and the government. In response to Sir Michael’s comments a TV advertising campaign was launched by the government to encourage people to join the teaching profession. Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said how she felt the advertising campaign would play a key role in attracting a new generation of passionate and gifted teachers. The Education Secretary continued to say “Great teachers are at the heart of our drive to extend opportunity to every single child. That is why we are focused on attracting more talented people into the profession, to inspire young people, open doors to their future and help prepare them for life in modern Britain.”

However, when first aired, the £3m campaign had the wrong effect generating 140 complaints and leading the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to investigate whether the Department for Education had breached its guidelines. During the advert a male teacher says “And if you’re wondering what else a good teacher makes, it’s probably more than you think”, with on-screen text then stating ‘£22k to 27k minimum starting salary… and up to £65k as a great teacher.’

After receiving the complaints the DfE referred to published statistics that in November 2014 there were 12,845 teachers earning £65,000 or more. Of the 12,845 who earnt this salary, 12,360 were in leadership positions leaving 485 working as classroom teachers.

The ASA noted the advert depicted a number of teachers conducting lessons but it did not consider that viewers would infer the salary information represented a pay scale for classroom teachers and found that the advert did not misrepresent teachers’ potential salaries.

After hearing the ASA’s findings, Kevin Courtney, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) Deputy General Secretary, said he found the decision “quite surprising” as he thought the advert was ‘ridiculous’ and believed that teachers had the right to complain and ridicule. “Teachers currently face five more years of 1% headline-pay rises and huge uncertainty because of the chaotic implementation of performance related pay, it is obviously ridiculous for the DfE to give the impression that this is a likely salary.”

But what do you think? Are the government wrong to imply that class teachers can reach this salary? Sir Michael Wilshaw last week stated how impressive teacher salaries should be shouted about to attract more talent to the profession, and the government have responded, only to have their advert attacked by unions. Mr Courtney further stated “when only one in a thousand classroom teachers earn £65,000, it is obviously ridiculous for the DfE to give the impression that this is a likely salary” however if there are 485 classroom teachers on this salary and thousands of teachers in leadership positions… why shouldn’t the government show off the potential teacher salaries? Surely attracting more ambitious career hungry professionals is good for the profession? Have your say…

8 thoughts on “Get Into Teaching

  1. If only… I have a degree & PhD in Engineering and 2 children of my own. I recently re-trained as a physics (a major shortage subject) teacher. If I work full time as a teacher I get around £22000 pa.
    Before I had my kids, I worked just 4 days a week, did not have to take work home, faced only low levels of stress, had time for tea breaks and lunch (that were not taken over by keeping students back after lessons because of incidents during lessons, missing homework, etc. etc.) and earned £32000 (about £40000 if I did a 5 day week) – I would have had a pay rise since then as it is over 10 years ago. Holidays from work were just that: HOLIDAYS – I could do what I wanted with them – no marking, preparation, data entry, …
    There are aspects of teaching I enjoy, but I really cannot justify staying in teaching, for the pay, conditions, workload, stress or rewards of working with young people.
    If I could earn anything like £65000, that might make things different! But I can only dream of that as a teacher.

  2. What! No classroom teacher earns £65, 000.
    Teachers must have a responsibility and have reached the threshold payment (UPS3 after years) and will still be earning in the low £40, 000s.

    There is no work-life balance – I have been teaching for nearly 20 years – have worked in a number of schools, know a lot of other teachers and the issues are the same – the education system in this country is not working. Teachers are not valued, underpaid, over worked and stressed. A lot of teachers are opting to teach abroad because of all these reasons – There as a teacher they are valued, paid well, not over worked or stressed. I am considering a move myself – I know of many teachers who have already gone.

    A huge rethink is needed; I am not hopeful this will happen.

  3. Well this figure is totally misleading to anyone wanting to enter the profession. I taught in a special school and was manager overnight, making one shift 32 hours and then teaching the next day. I earned around £50k but was knackered at the end of the week. My downtime was when I slept. The rest was marking, preparation, meeting prep, staff meetings, SLT meetings and the golden caveat if “and whatever the headteacher can direct you to do”. The 12360 teachers noted above in running schools etc probably rarely come into contact with the children in question. Such is life. Those that can do, those that can’t teach.
    I totally agree that as chair of governors in my local school, after the head, the classroom teachers find it difficult to progress further up the pay scale. As it is, my head is an executive head over two schools but she doesn’t earn 2 times the single heads salary and has a 5 plus mile travel between sites.
    My middle son has entered into teaching as has his future wife and I’ve constructively encouraged them to try and find jobs with similar pay and progression but without the stress!

  4. Anyone who is a teacher knows that a salary of 65K is misleading. It’s almost not worth the time trying to convince otherwise. The advert is amazingly coy. If salaries were so great why not be up front about them rather than some timid line about wondering what else a teacher makes? State schools are anyway underfunded. Several schools I know are having to limit photocopying for student worksheets because they haven’t the budget. When a school is in this position, and I don’t blame them, where will the incentive be to pay teachers higher salaries?

  5. It is absolutely ridiculous to suggest that classroom teachers can earn this amount. I qualified in 2002 but because I chose to work abroad without first finishing my NQT year, I am now being paid on M1 despite my 14 years of teaching experience abroad. Even as an NQT in 2002, I was earning more than I do now but portability of pay no longer exists so my previous M3 salary was dropped to M1. If this is how schools choose to treat well-qualified, highly competent and experienced teachers (recently OFSTED-ed as outstanding), I’m not surprised people are leaving the profession.

  6. I thought the advert was a joke, at first! Who wrote and produced that drivel?
    Teaching salary is OK as a second household salary, but as the primary ‘bread-winner’ (especially in the South-East and where the partner/spouse does not work at all), it would be laughable, if it were not true! £35K after 35 years at the chalk-face is an absolute insult; even the pension has been tampered with to the detriment to the ‘profession’. When I joined teaching, the salary (for experienced teachers) was on a par with: doctors, captains in the army, senior civil servants, etc. Now, 1% for the foreseeable future, with no rise in six years? That’s not going to provoke recruits, is it? It is just indicative of the contempt successive governments (and ministers) have had of the ‘profession’, while voting massive pay rises for themselves! The pension used to be a ‘perk’ at the end of a 40 year career, but no longer, as many retire early (if they last that long health-wise) on actuarial-reduced pensions just to get away from it.

  7. So, now the Government wants students at Secondary Schools/Academies (in future!!) to learn (and be taught) Mathematics up to 18 years of age – EVEN THOUGH THERE IS A SHORTAGE OF QUALIFIED MATHS TEACHERS with some schools employing PE teachers (I hear/read) to teach GCSE Maths. It is truly UNBELIEVABLE, isn’t it!? From where will the teachers come to teach the thousands of students (needing) to be taught up to 18 years old? The Forces?! What will be the curriculum/syllabus that they will receive? They cannot ALL be capable of A-Level Maths!!!

  8. So much for earning £65,000! I haven’t had a pay rise in 10 years! I work millions of hours a week, earn rubbish pay and have no life!
    I’m now leaving my permanent position as I’ve had enough!
    Love the teaching side though! The children all like me I have good relationships with my colleagues and parents but hate the constant paperwork, observations, tests, tests, targets, target setting, planning, making resources, differentiation, tests, MPs spouting crap!
    Think I’d like a job in the local supermarket.
    Wouldn’t recommend teaching to the younger generation no wonder young people leaving in their droves. Get out while you are young and do something else!

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