Useful Information


Teachers are paid on the ordinary pay scale (OPS), which ranges from M1 – M6. Once a teacher reaches the maximum of the scale (M6) and remains there for one year, they are eligible to apply for Threshold (Performance Related Pay). A teacher must pass the threshold process, assessed by their principal to progress to the upper pay scale (UPS), which ranges from UPS1 – UPS3.

Teachers are eligible to progress to the next point on the UPS scale once every two years. Principals and vice principals are paid the Leadership Scale, which ranges from L1 – L43.

Tax information

P60’s are issued at the end of May with details of all earnings and deductions for the previous tax year.

Details of payment

Teachers' Pay Team (DE) is the paying authority who have responsibility for processing payroll for the main employers of teachers in Northern Ireland. The Department of Education is responsible for paying salaries to approximately 21,000 teachers each month. These teachers are employed either on a permanent or temporary basis in over 1,500 grant-aided schools in the Controlled, Maintained and Voluntary sectors throughout Northern Ireland.

Temporary teachers are paid on the twelfth working day of the month and are paid for all temporary days/hours worked in the previous month.

Permanent and pro-rata teachers are paid on the last working day of the month and they are paid for the current month worked.

Teacher’s reference number

To obtain a teacher reference number you should contact the GTCNI at (+0044) 90333390 or via their website

Sickness absence

All sick absences must be certified for sick pay to be paid.

  • 1 – 7 days sick leave: Self certificate (CCU67/SC1) is required.
  • 8 days onwards: Medical certificate (from doctor) is required.

Sick leave/pay

A teacher’s entitlement to sick leave/pay depends on the number of years’ service they have completed and the number of days they have been absent owing to illness in the current year, which ends on the 31 March:

Length of service Work days at full pay rate Work days at half pay rate
Less than 4 months 25 0
4 months to 1 year 25 50
2nd year 50 50
3rd year 75 75
4th year 100 100

Further information on sick leave/pay can be found in the Leave of Absence information section.

Entitlement to holiday pay for temporary teachers

Holiday pay is included in your daily rate of pay calculated as annual salary over 195 working days.

Contracts available

Full time permanent Hold a full-time post and work 32.4 hours per week.
Full time permanent (joint appointment) Works 32.4 hours per week but serve in two schools.
Pro rata (part time) / job share These teachers are part time teachers who are employed for 12 months or more. Must have a set working pattern, where they work “X” number of hours per week, on the same days every week.
Pro rata teachers may work in one or more schools.
Pro rata teachers may work casual hours or days over and above the set hours agreed.
Full time temporary 1/365 basis Temporary teachers who are appointed for a period of not less than one year, and who work 32.4 hours per week.
The only difference between these teachers and full-time permanent teachers is that they have an end date in their contract.
Temporary 1/195 (substitute teacher) This is a teacher who works casual days, weeks, and months.
Paid at a daily rate for the days worked.
Part time teacher A substitute teacher who is paid for the casual hours that they work.

School salary policy

Since 1993, Boards of Governors have had a statutory responsibility to develop and keep current a School Salary Policy. The Relevant Body should prepare a Salary Policy in consultation with the teaching staff of the school. The policy should include an agreed management structure appropriate to the current and projected needs of the school.

School Salary Policy: Guidance for Boards of Governors (PDF)

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