Academic year 2023/24

Median teacher pay using teacher pension scheme data

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Introduction

Summary

This publication contains estimates of median teacher full-time equivalent pay in state-funded schools in England and breakdowns by school phase and by teacher grade using Teacher Pension Scheme (TPS) data. It covers the academic years 2010/11 to 2023/24.

Currently, teacher pay data is published annually in June by the Department in school workforce official statistics, please see the latest release here. The school workforce official statistics are largely based on data from the School Workforce Census (SWC). 

This ad-hoc publication provides alternative estimates of median teacher pay using TPS data because in years where the pay award is finalised close to the School Workforce Census date, this can result in the school workforce official statistics not fully reflecting the latest pay award, unlike TPS data. This publication is intended to provide an estimate that is more representative of teachers' pay after the award is fully implemented.


Headline facts and figures - 2023/24

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Background to publication

Background to publication

Year-on-year comparisons of SWC teacher pay data do not directly reflect annual pay awards for a number of reasons. While the annual uplifts to pay ranges in the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) for the present academic year are proposed and agreed at a national level, it is for schools to determine pay for teachers on an individual level, with these decisions incorporating schools’ pay flexibilities to deviate from the national framework, as well as teachers’ performance reviews. Such individual decisions may not have been made for all teachers by the point at which the census occurs in the Autumn. Therefore, while some schools report data reflecting the latest pay review in the School Workforce Census, some report that of the previous academic year (without the outcome of the latest pay review applied). 

This has been more noticeable in the past two years as there was more variability in the annual pay awards and the conclusion of the consultation process and publication of the STPCD was later in the year (for a detailed explanation see the school workforce methodology and the methodology section for this ad hoc release).

To address this issue, this ad hoc publication on pay statistics uses TPS data to provide an alternative estimate of the median teacher salary, that is representative of pay fully inclusive of the latest award. TPS data is administrative data collected in the process of managing the contributions of teachers and their employers to their pensions. Unlike the SWC, which provides a snapshot of data on the census date, the TPS data is retrospectively updated with any pay decisions that were backdated to before the census date in November each year.

Following a pause in pay awards for most public sector workers in 2021, teachers received a pay award of 5.4% on average in 2022 (this was 5% for most teachers but higher for starting salaries) and 6.5% in 2023. Taking the past two years together, the average pay award for teachers was 12.3% (and 11.8% for experienced teachers).

SWC data shows an increase in median salaries of 6.1% over these two years, which is lower than the pay award.

Census YearMedian teacher salary using SWC dataYoY % changeFor reference: pay point U3, rest of EnglandFor reference: pay award for the upper pay range
2021/22£41,290£41,604
2022/23£41,6040.8%£43,6855.0%
2023/24£43,8015.3%£46,5256.5%

These are official statistics in development and as part of the process of development we will be reviewing and improving our methodology and considering whether future publications are necessary. Feedback on the quality and relevance of these statistics going forwards can be sent to schoolworkforce.statistics@education.gov.uk.

Overall median teacher pay

Median pay using Teacher Pension Scheme data for all teachers. 

The TPS data shows that median pay rose by 6.5% between 2022/23 and 2023/24 – equivalent to the pay award – to a median of £46,525. 

This is equivalent to the top of the teacher pay scale outside of London.

In all the previous years of our data series, the increase in median pay according to the TPS data has consistently matched the pay award for the upper pay range, and median pay has been equal to the maximum of the upper pay range outside of London.

We would expect a significant proportion of teachers will be on one of the nine advisory pay points for qualified classroom teachers (M1 to M6 on the main pay range; U1 to U3 on the upper pay range), including the versions of these pay points applicable to the inner, outer, and fringe areas of London. This leads to a distribution of pay containing several clusters, with large groups of teachers on values equal to the pay points and relatively fewer paid between these values. The largest grouping of teachers is found at the top of the upper pay range, and this is the group containing the median teacher. Because of the size of this group, the median is less sensitive to fluctuations year-on-year, and more likely to reflect the pay award exactly each year. Other medians in this publication may be more sensitive year-on-year to changes in the distribution of teachers.

Detailed breakdowns

We also breakdown the data by teacher grade and school phase. We do not see the expected increases, as implied by the pay award for the upper pay range, consistently for each group and every year. The increases in some groups over the past two years are slightly higher than the average pay award. This may be explained in part by compositional changes in the workforce and does not necessarily reflect teachers receiving larger than expected pay awards. The median teacher for some of these groups also falls between pay points, where teachers are typically clustered, therefore making the measured median more sensitive to small compositional changes, as explained in the previous section. 

We cannot rule out that some of these inconsistencies may be partly due to data accuracy and completeness. Please see our methodology section for details on the data limitation and quality assurances processes. Care should therefore be taken when considering these results.

Median teacher pay by teacher grade

Classroom teachers: For classroom teachers, median pay in 2023/24 was £46,280. This has risen by 7.6% since 2022/23. When looking over the previous two years, classroom teacher median pay grew by 12.7% between 2021/22 and 2023/24, slightly higher than the cumulative pay award. 

Head teachers: For headteachers, median pay in 2023/24 was £79,430. This has risen by 6.7% since 2022/23 and by 12.3% since 2021/22, broadly in line with the pay award for 2023/24 of 6.5% and slightly higher than the cumulative award for leaders over two years. 

Other leadership teachers: For other leadership teachers median pay has risen by 6.5% since 2022/23 and 11.8% since 2021/22 to £63,430 in 2023/24. 

Median teacher pay by school phase

Median pay for primary school teachers was £44,870 in 2023/24, a rise of 6.5% since 2022/23 and 11.8% since 2021/22, equivalent to the cumulative pay award.

For secondary school teachers median pay was £48,773 in 2023/24, a rise of 8.0% since 2022/23, which is higher than the pay award for 2023/24. The increase over the previous two years is 13.1% between 2021/22 and 2023/24, again slightly above the pay award.

Official statistics in development

These statistics are official statistics in development undergoing evaluation. They have been developed under the guidance of the Head of Profession for Statistics and published to involve users and stakeholders at an early stage in assessing their suitability and quality.

 Official statistics in development have been produced as far as possible in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

This can be broadly interpreted to mean that these statistics are:

  • managed impartially and objectively in the public interest
  • meet identified user needs
  • produced according to sound methods
  • well explained and readily accessible

Find out more about the standards we follow to produce these statistics through our Standards for official statistics published by DfE guidance.

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Methodology

Find out how and why we collect, process and publish these statistics.

Ad hoc official statistics

Ad hoc official statistics are one off publications that have been produced as far as possible in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

This can be broadly interpreted to mean that these statistics are:

  • managed impartially and objectively in the public interest
  • meet identified user needs
  • produced according to sound methods
  • well explained and readily accessible

Find out more about the standards we follow to produce these statistics through our Standards for official statistics published by DfE guidance.

Contact us

If you have a specific enquiry about Median teacher pay using teacher pension scheme data statistics and data:

Pay & Incentives Analysis Unit

Email: schoolworkforce.statistics@education.gov.uk
Contact name: Giulia Chiandet

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