Only 0.1 per cent of classroom teachers earn £65k or more

“Misleading” DfE recruitment advert debate continues with salary data re-released amidst complaints

In what seems like the academic game of Where’s Wally? the DfE has released released figures on teachers earning £65,000 or more, in response to its recent recruitment advertisement on TV. No one is suggesting that Wally isn’t in the illustration, only that he makes up a tiny percentage of each image. The question ‘what teacher makes £65,000?’ was more of a rhetorical one.

The transparency data (from November 2014) was re-released after almost a hundred complaints over the advert, which claimed that you can earn up to £65,000 as a “great teacher”. It revealed that only 485 classroom teachers actually meet or exceed this salary, around 0.1 per cent of the teaching workforce.

The official DfE release opens with the statement:
‘The statistics show there were 12,845 full and part-time teachers earning a gross full-time equivalent annual salary (including any additional allowances) of £65,000 or more in November 2014.

But the breakdown of what kinds of teachers these were reveals that the vast majority are headteachers (8,650) and deputies (2,945), leaving 765 assistant headteachers and 485 classroom teachers rounding out the numbers.

Of those classroom teachers the figures break down as follows:
LA-maintained nursery and primary schools: 85 teachers
Primary academy schools: 15
LA-maintained secondary schools: 50
Secondary academy schools: 240
Special schools and LA-employed staff: 95

With the advert claiming that as a great teacher you can earn up to £65,000, and the figures showing that only 2.82 per cent of teachers (including heads, deputies and assistant heads) and 0.1 per cent of classroom teachers making that, the argument here remains that this information is misleading (albeit, technically true). Is the advert, and therefore the government, saying that only 0.1 per cent of classroom teachers are ‘great’? That’s almost definitely not the intention, but if the figures aren’t misleading, that is possibly the implication.

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Pie Corbett