New entrants to the profession in England, Wales and Northern Ireland start on the main pay scale, which rises from £21,588 to £31,552 on an incremental basis.
Teachers working within the inner and outer London areas, as well as the South East of England receive additional allowances.
After gaining experience and expertise, teachers who reach the top of the main scale can apply to be assessed to progress to the upper pay scale. This ranges from £34,181 to £36,756.
In Scotland, all teachers are on the same incremental scale, which rises as experience is gained and ranges from £21,438 to £34,200.
In Scotland, experienced teachers who wish to remain in the classroom rather than pursue management careers can take part in the chartered teacher programme, which involves further skills development. The salary for a chartered teacher can reach a maximum of £41,925.
Teaching hours vary between schools but are generally 9am to 3.30pm, although an earlier start is more realistic to prepare and set up activities for the day. Some extra hours may also be required for staff meetings, inspections and parent consultations, plus occasional home visits to meet children and parents.
Working hours in a nursery are usually the same as in a school but, as nursery-age children often attend either a morning or an afternoon session, two separate groups may be taught.
Early years/nursery teachers work as part of a team with other childcare professionals, especially nursery nurses. Although there is no marking to do, there is paperwork, which can often mean some evening and weekend work at home.
Self-employment/freelance work is sometimes possible as a supply teacher or as a freelance early years consultant. Part-time, temporary work and career break opportunities are available. Job shares are also possible.
Early years/nursery teachers are employed in all areas of the UK.
The proportion of women in early years/nursery teaching is higher than in general primary teaching.
The constant need for energy, ideas and creativity, as well as the necessary paperwork, can affect home life, as can activities out of work hours.
Travel within the working day is rare, except to attend home visits. Absences from home at night and overseas work or travel are unlikely.
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