If you’re interested in secondary school teaching jobs and are getting ready to start your career teaching students aged 11 to 16, this is the perfect place to start!

We will take you through all the qualifications, responsibilities, and skills you need for teaching and other secondary school jobs.

Here’s the CliffNotes version of what you can expect to do in this sector:

Secondary teachers plan and deliver lessons, support, monitor, and record the progress of their class as well as each individual pupil. They are the ones creating a solid foundation for further academic achievement or work and are responsible for creating a thriving and nurturing environment in which the young can develop and grow.

What’s more:

Secondary school teachers work closely with the school staff and education professionals to promote independent learning, critical thinking, and creativity. 

Before you hit on the apply to teach advert here, let’s have a quick look at the latest jobs in secondary schools

Popular Secondary School Jobs in 2020

Secondary Teaching Assistant Jobs

Job Description

A Teaching Assistant in secondary school is the primary support to the classroom teacher, helping them better utilise their time by setting up the classroom. They also help students with certain tasks, prepare the activities and clear up after them, and assist in maintaining discipline and filing records. You will be assisting in classes with students who are 11 to 16 years old (S1, S2, S3, S4, S5 for Scotland, working towards getting the Scottish Qualifications Certificate).

General Responsibilities

  • Maintain discipline, make sure students are well-behaved. 
  • Make sure students are focused on tasks and engaged in learning.
  • Support them in becoming independent learners and better at reading.
  • Track and file the progress reports. 
  • Lead and plan some activities under the supervision of the classroom teacher.
  • Sit on exams, participate in events and school trips.
  • Take on administrative duties that will free up the teacher’s time.
  • Supervise other support staff and others working in school technician jobs.

Key Skills and Competencies

  • To become a TA, you will need GCSE grades A to C in English and maths, and some experience working with children.
  • You can further specialise in literacy, numeracy, or SEN.  
  • You can specialise in working in programmes such as Irish medium education in Northern IrelandWelsh medium education in Wales, or Gaelic medium education in Scotland, where students are taught in Irish and be a TA in bilingual or dual medium classroom settings. 

A TA in a secondary school in the UK needs to be:

  • Punctual and well-organised, with good time management skills.
  • Detailed and reliable.
  • Creative, enthusiastic, and passionate about education.
  • Patient and approachable. 
  • Supportive and empathetic.

Salary and Job Outlook

You may also be known as a classroom or learning support assistant. As with many other jobs in education, a full-time assistant will work around 40-hour weeks. The average salary is around £11,000 to £15,000 a year. This goes up to £21,000 with added responsibilities, while HLTAs can earn from £21,000 to £25,000 a year.

Unqualified Teacher Jobs

Job Description

An Unqualified Teacher is a teacher who works at a teaching job but does not have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). The Unqualified Teacher leads small group sessions, supports the students, and organises and conducts class activities with the guidance of qualified teachers. This position is great for gaining experience in secondary school jobs teaching, as well as developing your communication skills and teaching techniques. This is a demanding and challenging role, but you’ll gain vast experience from it.

While It is possible to get school jobs and teach without a QTS in England in free schools, independent schools, and academies, it is much better to have it. So, you should use your time working as an Unqualified Teacher to work towards getting the QTS, and you can do so through the Assessment Only option.

General Responsibilities

  • Organise and lead class lessons with the help of qualified teachers.
  • Develop teaching techniques. 
  • Strengthen communication skills.
  • Use your own subject knowledge.
  • Lead your own lessons in small group settings and short sessions.
  • Monitor pupil progress.
  • Support students of various levels of ability.
  • Inspire and motivate students.

Key Skills and Competencies

To get hired as an Unqualified Teacher in secondary education in the UK, you will have to have:

  • Strong academic background.
  • Excellent organisational and communication skills.
  • Ability to adapt to changes in the curriculum and timetables.
  • Desire to inspire and support the students. 
  • Will to work hard and improve daily.
  • Passion for teaching and education.
  • Will to participate in extracurricular school activities and contribute to the school and the community.
  • Patience, calm and balanced nature, and a lot of empathy.
  • Resilience and determination.

Salary and Job Outlook

Secondary teaching jobs for unqualified teachers have a salary range from £17,682 to £27,965. The minimum in secondary schools in London is  £18,844 and the maximum £29,123. Unqualified teachers can not be eligible for TLR payments or SEN allowances. However, they can receive additional responsibility payments.

Secondary School Teacher Trainee

Job Description

Secondary school teacher trainees take on a smaller workload as the newly qualified teacher and other secondary school teacher jobs. They teach while learning to teach themselves. Trainees are involved in preparation and lesson planning, organisation, and evaluation. What’s more, they take on more and more responsibility over time with the guidance of qualified teachers. 

General Responsibilities

  • Preparation and lesson planning.
  • Organise classes and lecture to small groups.
  • Keep a detailed record of their own progress.
  • Attend all lessons.
  • Get acquainted with school policies and procedures.
  • Attend staff, parent, and pastoral meetings.
  • Keep up and contribute to the curriculum. 

Key Skills and Competencies

Trainee teachers need to pass the numeracy and literacy tests before they can start training for any DfE jobs or other jobs. Those on salaried programmes, once employed by schools, can continue teaching there once the training is over. 

Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeships are courses that offer teaching experience and practical learning with a salary. An End-Point Assessment (EPA) in the final term is required. After getting your QTS, you become a Newly Qualified Teacher.

A secondary school trainee needs to be:

  • Dedicated to learning and improving themselves.
  • Organised and detailed.
  • With a strong academic background.
  • Patient and dedicated.
  • Enthusiastic.
  • Adaptable and flexible.
  • Passionate about teaching. 

Salary and Job Outlook

As a Trainee Teacher, you will be paid the same as an Unqualified Teacher. The salary is different from school to school and depends on the hours and region. The minimum salary for unqualified teachers is £17,682, while the highest expected salary for trainee teaching jobs, excluding London, is around £27,965.  

Newly Qualified Teacher Jobs

Job Description

A Newly Qualified Teacher is responsible for lesson planning and delivering the specific areas of the curriculum. They teach, monitor progress, and provide feedback on students’ progress and development. You will most often need a degree of a 2:2 or higher, QTS, and some experience to be able to become a teacher in one of the state schools. Some private schools and academies do hire teachers without it, but it is limiting not to get one as soon as possible.

General Responsibilities

  • Plan and deliver lessons.
  • Monitor student progress, keep records, and provide feedback.
  • Coordinate classroom activities. 
  • Maintain discipline and school ethics.
  • Cooperate with other school staff and education professionals. 
  • Motivate students and inspire them to be individual learners.
  • Provide support in overcoming learning difficulties.
  • Assist in the organisation of school activities and events.

Key Skills and Competencies in Secondary Teaching

Independent schools, free schools, and academies can employ teachers without QTS, but this is not common practice. To become a secondary teacher, you will need a Bachelor of Education (BEd) or a BA/BSc diploma with QTS if you are in England or Wales, or Teaching Qualification (TQ) for teaching in Scotland. You will need to pass checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service for England and Wales or its equivalent in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Additionally, If you have a degree, you’ll be able to complete a teacher training course, which will lead to getting the QTS in England and Wales and TQ in Scotland. In Scotland, the main way to teaching is the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE). In England and Wales, you will need to be familiar with the English and Welsh baccalaureate programmes, respectively.

As a Newly Qualified Teacher in a secondary school, you will need to have:

  • Good organisation skills.
  • Excellent knowledge of the subject you are teaching.
  • Excellent communication skills, as you will be working with a large group of different people, students, teachers, staff, parents, and other educational professionals.
  • The ability to relate to students and parents; empathy and strong listening skills.
  • Adaptability and the capacity for learning fast.
  • The ability to work both independently and as a member of the team.
  • Energy, enthusiasm, and a sense of humor.
  • Creativity and good motivational skills.
  • Determination and resilience.
  • Patience and integrity.

Salary and Job Outlook

Secondary teaching jobs for newly qualified teachers in England and Wales have a starting salary of £24,373, which then rises to £35,008. As for NI teaching jobs, the new teachers started at £22,243 in 2019 in Northern Ireland. Looking at inner London, the salary range in London high school is from £29,664 to £40,372.

Under the Preference Waiver Scheme, new teachers can receive a bonus payment of £8,000 if working within the Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland during the induction year.

Secondary Qualified Teacher

Secondary School Teacher Job Description

A secondary qualified teacher plans and delivers lessons according to the National Curriculum,  supports, observes and tracks the progress of the students. You’ll need a Bachelor of Education (BEd) or a BA/BSc with qualified teacher status (QTS) for England and Wales, or Teaching Qualification (TQ) for Scotland. Previous classroom experience,  through the School Experience Programme (SEP) or other programmes, is very helpful. Finally, you must be familiar with the National Curriculum for your subject

General Responsibilities

As a secondary school teacher, you will need to:

  • Plan, prepare, and deliver lessons to classes and students of different age groups and abilities. 
  • Keep records, mark work, and provide feedback on progress and development to students and parents.
  • Keep up to date with the changes in the subject area and the curriculum.
  • Research newly added topics and create new materials.
  • Select equipment, learning tools, and methods that will be used in class.
  • Prepare students for tests and exams.
  • Maintain discipline and manage behavioural issues.
  • Support students with learning difficulties and make sure they receive proper guidance. 
  • Communicate with parents, caretakers, mentors, social workers, career advisors, therapists, SEN teachers, and welfare officers.
  • Organise and chair parents’ meetings. 
  • Supervise teaching assistants.
  • Support the training of teacher trainees and unqualified teachers.
  • Organise and participate in school events and extracurricular activities.

Key Skills and Competencies

An excellent Secondary School Teacher needs to be:

  • Very well organised and thorough, detail-oriented. 
  • A great communicator, with the ability to relate to students and parents.
  • Able to multitask and set priorities in lesson plan execution.
  • Creative and engaging, able to hold the attention of the class.
  • A good motivator who is able to inspire children to do better and help build their confidence.
  • Punctual and orderly.
  • Able to work under pressure, sometimes in a challenging environment.
  • A team player who can fit in a large collective.
  • Resilient and committed to the role of a teacher. 

Salary and Job Outlook

The average salary for secondary school teachers in the United Kingdom in 2019 was £30,063. Those teaching in London secondary schools earned £41,482 in inner London. Salaries in Northern Ireland range from £22,243 to £32,509. The salary of secondary teachers in Scotland ranges from £22,866 to £36,480, with additional allowances available, such as a Distant Islands Allowance or a Remote Schools Allowance.

The work year consists of 39 teaching weeks, and most schools’ working hours are from 8:30 am to 4 pm.

Pastoral Officer (Secondary)

Job Description

The Pastoral Officer looks after the physical and emotional welfare of the students and school staff. Children enjoying good pastoral care are taken care of, supported, guided, satisfied, engaged, and involved. As a result, they are thriving and able to reach their full potential. A Pastoral Officer identifies behavioural issues and problems and provides care and solutions, along with guidance and support for both students, teachers, and parents. Pastoral care involves providing information, advice, and guidance. It’s directed towards building a school environment that is nurturing, healing, and motivating. It is a support frame for the staff, students, and parents.

General Responsibilities

The main responsibilities of a Pastoral Officer are to:

  • Support students.
  • Provide guidance.
  • Provide care and act as a mentor, supporting the personal development of targeted students.
  • Help new students coming in late to hit the ground running and be included. 
  • Maintain the school’s behaviour standards.
  • Take an active role in behaviour management, investigate incidents, supervise sanctions, and act as support in cases of behaviour interventions.
  • Keep and update records of students’ behaviour, and provide reports and data when needed.
  • Contact and meet parents, caretakers, and social workers.
  • Organise and supervise events, coordinate teams, and maintain the school’s spirit.
  • Provide help and support to the Head of School and staff.
  • Work on improving students’ attendance through creating strategies and implementing them, making attendance calls and meetings. 
  • Represent the school at outside meetings and events.
  • Conduct home visits to students when needed.
  • Provide learning assistance when needed, especially in areas of time management, organisation, learning independence, motivation, and confidence.
  • Provide help to the Safeguarding Lead.

Key Skills and Competencies for Pastoral Officer Secondary Jobs

In order to qualify as a Pastoral Support Officer, you will need to have previous experience working with children or young people, and GCSEs at grades 9 to 4, A* to C for English and maths, 1 or 2 A levels, or their equivalent.

Some of the skills you will need as a Pastoral Officer are:

  • Administration experience.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Experience in safeguarding.
  • Ability to multitask and be flexible.
  • Ability to prioritise, distribute the workload efficiently, and be efficient under pressure.
  • Good IT skills and familiarity with office programmes.
  • High integrity. You must be a trustworthy person in whom the students and staff can confide and rely upon for guidance and support.
  • Calm and collected demeanor.
  • Patience and resilience.

Salary and Job Outlook

The starting salary of a Pastoral Officer is £14,883 per year. A Pastoral Support Officer in the United Kingdom has an average salary of £20,800 per year, which amounts to £10.67 per hour. The most experienced workers in this position can make up to £33,465 a year.

As a Pastoral Support Officer in a secondary school, you will be expected to work 36 to 38 hours a week.  

Administrative Assistant

Job Description

An Administrative Assistant provides various kinds of administrative support to the school management and staff. They are the ones who make sure the daily routines and tasks are going smoothly and efficiently. The support consists of a wide range of clerical services that extend from writing letters and reports, ordering supplies, arranging meetings, and scheduling appointments to maintaining the school’s website and social media content. The person in this role is the primary contact for many. As such, they must be able to execute and handle many tasks and requests daily while being a strong team member.

General Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the Administrative Assistant are numerous. You can expect to be tasked with:

  • Drafting letters and handling communication with suppliers, parents, and staff.
  • Providing clerical support to the Head of School, printing, word processing, filing, storing documentation.
  • Preparing timetables.
  • Keeping records of students’ assessments.
  • Keeping records of the school’s and teachers’ assessments.
  • Preparing exams seating arrangements, assisting in school events that are outside of the curriculum, and organising parents meetings and graduation nights.
  • Handling the release of students. 
  • Providing access to equipment such as laptops, projectors, and so on.
  • Preparing students’ certificates.
  • Conducting surveys and uploading curriculum to the website if required.
  • Updating school information on the website and social media. 
  • Collecting information and monitoring pupils’ attendance.

Key Skills and Competencies

There are no fixed educational requirements to become an administrative assistant; all you need is a high school diploma or GED. However, education courses and programmes do exist, and there are employers who might be looking for someone with an associate’s degree.

As an administrative assistant in a secondary school, you will need to have:

  • Experience in office management and all administrative operations. 
  • Ability to multitask and thrive in a multidisciplinary environment.
  • Service desk and receptionist skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills. 
  • Ability to cooperate and high interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent organisational and time management skills.
  • Punctuality, confidentiality, and commitment. 
  • Flexibility and a proactive positive attitude. 
  • Resilience and determination.

What’s more, you need to enjoy a fast-paced environment and a diverse group of people with whom you will be connecting frequently on a daily basis, conducting a variety of tasks. 

Salary and Job Outlook

With starting salary ranges from £16,200 to £17,400. Administrative assistants in secondary schools usually make from £18,000 to £24,000 a year depending on the location and working hours. The position can be full time or part-time depending on the needs of the school in question. As with most other jobs, location plays a role, and London-based administrative assistants tend to have a higher yearly income on average.

Head of Subject

Job Description

The Head of Subject supports the Head of School as an academic leader in their subject area, a leader of their academic department. They are responsible for management and development and provide strong leadership. The Head of Subject will need to ensure that the school standards are met both in teaching and in students’ results as well as strive to improve teaching practices. The role, responsibilities, and methods further depend on the size of the department and the number of teachers, as well as the specific demands of the Head of School.

General Responsibilities

The Head of Subject is responsible for maintaining the teaching standard of the part of the curriculum they are leading. They have to provide academic and professional leadership to their fellow teachers and supervise students’ achievements. They also have to make sure resources are used effectively and all students are getting adequate attention and teaching while showing adequate progress. 

In addition, the Head of Subject has to:

  • Keep up to date with changes in the teaching methods of the subjects and changes to the curriculum. 
  • Plan lessons and strategies for teaching and methods for class management, taking into account the needs of specific classes or individuals.
  • Be well informed about the previous progress of the students and be able to plan ahead, monitor their accomplishments, and provide detailed feedback on the future course of action to the classroom teachers or parents. 
  • Ensure the constant and visible progress of students. 
  • Work on personal improvement within the field.
  • Keep a detailed record of staff development efforts and activities and contribute to school policies and goals.
  • Prepare for the school’s evaluations and self-evaluations of the subject plans and strategies.
  • Moderate exams and assessments and ensure standardised practices.
  • Provide online resources for tracking progress for parents and students if needed
  • Communicate details of progress and individual needs of students to other members of the staff, classroom teachers, counsellors, therapists, mentors, or coordinators.
  • Provide an analysis of work and performance for both students and teachers at the end of the school year.
  • Preparing the subject budget and handling the financial management of the department for the year in question. 
  • Manage and improve the performance of other teachers in your department; provide strong academic leadership.

Key Skills and Competencies

Candidates for the Head of Subject position are expected to:

  • Be a good communicator and have constructive dialogue with colleagues.
  • Have a lot of tact and act as a school ambassador in a diplomatic way in all situations. 
  • Be able to adapt to challenging situations.
  • Be able to multitask, prioritise, and delegate tasks when needed.
  • Be enthusiastic, resilient, and committed to improving the work of students and co-workers.
  • Be organised, detailed, and innovative.

Salary and Job Outlook

The salary for Head of Subject in secondary schools in the UK ranges from £37,500 to £47,500, depending on the location and duties. The average Head of Subject earns £42,500 a year.

secondary school jobs

Top UK Regions for Secondary School Jobs

At some point, you’re likely to be done searching for ‘secondary school jobs near me’ and want to know if there are better opportunities around the country.

Here’s the deal:

Finance research company NimbleFins conducted a study on secondary school teacher prospects and areas of the UK that are the best to live in if you are a teacher. It compared teaching salaries, the cost of living, and job opportunities in education and found that, aside from London, the best region for secondary school jobs is Wales, with an average pay of £34,692 a year. The East Midlands came in second place with an average teacher salary offer of £34,676. 

Teaching in London does come a bigger salary average, but the cost of living is high. What’s more, teacher jobs and opportunities are harder to find because school vacancies in London will have significantly more applicants, making the competition for the job tougher.

Coming in third place is the West Midlands region. Despite the fact that the average salary is slightly lower than the UK average, the cost of living is what makes the area attractive because the disposable income is still 13% higher than in the other parts of the country. This means that the money you make working jobs at schools that are located in Wales, the East and West Midlands, and Scotland will last you longer.

That being said, the highest number of jobs can be found in the South East, with 14.7 jobs per 1000 people. This makes the region well above the UK average, 22% to be precise, and that means education vacancies will follow that trend as well, especially since teacher recruitment is high in general. The concentration of jobs is high in this area, and only Scotland can compare. 

Overall, with most regions, one of the three parameters (teaching salaries, the cost of living, and job opportunities) stands out. So, you might want to give up on looking only at ‘secondary school near me’ and consider a new destination.

Conclusion

The thing that makes secondary school jobs fun and potentially more attractive is the fact that you will enjoy great variety in your work while teaching plenty of different classes with students of different ages. 

And that’s not all:

What’s also very appealing is teaching a subject that you’re especially interested in and enjoy. Children of this age group are fun if sometimes challenging and demanding, and you will need to be resilient and a good time manager who is able to work under pressure. 

Sometimes, you will find yourself in situations that require thinking outside the box and will have to come up with creative solutions while you try to run a classroom of 11 to 16-year-olds.

At the same time, this age group will allow you to explore your teaching capabilities slightly more than the first two key stages in which you are laying the foundation for the future education of these young individuals. So, if secondary school jobs are your cup of tea, rest assured that we at Mark in Style will keep you up to date with the latest teacher job advert offers.

Happy job hunting!

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