Average classroom teaching wages have received a £2,500 pay cut in real terms over seven years. Annual pay reviews haven’t risen at the same rate as inflation, and it’s leaving a lot of teaching staff underpaid and overworked.
It’s not just schools that have to look for additional funding these days; teachers also have to look for additional ways to augment their salary to make up this deficit. When you consider the stack of marking you crush through every night, you’re already working a second job – so that’s out of the question. Fortunately, as a classroom teacher, there are ways to boost your salary without breaking your back.
If you’ve been in a qualified classroom teaching position for a few years, you might be interested in taking on a Teaching and Learning Responsibility position (TLR). TLRs involve taking on additional duties, but they also top up your teaching salary. If you’ve got your heart set on a future SLT role, TLRs are an essential stepping stone that you need to take into consideration.
Schools aren’t legally obliged to give you a TLR payment for taking on additional responsibilities, but you might be able to secure additional pay if you open a dialogue about it with the school. You may even qualify for a TLR because of your current responsibilities, so it’s important to review your role and duties every year.
There are three tiers of TLR payment: TLR1, TLR2, and TLR3.
Let’s start with TLR2. This is your first port of call when looking for additional payment. TLR2 teachers have specific teaching responsibilities; generally, this means subject leadership. You would be expected to monitor and support other staff as part of your responsibilities, but you wouldn’t be expected to take on a line manager’s role.
There are other circumstances in which you should expect a TLR2 payment – if you are asked to take on additional responsibilities that require your professional teaching skills, such as Key Stage Coordinator duties, you should consider discussing this with your line manager in the first instance. If you’re already a subject leader and aren’t currently on TLR2, consider arguing your case for receiving it.
Currently, TLR2 payments would boost your salary by £2,667 to £6,515*, based on your experience and level of contribution.
Qualification for TLR1 payment is similar to TLR2, but you are also required to be the line manager for a notable number of staff, such as a department. Note that you cannot hold both a TLR1 and a TLR2 payment at the same time, so this would be a progression from TLR2 to TLR1.
You can think of TLR1 as “SLT-lite”. It’s an important stepping stone towards becoming a member of SLT staff, and involves taking on significant additional long-term responsibility, so it’s not to be taken lightly.
If you’re going after a TLR1 role, this would add between £7,699 to £13,027* to your salary, so it’s a pretty hefty pay increase.
This payment is awarded for undertaking projects at the school with limited responsibility and over a short timescale, such as facilities improvements or implementing a new subject curriculum.
TLR3 payments range from £529 to £2,630*, and you can take on a TLR3 payment at any time in addition to any other payments you are receiving.
What you can do to secure TLR
You won’t get TLR payments just because you want them. You have to prove that you are providing additional value to your school, whether that’s by being a subject specialist or leader, a member of senior staff, or by other means.
If you’re not sure where to start, you might be able to earn a TLR3 by taking on your school’s customised planner project. Bring up the possibility of a customised planner project in your next departmental meeting – you could talk about how customised planners boost overall student attainment, and how useful whole-school staff planners are to busy teaching staff.
*Please note that these figures are for the 2017–2018 academic year, and are subject to annual change.