Secondary Teaching

As a Secondary Teacher, you will teach national curriculum subjects to pupils aged 11 to 18.

The role would suit someone who is highly organised, keen, self-motivated and has a passion for making a difference to children. It involves supporting, observing and recording the progress of their classes. You will also plan lessons in line with the National Curriculum, with the aim of ensuring a healthy culture of learning.

Download and read through the National Curriculum to ensure you are aware and up to date on the latest requirements.

Qualifications, skills and experience required

The ideal candidate will have knowledge of Key Stage 3 (ages 11 to 14) and Key Stage 4 (ages 15 to 16) of the National Curriculum with at least 1 years’ experience in a classroom environment.
You will also need the following:

  • Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or a UK recognised equivalent teaching qualification
  • Excellent literacy and numeracy skills
  • Strong track record of raising levels of achievement and motivation
  • Ability to build strong relationships with children and parents
  • Support pupils to make progress through providing personalised experiences
  • Initiative, leadership and supervisory skills and team working abilities
  • Establish a safe and purposeful working atmosphere that supports learning and in which students feel secure and confident
  • Ability to use an imaginative range of teaching strategies to promote high expectations and high levels of challenge in the classroom
  • Have excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Be passionate, energetic and empathetic
  • Ability to plan for progression in learning, using intervention as necessary
  • A commitment to working collaboratively within the faculty
  • A valid DBS
  • The right to work in the UK
  • A minimum of two references

Hours of work and enviroment

A Secondary Teacher is a full time role. You will generally work 37 hours a week for 39 weeks a year which is split over 3 school terms. Hours vary from school to school but are usually from 8:30am to 4pm. Usually you will be required to teach five periods a day, with lunchtimes sometimes being taken up with extracurricular or pastoral duties. Outside of your working hours you will spend planning lessons, marking work and participating in activities such as parent’s evening, trips, school inspections and training – which could mean you exceed your 37 hours a week.

The upside of working longer hours is that teachers do receive 13 weeks’ holiday per year.

Key Responsibilities

Your duties are the same for all levels of Secondary schools, these include:

  • Preparing and delivering lessons to a range of classes of different ages and abilities
  • Marking work, giving appropriate feedback and maintaining records of pupils progress and development
  • Researching new topic areas, maintaining up-to- date subject knowledge, devising and writing new curriculum materials
  • Selecting and using a range of different learning resources and equipment, including podcasts and interactive whiteboards
  • Preparing pupils for qualifications and external examinations
  • Managing pupil behaviour in the classroom and on school premises, and applying appropriate and effective measures in cases of unacceptable behaviour
  • Undertaking pastoral duties, such as taking on the role of form tutor, and supporting pupils on an individual basis through academic or personal difficulties
  • Communicating with parents and carers over pupils' progress and participating in departmental meetings, parents' evenings and whole school training events
  • Supervising and supporting the work of teaching assistants, trainee teachers and newly qualified teachers (NQTs)
  • Participating in and organising extracurricular activities, such as outings, social activities and sporting events
  • Undergoing regular observations and participating in regular in-service training as part of continuing professional development (CPD)
  • Liaising with other professionals, such as learning mentors, careers advisers, educational psychologists and education welfare officers

A secondary school teacher must keep up to date with developments in their subject area, new resources, methods and national objectives.


The salary for a Secondary Teacher is determined by the National Teachers Main Pay Scales. Your position on the pay scale depends on the area you work in, your qualifications and experience. As a guide you can expect to earn:

Entry MPS1 Experienced MPS3 Highly Experienced MPS6
Salary £23,720 to £29,664 £27,652 to £32,837 £35,008 to £40,372
Daily £120-£155 £140-£170 £180-£210

After gaining experience and expertise you have the opportunity to progress into leadership and head of year roles where salaries start at £36,646 and can rise to £116,738.

Note: Salary details are a guide only and obtained from ‘Main Pay Scales (2018/2019)’

Career path and progression

With experience and knowledge you will be able to progress into an array of senior roles including leadership and curriculum roles as well as deputy head and head teacher.

Some teachers pursue higher qualifications, such as an MEd or MBA. There are also professional qualifications available for school managers.

You could also specialise in teaching pupils with special educational needs. You may even move into pastoral care. There is also the option to work for an exam board or a local education authority.