What are the differences between types of schools?

Overview

We outline the different types of schools where you can teach in England and Wales. There are many differences between these types of schools but we look at the main points surrounding employment, pay and working conditions for teaching staff.

Maintained community schools

  • Teachers’ pay is set out by the national School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD)  which is updated each year
  • Teachers in maintained schools can only be directed to work for 1,265 hours per year over 195 days
  • Teachers must follow the National Curriculum programmes of study
  • School holidays are set by the local authority
  • All teachers are required to have Qualified Teaching Status (QTS)
  • Maintained community schools are members of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and Local Government Pension Scheme and must offer access to these schemes for all staff
  • Teachers can be inspected by Ofsted

Academies

  • Teachers in academy schools are not bound by the STPCD
  • Academies have the power to change the length of the school day and school term dates
  • Teachers must teach a ‘broad and balanced’ curriculum but do not have to teach the National Curriculum programmes of study
  • Academies are run by Academy Trusts which employ staff rather than the local authority
  • Academies are members of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and Local Government Pension Scheme and must offer access to these schemes for all staff
  • Teachers are not required to have QTS
  • Academies can place probationary periods in teaching contracts
  • Teachers can be inspected by Ofsted

Free schools

Free Schools are technically just another type of academy.

  • Free schools set their own pay and conditions for staff
  • Free schools can change the length of the school terms and school day
  • Free schools do not have to follow the National Curriculum
  • Free schools are members of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and Local Government Pension Scheme and must offer access to these schemes for all staff
  • Teachers are not required to have QTS
  • Teachers can be inspected by Ofsted

Independent schools

  • Do not have to follow the National Curriculum
  • Free to change day and term lengths
  • Teachers are not required to have QTS
  • Can set their own teaching pay and conditions
  • Teachers can be inspected by Ofsted or the Independent Schools Inspectorate depending on the type of independent school

Edapt can support teachers in all different types of schools in England and Wales. If you have a question which is specific to your context please contact us.

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The information contained within this article is not a complete or final statement of the law.
While Edapt has sought to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date, it is not responsible and will not be held liable for any inaccuracies and their consequences, including any loss arising from relying on this information. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence. If you are an Edapt subscriber with an employment-related issue, please contact us and we will be able to refer you to one of our caseworkers.