Teachers educate students by developing long term education plans, delivering lessons and monitoring their progress.
They follow the national curriculum set by the government, and teach a wide range of subjects and age groups, from primary through to higher education level.
They are also responsible for providing a safe and enjoyable learning environment for their students, and supporting them in preparation for compulsory exams.
This guide consists of a full teacher’s job description and everything else you need to know about being a teacher, including salaries, skills, qualifications, career progression and more.
- Teacher job description
- How much do teachers earn?
- What does a teacher do?
- Requirements, skills and qualifications
- Who employs teachers?
- Which junior jobs progress to senior teaching roles?
Teacher job description
Teacher | Summer Park School
About Summer Park School
We are a friendly and relaxed primary school located in north Cornwall. We believe that what we do makes a difference to the lives of our pupils and we encourage our staff and students to be enthusiastic, passionate and always ready to learn.
About the role
We are looking for a Key Stage 2 teacher to deliver the national curriculum to a mixed-ability year 4 class, drive their long-term development and help them to achieve their potential, in a safe and happy environment.
- Creating a yearly plan to teach all areas of the KS2 curriculum throughout each term
- Planning, preparing and presenting fun and engaging lessons that take into consideration the different learning abilities within the class
- Keeping the classroom organised and creating a happy and safe environment for pupils to learn in
- Maintaining discipline in the classroom and upholding school behavioural policies
- Checking and marking pupil’s work, making record of their development
- Providing feedback to parents on parent’s evenings, offering advice on how they can support their children’s development
- Organising and taking part in school events such as school plays, sporting events and day trips
- Safeguarding children, maintaining high standards and preparing for Ofsted inspections
Location & commitments
- Permanent full-time position
- Hours are typically 8.30am until 3.30pm
- You may occasionally be required to work overtime to manage after school clubs or oversee school trips
- Summer Park School is located near Bude in north Cornwall
- A bachelors degree equivalent to 2:2 or higher
- Must have obtained qualified teacher status (QTS)
- Experience working with children aged 8-10 advantageous but not compulsory
- Knowledge of the KS2 curriculum
- Communication, flexibility and patience are a must
Contact us to apply
If you’re looking to join a fun and friendly primary school and make a real difference, send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.
How much do teachers earn?
While the national pay scale will impact exactly how much a teacher earns, the average salary for a teaching position currently sits at £27,597.
Teacher salaries in the UK
- Low: £19,000
- Average: £27,597
- High: £35,000
Average salaries for teachers will vary depending on a number of factors, including:
- The age of the students they’re teaching – e.g.are they teaching primary school, secondary school or higher-education pupils?
- The educational establishment –g do they work for a school? University? College? Do they work for a private or grammar school?
- What they teach – some subjects come with a higher salary, especially those that are more specialised or in high demand
- General salary factors – such as the location and level of experience
For example, a secondary school teacher with five years of experience working in London will earn more than a newly qualified teacher working at a primary school in Durham.
It is also important to note that the average salary above is taken from a sample of job adverts, and therefore does not include extra benefits such as holidays, pension schemes and allowances such as the special educational needs (SEN) allowance.
What does a teacher do?
Although teacher’s job descriptions may vary, the typical responsibilities they carry out in an average working week will be similar. These include:
- Long term class and student planning – Creating yearly plans to deliver the national curriculum to classes and individual goals for students
- Creating lesson plans – Developing detailed lesson plans and preparing relevant learning resources
- Delivering lessons – Delivering captivating lessons to students, encouraging interaction and reinforcing learning
- Inclusive teaching – Managing a diverse level of abilities within the class
- Safeguarding pupils – Creating a safe, happy environment for students to work in
- Tracking student’s progress – Assessing and tracking every student’s development, providing feedback on strengths and weaknesses
- Supporting students – Helping students to improve in areas where they currently struggle
- Meeting with parents – Organising regular parent-teacher catch-ups, informing parents of the progress of their children
- Maintaining behaviour – Enforcing school policies, maintaining control of the classroom and dealing with conflict resolution if necessary
- Attending school meetings – Taking part in relevant meetings about the curriculum, changes in policies, activities or specific students
What do teachers need?
Teachers need a range of skills, qualifications and knowledge to carry out the job effectively.
The exact requirements for a teaching role will depend on factors such as the age of the children and the educational establishment, but generally speaking here’s what’s needed.
Junior teaching jobs require that the candidate has achieved qualified teacher status (QTS). This usually requires them to have completed initial teacher training or an equivalent training programming giving them real experience in an educational setting.
Intermediate to senior teaching roles often require candidates to have a few years experience in a teaching role and for headteacher positions, the candidate must have held a senior management or deputy head role first.
Teachers need a range of soft skills in order to do their job effectively. Some of the most important skills include:
- Communication: Teachers need to be able to communicate with students, colleagues and parents effectively. As such, verbal and written communication is important
- Creativity: Students learn better when they’re doing fun and interesting activities, plus it’s important to keep lesson plans fresh
- Enthusiasm: Working with young people takes energy and passion. Enthusiasm can be infectious and a positive attitude can really help to drive and inspire students
- Patience: When working with children and young people who learn at different speeds, some of whom may have special educational needs (SEN), patience is vital
- Relationship building: Teachers must be able to build strong and trusting relationships with their students and co-workers
- Organisation: Between planning, teaching, marking and feeding back, working in a busy educational environment takes organisation
- Lesson planning: It’s vital that teachers can plan fun and engaging lessons and ensure they have all the relevant resources to deliver them
- Knowledge of the curriculum: Teachers need to understand the school curriculum so they can develop, teach, assess and modify their lesson plans accordingly
Teachers are required by law to have a number of qualifications in order to teach in UK education sector.
Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
In order to become a teacher, individuals must gain qualified teacher status and there a few ways to do this. The most popular routes include:
- A three year dedicated teaching degree such as a Bachelor of Education which will also include teaching placements within schools
- A non teaching degree (minimum 2:2) followed by a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) – which is a one year degree teaching students the theory and structure of classroom teaching, combined with teacher placements within schools
Teachers are required to have a grade C or above in their maths and English GCSEs.
Teachers are required to pass a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to ensure they have a clean criminal record and are safe to work with children.
What is expected of a teacher?
Typically, teachers will be expected to commit the following;
- School hours – working full-time Monday to Friday during term times. Teachers typically work between 40-45 hours a week
- Possibility of evening or weekend work to attend parents evenings or school trips
- Restricted holidays – teachers have around 12 weeks holiday a year to mirror the school holidays, this means time off during term times is very unlikely
- Location – educational settings from infant schools and onwards
Teachers will receive a variety of different benefits depending on the educational establishment they work for. Examples of some of the top benefits on offer include:
- Pension schemes
- Paid holiday – The average annual leave in the UK is 25 days, but teachers enjoy 65 days away from the workplace, as a result of school holidays
- Teaching and learning responsibility payments – Additional pay for taking on extra responsibilities
- Special educational needs (SEN) allowance – If a teacher works with children who have special educational needs (such as a learning disability) they may be granted as much as an additional £3,000 on top of their salary
Who employs teachers?
Teachers are employed by educational establishment across the UK, meaning that there are plenty of opportunities in the sector.
The most common employers are:
- Schools – The most common teaching positions are in infant, primary and secondary schools run by local government. There also a smaller number of privately run schools in the UK which also employ teachers
- Colleges – Sometimes known as a further education establishments, colleges teach A level subjects to 16-18 year olds
- Universities – Higher-education establishments like universities need highly skilled and knowledgeable teachers to deliver graduate programmes to students
Which junior jobs progress to teacher roles?
It is not possible to become a teacher without getting a degree, so there are technically no stepping-stone jobs into teaching. That said, there are some junior positions that can help somebody to gain exposure to the classroom environment, but they must obtain QTS before moving into a teacher role
Teaching assistants (TAs) provide support to teachers in the classroom and work closely with students. You don’t need a degree to become a TA, but when you’re ready to progress and become a teacher you’ll need to earn a degree or equivalent qualification.
Trainee teachers are technically still unqualified, but they will be hired to plan and deliver lessons in preparation for when they qualify. Once they gain their qualified teacher standard (QTS) they can become a teacher.
Which senior jobs do teachers progress to?
Being a teacher offers plenty of opportunities to take on more responsibility and springboard into more senior and higher-paid positions, such as:
Head of department
Those with exceptional knowledge in their subject and who want more responsibility can progress to head of department, where they’ll oversee other members staff in a particular area, budgets and materials. They will normally still teach classes in addition to these extra responsibilities.
A deputy headteacher is a senior member of faculty who assists the headteacher in providing vision and direction for the school.
The headteacher is the most senior member of the school, responsible for the management of staff, the education of all pupils and for designing and implementing school policies
Special Educational needs coordinators (SENCO) ensure that schools have sufficient provisions in place to support their children with special educational needs.
Teacher job description – conclusion
Being a teacher is a highly-skilled role and these individuals are in high demand. Responsible for the education of young people across the nation, this can be a varied and rewarding role.
The position offers a good average salary with potential for growth, good benefits and plenty of room for career progression.