The British Council encourages a flexible approach to hosting a language assistant. As such, in order to limit costs, a language assistant can be shared by up to three nearby schools, both primary and secondary. It is important to note that only the host school should apply (including information on the sharing arrangement in the appropriate area on the form) and they are responsible for paying the language assistant’s wage with other schools reimbursing the host school directly. For more information, please see the ‘Sharing a language assistant with other schools’ section below.

The cost of employing a language assistant will depend on where your school is located in the UK. 

Before you apply, please note:

  • A language assistant should be employed to work a minimum of 12 hours per week and a maximum of 18 hours per week (any additional hours should be negotiated directly with your language assistant).
  • The current standard rate is set for 12 hours a week. Any additional hours are paid at the fixed hourly rate set below. Both the standard rate and the fixed hourly payments should be included in the language assistant's monthly salary.
  • It is not possible to offer a language assistant a lower allowance in return for fewer hours.

Select your country below to find the breakdown of costs of hosting your language assistant. 

Chinese Language Assistants

If you are hosting a Chinese Language Assistant, these costs are separate and include additional funding support. Further details on this can be found below.

Funding to cover the full costs of hosting a Chinese language assistant in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland is available. Visit our Chinese language assistant grants page for more information.
 

 

England and Wales standard rates

The below is the salary for the 2017/2018 academic year. Salary rates for the next academic year will be confirmed in early June 2018. Any changes will be minimal and in line with inflation. 

Standard period of appointment for language assistants: 1 October to 31 May (35 weeks). An extra month either side can be agreed by mutual agreement and at an additional cost.

Gross monthly salary - £905.00 for a standard 12 hours per week

Standard fixed hourly rate - £13.63 for hours beyond the 12 hours

Additional London Allowances

Inner London

Gross monthly salary - £1,139.00 for a standard 12 hours per week 

Standard fixed hourly rate - £17.17 for hours beyond the 12 hours

Outer London

Gross monthly salary  - £1,075.00 for a standard 12 hours per week 

Standard fixed hourly rate - £16.22 for hours beyond the 12 hours

London fringe

Gross monthly salary - £965.00 for a standard 12 hours per week 

Standard fixed hourly rate - £14.58 for hours beyond the 12 hours

You can find out which bracket your borough falls under on this website.

Northern Ireland

The below is the salary for the 2017/2018 academic year. Salary rates for the next academic year will be confirmed in early June 2018. Any changes will be minimal and in line with inflation. 

Period of appointment - 1 September to 31 May

Gross monthly salary - £905.00  for a standard 12 hours per week

Standard fixed hourly rate - £13.63 for hours beyond the 12 hours

Your language assistant may start in August or stay up until the end of June. This must be by mutual agreement and at an additional cost.

Scotland

The below is the salary for the 2017/2018 academic year. Salary rates for the next academic year will be confirmed in early June 2018. Any changes will be minimal and in line with inflation. 

Period of appointment for language assistants - 1 September to 31 May

Gross monthly salary - £905.00 for a standard 12 hours per week

Standard fixed hourly rate - £13.63 for hours beyond the 12 hours

Your language assistant may start in August or stay up until the end of June. This must be by mutual agreement and at an additional cost.

Sharing a language assistant with other schools

If you are not able to offer 12 hours, you can share the costs and timetable with a partner school. Sharing an assistant is a wonderful way of getting the benefits of an assistant while sharing the cost with other institutions. Language assistants can usually be shared between a maximum of three schools provided travel arrangements are reasonable. Where language assistants are required to work at different schools on the same day, the employer should cover the costs of travel. However, there may be some more flexible sharing arrangements available. Please contact the team for more information.

Please note: only the lead host school should apply, on behalf of the group (including information on the sharing arrangement in the appropriate area on the form); the lead host school is responsible for paying the language assistant’s wages with other schools reimbursing the lead host school directly.

Example options:

  • Your language assistant works for 2 hours in your school and 10 hours in a local secondary school.    
  • You share a language assistant equally with two other local schools, four hours each.
  • Any other combination of primary and/or secondary schools as long as the language assistant works in no more than three schools and works a minimum of 12 hours per week.

Chinese Modern Language Assistants

Chinese language assistants receive an allowance from our Chinese partner organisation Hanban, meaning UK schools only need to pay the assistants the newly introduced National Living Wage, which is £7.20 per hour from April 2016. 

Costs can be further reduced by sharing the Chinese language assistant with other primary and/or secondary schools in your area. Please note each language assistant can only be shared between a maximum of three schools or further education colleges. 

The UK Government has recently introduced a one-off £200 Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) for those applying for a UK visa. As Chinese language assistants have been subsidised, we kindly request that the £200 IHS surcharge is reimbursed by the UK host school or schools involved in the sharing arrangements.

To calculate the total cost of hosting a Chinese language assistant use the following formula: 

  • National Living Wage (£7.20) x number of hours per week (minimum of 12) x length of contract in weeks (41 in 2016-2017) + £200 IHS fee. 

The average cost for hosting a Chinese language assistant in the 2017-18 academic year will therefore be £3742.

See also