Secondary School Teacher

Average Salary: £25,000 - £30,000
Competition: LOW-MID
Years Experience: 1-4 years

Job Summary

Secondary School Teachers do a great job in trying to guide us through that annoying teenager phase. They teach national curriculum subjects to pupils aged between 11 and 18. In addition, they help pupils gain important qualifications such as GCSEs and A-Levels, to ensure they get a head start in their future careers. I just got that warm fuzzy feeling in my chest.


Secondary School Teachers can specialise in more subjects than a Primary school teacher. History, Geography, a bit of Español, you name it! Well, as long as it’s part of the National Curriculum. Along with their specialised subject, you’ll find them having the following responsibilities:

  • Preparing and delivering engaging lessons of pupils of different ages and abilities
  • Marking work and giving personal feedback to pupils for their own development
  • Managing and influencing a large group of pupils and their classroom behaviour
  • Attending Parents Evenings to discuss pupils’ development in their studies and grades
  • Keeping up-to-date with new subject knowledge and curriculum doing necessary research and training
  • Organising extracurricular activities and outings stimulate a better learning experience

Key Skills & Characteristics

A Secondary School Teacher should:

  • Possess excellent communication skills being able to explain information in a clear manner
  • Be approachable whilst having strong interpersonal skills
  • Be disciplined, patient and adaptable
  • Be creative when preparing and delivering interesting lessons
  • Have good organisation, time management and planning skills
  • Be energetic and motivated to help students in their education

Entry Routes

Similar to a Primary School Teacher, obtaining Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in England and Wales or a Teaching Qualification (TQ) in Scotland is essential. But there are many routes to tickle your fancy:

  • Studying a Bachelor of Education or a degree with QTS or TQ
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Secondary Education (PGCE) or Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) for Scotland
  • Teach First
  • School-centred initial teacher training (SCITT)
  • School Direct

You will also need to have hands-on classroom experience, whilst being confident with the national curriculum for your subject. So it may be worth doing some volunteering, shadowing or even tutoring.

Job Progression

Teaching Assistant

Secondary School Teacher

Head of Year

Deputy Head Teacher

Head Teacher

Advice From Our Experts

The Good

  • Rewarding – Great sense of feeling being able to inspire and help pupils to improve
  • Variety – No two days are the same working with pupils
  • Flexibility – You are able to use your creativity and personal twist to deliver lessons

The Bad

  • Long Hours – Marking can take a lot of your free time
  • Challenging Pupils – Students that are unwilling to cooperate in class can be stressful
  • High Pressure – High expectations from parents and standards makes the job quite high pressured