Secondary school teachers teach the national curriculum to pupils aged 11 to 18.
Secondary school teaching is a skilled profession and to work as a secondary school teacher, it is essential to have GCSEs in English and maths and a bachelors degree in a subject relating to the national curriculum. It is possible for prospective teachers to study for a bachelors degree with qualified teacher status (QTS). However, graduates without QTS must take a postgraduate teaching qualification, such as a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), or secure a place on a Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP). Before entering into employment, all secondary school teachers must have a Criminal Records Bureau clearance and experience of working with young people.
The main employers of secondary school teaching staff are state-maintained high schools and sixth form colleges. Independent schools also employ secondary school teachers. Full-time, part-time and temporary teacher jobs are readily available, particularly for teachers of subjects such as physics, chemistry, mathematics and modern languages. The majority of secondary school teacher jobs are publicised through specialist recruitment agencies.
Salaries for full-time secondary school teachers start at around £20,000 a year. Staff working in independent schools may earn more than those in state-maintained schools.