Teacher — Secondary School — Mathematics

Maths and numeracy teacher
Education and training

Career outlook for teacher — secondary school — mathematics

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would teach young people about numbers and shapes. You'd also show them how to use mathematical skills for calculating, problem-solving, algebraic thinking, information-handling and analysis.

As a maths teacher you’d inspire and motivate your pupils to develop their mathematical and numeracy skills. They would learn to understand how numbers work and the relevance of mathematics to daily life. You'd teach concepts such as using chance and risk assessment in decision-making.

You would teach young people from 11 to 18 years old, in state and independent schools. You might also work in a college or learning centre.

You’d teach students of different ages and abilities. This included preparing young people to take National Qualifications and Highers in this subject.

There is national guidance for Curriculum for Excellence Mathematics and National Qualifications, which you would use when planning your teaching.

You would:

  • prepare lessons and teaching materials
  • assess students’ progress and mark their work
  • set homework
  • manage classroom behaviour
  • discuss students' progress with parents and carers
  • organise study trips, social activities and sports events

You’d encourage the students to take pride in their achievements inside and outside school. You’d support them to build good relationships with other students and teachers and play a positive part in the life of the school and the local community.

You’d help them get the knowledge, skills and attributes they’ll need for a successful and positive life when they leave school.

Sometimes you will need to deal with challenging behaviour. It may be difficult to get some teenagers to study so you’d need to be imaginative and enthusiastic to keep them interested.

You’d need to attend meetings and training courses. You’d work closely with colleagues to plan the school’s timetables, and work with other professionals, such as education psychologists and social workers.

Working conditions


Teaching takes place for 39 weeks a year, usually from 9am to 3.30pm or 4pm. You are likely to spend several more hours outside of these times, planning lessons, marking pupils' work and taking part in activities such as outings, parent evenings and training.


Secondary school teachers often have a base classroom. However, from time to time they may have to carry books and equipment from room to room. This is subject to the space available in each school.


You could do supply teaching where you work in different schools for short periods to cover the absences of permanent teachers.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Supporting
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Empathising
  • Respecting
  • Social conscience
  • Ethical
  • Coaching
  • Mentoring
  • Motivating others

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


You'll need a mathematics degree (SCQF Level 9/10). 

To become a qualified teacher, you'll need to complete a PGDE — Professional Graduate Diploma in Education — in Mathematics (SCQF level 11).

If you don't already have a degree, you can study a combined Honours in Professional Education (secondary) with Mathematics (SCQF Level 10) which combines maths with teacher training. 

To enter a mathematics degree usually requires National 5 qualifications and at least four Highers at B or above. Some courses will require this in one sitting.

If you are applying to a PGDE (SCQF level 11), you will need a degree covering maths-related subjects such as algebra, analysis, calculus, geometry, statistics, differential equations or probability. 

Useful subjects

  • Higher English (required by courses) 
  • Maths (required by courses)
  • Finance
  • Business and technologies subjects such as Computing Science
  • Social studies subjects such as Psychology

You will also need

To be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland.

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that demonstrate the ability to work with children or young people, communication skills and experience using maths, finance, business and ICT skills will be helpful.

You will be expected to support literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing as well as your own subject.