Independent Schools

TheoGriff, who hosts the two TES Forums: JobSeekers and Independent Schoolsanswers briefly the main FAQs on Pay and Conditions in the Independent Sector.  For more detailed answers to these questions, or to browse other posters’ views, or to ask Theo a question, go to the TES Independent Schools Forum.


Where are jobs advertised for the independent sector? 

In the TES above all, although as for maintained schools, part-time and short-term posts (e.g. maternity) are often put in a local paper. 

Can I do my NQT induction year in the independent sector?

Yes, if the school offers NQT induction under the ISCTip scheme. 

What will I get paid in the independent sector? 

It all depends! The independent schools do not have to follow the teachers’ payscales, so each school will offer (a) what it can afford and (b) what it needs to pay to ensure that it attracts and keeps the best teachers. As a rule of thumb, a big successful school will pay above the MPS, and a small, possibly struggling one may pay below. 

Is there UPS in the independent sector?

It all depends! The independent schools do not have to follow the teachers’ payscales, so each school will offer what (a) it can afford and (b) what it needs to pay to ensure that it attracts and keeps the best teachers. Most big schools will match – and exceed – the UPS, but without the “going through the threshold” documentation.


Are there TLRs in the independent sector?

No, generally not. But this doesn’t mean that positions of responsibility do not receive extra pay, as they do. It’s just not called TLR. The independent sector is not too keen on all these acronyms.

How much does a HoD get paid in the independent sector?

It all depends! The independent schools do not have to follow the teachers’ payscales, so each school will offer what (a) it can afford and (b) what it needs to pay to ensure that it attracts and keeps the best teachers. 

How much extra will I get paid for doing boarding duties?

In a large successful boarding school (particularly a HMC school), this can be quite a lot, and free or subsidised accommodation (which may have a taxable element) may be given too. But the actual amount will depend on the individual school. 

What's a typical independent school contract?

No such thing! As the schools are all independent, they all have their own. Generally the bigger and more successful schools offer conditions of service which equal or improve on the maintained sector Teacher’s Pay & Conditions of Service. 

Will I still be able to be in the Teachers' Pension scheme in the independent sector?

In most schools, yes. But some smaller schools do not offer this. 


How many hours per week, or hours per year, will I have to teach in the independent sector?

There is no legal maximum (other than that set by Employment Law). There is generally no “directed time”, and the 1265 hours concept has rarely been heard of. However, a typical independent school has 160 – 170 teaching days per year, not 190 as in the maintained sector. 


How many parents' evenings and after-school meetings can they give me in the independent sector?

As many as they like/need/want! (Subject to Employment Law). There is generally no “directed time”, and the 1265 hours concept has rarely been heard of. However, a typical independent school has 160 – 170 teaching days per year, not 190 as in the maintained sector. 


Will I get PPA in the independent sector?

Yes, generally, although it usually won’t be called that. The independent sector is not too keen on all these acronyms. 


What about being expected to work weekends and holidays on co-curricular activities in the independent sector?

Yes, independent schools expect “a generous contribution” to their extensive co-curricular programme. However, a typical independent school has 160 – 170 teaching days per year, not 190 as in the maintained sector. 


What's the sick leave and sick pay entitlement in the independent sector?

Never less than the legal minimum. Generally the bigger and more successful schools offer sick leave and sick pay which are equal to the maintained sector Teacher’s Conditions of Employment, but smaller schools may not. 


What's the maternity leave and maternity pay entitlement in the independent sector?

Never less than the legal minimum. Generally the bigger and more successful schools offer maternity leave and maternity pay which are equal to the maintained sector Teacher’s Conditions of Employment, but smaller schools may not. 


Can I transfer eligibility between one school and the other to qualify for enhanced maternity pay?

Generally not, unless you are moving between schools within the same independent schools’ group. Some schools may allow this, however. 


What's the paternity leave and paternity pay entitlement in the independent sector?

Never less than the legal minimum, which is what the maintained sector gets. 


How much notice do you have to give to resign from a post in the independent sector?

Some independent schools stick to the 3 resignation dates of the maintained sector schools, giving half a term’s notice. Most, however, require one full term’s notice for resignation. 


Do you get Ofsted inspecting the schools in the independent sector?

No (except for the few independent schools which are not in the main Independent Schools’ associations). Independent schools are inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate. Boarding provision is, however, Ofsted-inspected in all boarding schools. 


Do I need to be in a Union in the independent sector?

Yes, yes and yes! In every type of school, maintained or independent, you need to be in a union.




























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