Teacher - Secondary School - Physics with Science

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Physics with science teachers prepare and give lessons in a range of topics relating to the laws of physics. These include subjects that are important in modern life - energy (including nuclear and wind power), transport (ranging from mechanics to car alarms and GPS), and domestic equipment (such as televisions and mobile phones). 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 £27,498 (April 2020).

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 £32,994 and increase an increment each year up to £41,412.

If you teach in a remote school or on certain islands you may get an additional allowance. £2,157 for a distance island and £1,515 or £2,841 for a remote school.

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 £45,150 and £58,269 a year, while the scale for depute head teachers and head teachers ranges from £51,207 to £98,808 a year, depending on the size of school.

Salaries in independent schools may differ slightly.


Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

To become a secondary school teacher of physics, you must have a degree in physics plus a Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) OR the BSc Hons in Physics with Teaching from the University of Strathclyde OR the degree in Professional Education (Secondary) and Physics from the University of Heriot-Watt and Stirling OR the BSc in Physics with Education from the University of the West of Scotland (UWS).

Your degree


University of Dundee Supported Induction Route

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.

You would require a satisfactory PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) check to show you are suitable for this type of work. Contact Disclosure Scotland for details.

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



Percentage of workforce registered as unemployed (Scotland)

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Job Outlook Scotland

0.3 %

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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.

Association for Science Education (ASE)
Tel: 01707 283000
Twitter: @theASE

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.

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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