How to Become a Teacher
The UK desperately needs to recruit enthusiastic, skilled educators to achieve their goal of creating a million new school places by the end of this decade. Tempted to become a teacher? Here’s all the essential information you need to know before you apply.
Primary or Secondary School?
Before you apply for a course you’ll need to decide whether you’d prefer to teach primary school pupils or secondary school pupils. Here’s a quick comparison to help you choose.
Primary School Teachers
Secondary School Teachers
Are you a parent or carer wanting to gain a teaching qualification? Then you’ll be glad to know that extra financial help is available, whichever age group you teach. You could be eligible for things such as help with childcare costs, a parent’s learning allowance, child tax credits or additional grants.
What Qualifications Do I Need to Become a Teacher?
In the United Kingdom, there are two main ways to qualify as a teacher. Whichever training route you opt for, you’ll need a GCSE grade C (4) or above in English and maths plus a GCSE in a science subject if you want to teach in primary schools.
If you have an undergraduate degree, then this will be the best route for you.
You’ll need to apply via UCAS for a one year postgraduate initial teacher training course. Available across England, every training provider will provide you with:
This route is ideal for those who don’t yet have a degree.
You’ll need to do a university degree course with qualified teacher status. There are four main undergraduate pathways to choose from.
A degree plus QTS
Aspiring primary school teachers generally do a Bachelor of Education degree (BEd). This This full time programme lasts for 3-4 years and focuses on teaching, learning and academic principles. Prefer to teach secondary school pupils? Then you’ll do a BA or BSc degree, which will focus more on specialist knowledge. Both courses include plenty of time in the classroom and when you graduate, you’ll be recommended for QTS.
A degree with opt-in QTS
This new training option allows you to experience classroom teaching before you integrate it into your degree. Only a limited number of universities offer this option, so if you’re interested in becoming a secondary school teacher we recommend checking out the details on the Get Into Teaching website.
The Future Teaching Scholars programme
This teacher training programme for talented applicants offers a £15,000 scholarship to trainees who complete a degree in maths or physics. If you gain a place, you’ll spend your fourth year doing employment based teacher training, before receiving help to find a job.
Troops to teachers
This scheme is aimed at people who have recently been employed by the army, the navy or the RAF. In return for a tax free bursary of £40,000, successful applicants must complete a degree with QTS in secondary science, computing, maths or modern foreign languages. Tuition fee loans are also available.
Skill Set Required for a Teacher
Succeeding as a teacher takes a lot of skills, particularly on a personal level. Below are the key soft skills and traits that are needed to effectively connect with students and get them in the mindset for learning.
Ability to withstand pressure
Willingness to take risks
Commitment to lifelong learning and self-improvement
Alternative Routes Into Teaching
The Now Teach scheme is for potential secondary school teachers wanting to teach maths, computer science, languages, geography or any science. If you join the scheme you’ll be placed into a partner school and train on the job for four days a week. You’ll also receive a salary, bursary or scholarship and have access to support and extra training.
This leadership development programme is aimed at people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Students spend the first year working in a school to gain QTS, and the second year on their NQT placement. Both posts are paid and the course includes a funded post graduate diploma in education and leadership (PGDE), worth twice the credits of a PGCE.
95% of newly qualified teachers are employed as teachers within 6 months of completing their training.
Want to know more about teaching careers? Head over to the Get Into Teaching website, where you’ll find everything you need, including information about training as a further education teacher. In the meantime, we have a wide variety of teaching courses on offer, so why not check them out?
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