Teacher - Secondary School - History

Montage of spitfire airplane, war medals and commemorative plaque

History teachers prepare and give lessons in a range of topics dealing with past events and societies in Britain and elsewhere. They work to guidelines set up by the Curriculum for Excellence and prepare pupils, aged 11 to 18, for national exams.

The Work

You could be:


Teachers in Scotland are paid on a national salary scale. The starting annual salary for a probationer teacher is £32,217 (January 2024).

If you do your probationary period on the Teacher Induction Scheme, and are prepared to work anywhere in Scotland during that probationary year, you can also apply for the Preference Waiver Payment. For secondary school teachers, the payment is £8,000 before tax and national insurance.

After your probationary year, your salary will increase to £38,655 and increase an increment each year up to £48,516.

Where a teacher is employed in a remote school on a distant island both the remote schools allowance and the distant islands allowance are paid, in addition to the teacher’s normal salary.

A principal teacher earns between £52,896 and £68,265 a year, while the scale for depute head teachers and head teachers ranges from £59,994 to £110,808 a year, depending on the size of school.

Salaries in independent schools may differ slightly.


Workforce Employment Status

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Useful Subjects

Getting In

To qualify as a secondary school teacher of history, you must have a degree (SCQF Level 9-10) in history plus a postgraduate Professional Graduate Diploma (SCQF Level 11) in Education (PGDE) OR one of the degrees combining Professional Education (Secondary) and History (SCQF Level 10) from the University of Stirling.

Your degree


Alternative Routes

You will require a satisfactory criminal record check from Disclosure Scotland to show that you are suitable for this type of work. Contact Disclosure Scotland for details on the type you would need.

Newly qualified teachers who want to teach in local council schools must complete a probationary period to demonstrate that they meet the Standard for Full Registration of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC Scotland). Those who wish to teach in independent schools may also require to be registered.

You are guaranteed a teaching post with a Scottish local authority for a full school year to complete this probationary period.

Workforce Education Levels (UK)

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Job Outlook Scotland


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Job Outlook Scotland and UK

1.9 %
  United Kingdom
1.6 %

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What Does it Take?

You need to have:

You need to be able to:


Getting On

More Information

Most teachers work in local authority schools but there are also jobs in independent schools, British schools abroad, such as schools for the children of British armed services and in private tuition.

Job vacancies are normally advertised on local authority websites or look on the myjobscotland website.


Courtesy of GTC Scotland


The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Education Scotland
Tel: 0131 244 4330
Twitter: @EducationScot

General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC Scotland)
Tel: 0131 314 6000
Twitter: @gtcs

For information on registration as a teacher.

Historical Association
Tel: 0300 100 0223
Twitter: @histassoc

General information on careers in history

Teach in Scotland
Tel: 0845 345 4745

University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)
Tel: 0371 468 0 468
Website (2):
Twitter: @ucas_online

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Career Sectors

College or University Lecturing

Education Support

Primary School Teaching

Secondary School Teaching

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