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Teaching in private schools

Teaching in private schoolsThere are big differences between teaching in independent and state schools. Find out about the most important ones here.

Qualifications and entry requirements

Private school teachers aren't required to have a specific teaching qualification, although it may help. Instead, private schools are free to set their own criteria for the teachers they hire, so you'll need to research each school and job opportunity individually. At some schools, advanced qualifications such as a PhD might be more sought after than a teaching qualification.

If you're a newly qualified teacher (NQT), a private school might not offer you the opportunity to complete your induction year.


At a private school, you won't be on the national pay scale for teachers. Instead, the school will set its own pay. At large or medium-sized public schools, this is often a little higher than at state schools, but at a smaller school it could well be lower. You're also likely to get paid extra for taking on additional responsibilities, such as being a head of year.

You may also get other perks on top of your salary, such as subsidised accommodation.

What you teach

Private schools don't have to follow the national curriculum, so there may be differences in what you teach compared to at a state school. However, there will still be a lot of overlap, especially when pupils are studying for GCSEs or A-levels.

If you decide you want to move from a private school to a state school, this difference means you'll have to catch up on the current curriculum.

Day-to-day differences

Every school is different, so it's impossible to say exactly how teaching at a private school will be different day-to-day. However, likely differences include smaller class sizes, longer holidays or a higher focus on pastoral care. Private schools are also more likely to be single-sex or boarding schools.

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