Secondary school settings


All educational settings have to comply with legal guidance and legislation. This covers all aspects of running a school, including everything from administration to the curriculum to safeguarding. As a secondary school Teacher it is important to be aware of key legal guidance and to keep updated of any changes.


After primary school, children move on to secondary school at age 11, continuing their education through Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 until they are 16. Secondary school ends with pupils taking their GCSE exams, prior to going on into sixth form, a further education college or an apprenticeship. There are various teaching roles in secondary schools including subject specific Teachers, Senior Leadership, Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Teachers, Cover Supervisors and classroom support staff such as a Learning Support Assistant (LSA), Teaching Assistant (TA) or Technician.


Secondary schools that are funded and controlled by their local authority are required to follow all government statutory guidance set by the Department for Education (DfE). Free schools and academies are independent of their local authority and so have more freedom to set their own rules.


To learn more about the different types of secondary schools read Teaching in a Secondary School Setting.

Teaching secondary pupils about mental wellbeing, health and safety


Teaching young people about mental wellbeing and its connection to physical health is important at all ages and is part of the statutory guidance throughout the school curriculum. Pupils should be able to understand and recognise the signs of mental health problems and know where to go and who to speak to if they have concerns.


The DfE has specific statutory guidance that secondary schools should follow to teach physical health and mental wellbeing. At this age there is more of an emphasis on pupils making their own informed, positive choices in all aspects relating to their health and wellbeing. This includes also teaching them about physical health and fitness, healthy eating, personal hygiene, basic first aid, drugs, alcohol, tobacco and internet safety. It is also important to give young people the information needed to understand how to form healthy, safe relationships with family, friends, partners and colleagues. This should cover positive relationships, understanding sexuality, being self-aware and self-confident, and understanding the need to make safe choices.


The DfE has some useful training modules for Teachers to support them in teaching the relationships, sex and health education curriculum to secondary school pupils. These include mental wellbeing, being safe and the changing adolescent body

School Teachers’ pay and conditions and early career payments


The most recent guidance on Teachers’ pay and conditions included a few changes from previous years. This came into effect on the 1st September 2021 and applies to all permanent teaching staff in local authority maintained schools in England.


The main changes are: 

  • All Teachers who have a basic earning rate of less than £24,000 per year will get an award of £250 (the base rate figure is higher in London). 
  • Unqualified Teachers will have an advisory pay points structure. 
  • Teachers who have done extra tutoring as part of the education catch up following the pandemic can receive additional payments. 
  • The induction of Early Career Teachers (ECT) will see some changes.


For full details, read the most recent guidance here

In the academic year 2018-2019, the government introduced early career payments to encourage more Teachers to stay in the profession after qualifying. These were initially available to maths Teachers who either started a postgraduate Initial Teacher Training (ITT) course or completed an undergraduate ITT course in the academic years beginning in 2018, 2019 or 2020. The scheme later added physics, chemistry and language Teachers who completed postgraduate or undergraduate ITT courses in the 2020-2021 academic year. To be eligible you must have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and be employed directly by a state-funded secondary school in England.


To find your next secondary school teaching job, search our latest vacancies.

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