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Most teachers would say that they really enjoy their chosen career. For those working within the independent sector there is a clear career ladder available. Some teachers choose to go on to become the head of an academic department and some of these go on to be a director of studies, deputy head and headteacher. Some teachers prefer a pastoral route, going on to be heads of year, house parents in boarding schools and then onto deputy head and head teacher. Some mix these two routes or take on other leadership roles within their school. There is a strongly supported career progression in all independent schools.

There is a tremendous range of schools within the independent sector from which teachers can choose: day, boarding, single sex, co-educational, faith, specialist music and dance, special schools, selective, non-selective, large, small, all through age range, nursery, 3-11, 3-13, 11-18, 11-16, overseas, international, rural, city, town.

Most teachers in both the independent and state maintained sector are members of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and so receive a good pension when they retire.

Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) Induction

Once you have gained Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), your first year working in the independent sector as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) is accredited through the Independent Schools Teacher Induction Panel. IStip enables schools to provide quality, meaningful induction for their teachers and acts as the national validating body for the independent sector in England and for some schools overseas.

Like QTS the NQT qualification is transferable between the independent and state maintained sectors.

Continued Professional Development

There are excellent retention rates in the independent school sector. Teachers can develop their careers in ways which suit them best as there are wide-ranging training opportunities at all levels.

Continuing professional development is provided by ISC member associations, to which many independent schools belong, including Independent Schools’ Qualification in Management (ISQAM) courses. Schools may also link with state maintained school partners or access other training providers in order to ensure outstanding and cutting edge training is available to meet individual needs.


Independent Schools Teacher Induction Panel is the single largest statutory body for induction, with over 1200 NQTs.

Professional Development

ISC’s member associations provide a range of school leadership training courses.