Concessionary and reduced rate membership fees policy

Policy statement

The Society for Education and Training is committed to supporting its members to maintain their membership and the payment of their annual membership fees, specifically in circumstances where a SET member is not working, is retired or is working but on a low income. This policy sets out the requirements for members who wish to move to:

  1. the concessionary rate due to temporary unemployment or temporarily not working
  2. the reduced rate membership fee due to retirement
  3. the reduced rate membership fee as annual earnings are below under £16,500


Commencement date

This policy is effective from 1 December 2022 and will be reviewed every two years.



The policy relates to all members in the grades of Affiliate, Associate, Member and Fellow who are seeking support to pay their annual membership fees and who meet the eligibility criteria detailed below.



All members within the scope of this policy can apply for a concessionary rate if they are temporarily unable to work due to one of the following reasons:

  • all forms of parental leave
  • unemployed (but seeking employment)
  • career break, such as a sabbatical
  • long term sick leave

In addition, current members who are retired or are working but whose earnings are under £16,500 per annum can claim the reduced rate membership fee. (NB: new members joining SET are also eligible to join on the reduced rate membership fee – this is explained as part of the joining journey).



Members who need additional financial support are advised to contact Education Support, the only UK charity dedicated to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of teachers and education staff in schools, colleges and universities. The charity can offer short-term financial support to eligible applicants. More information can be found on the charity’s very informative website.


Requirements and how to apply

Members should contact our Helpline, to discuss their circumstances, on:

All discussions will be in the strictest confidence and in line with our Privacy Policy. We will then determine what additional information, if any, may be needed such as:

  • Maternity leave MATB1 certificate
  • Unemployment P45
  • Long-term sickness medical certificate

We will endeavour to make a decision without undue delay. All information shared with us for the purposes of making the decision will be treated securely, and with integrity.


Retired members

Retired members who are on the reduced membership fee will remain on this rate unless we are advised otherwise. This will also apply to members who are on the reduced membership fee as they are earning less than £16,500 per annum.


Continuous Professional Development

All members, who are not currently working and are on the concessionary rate are not expected to undertake any CPD activities. However the advantages of continuing with professional development to ensure competencies and skills are maintained is highly recommended. All SET CPD webinars are free to members. Retired members are not expected to undertake CPD.


Membership status

Being on the concessionary or reduced rate of membership does not affect a member’s status, rights and obligations. Please refer to SET policies and procedures for further details. All benefits of membership will be retained including the use of post nominals as applicable.



The concessionary rate for members not able to work due to one of the reasons stated above and the reduced membership fee for retired members and members working but earning less than £16,500 per annum is currently £2.58 per month if paid by Direct Debit. This is subject to annual review.


How to apply

Members who wish to move to the concessionary rate or the reduced membership fee should contact our Helpline on 0800 093 9111 or email

Once approved, members will be placed on the concessionary rate until the end of the current membership year.
We ask all members to let us know when their circumstances change, so that we can update our records. In addition, each year before the annual renewal we will contact members to ensure they remain on the correct rate dependent upon their circumstances.



Updated: November 2022