This is one of our most frequently asked questions. There are many different routes into teaching available in England and Wales. To teach in maintained schools within England and Wales, you will need to undertake Initial Teacher Training (ITT) to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Some academies, free schools and independent schools may not specify QTS as an entry requirement, however QTS is generally preferable and will improve your career prospects.
The basic entry requirements for ITT (Initial Teacher Training) are as follows:
The best way to help you decide if teaching is right for you is to gain as much hands-on experience as possible in a school environment. A fantastic way to gain insight into the world of teaching is through voluntary work. You could also explore paid work opportunities within education settings. Voluntary and paid experience can strengthen your future job applications.
Reach out to teaching staff, careers and employability services and training providers; talking to those with first-hand knowledge will help you to make an informed decision. Moreover, make the effort to attend school/university open days and teaching-related recruitment fairs
Working in a support staff capacity within a school setting, e.g. teaching assistant, cover supervisor or administration, will help you to get your foot in the door whilst you consider all the routes available to you. You will also build meaningful connections and contacts.
There are a number of different routes into teaching which provide options to suit everyone.
If you prefer to spend more time training in the classroom, putting theory into practice and gaining confidence through increased contact with the school environment, then a school-based route may be a good option for you.
Many schools in Kent are involved in leading and participating in school-based routes. If you are interested in a school-based route, you may wish to contact your local primary or secondary school to ask if they are involved.
School Direct is an ideal route into teaching for those who want to ‘learn on the job’ whilst earning a salary. This employment-based route into teaching is available to graduates, with typically 3 years work experience. Many School Direct programs include a PGCE qualification, but some do not. You do not need a PGCE to teach in England and Wales, however a PGCE is important if you wish to teach outside of England and Wales. Always check which qualifications you will achieve with your training provider before committing. You will receive an Unqualified Teacher’s salary from your school. The cost of your training will be covered. However, you may charged a fee if you are working towards a PGCE. You can find out more detailed information on the UCAS website, including how to apply.
If you choose the Tuition Fee Program, you will be primarily based at a school. But, you will also receiving training by a university, college or SCITT that your school is partnered with. Your school will not be your employer and you will be eligible to pay your training fees. If you are eligible, you could receive funding such as a student loan, a bursary or a scholarship. Your training will be very similar to other ITT programmes in universities, colleges, and SCITTs. School Direct courses lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). The majority of these training schemes include a PGCE qualification. But, always check this is the case before applying. If you want to teach abroad, a PGCE is often required. More information is available on the UCAS website.
Both postgraduate and undergraduate teacher training courses are available at universities and colleges throughout the UK. Canterbury Christ Church University, the University of Brighton, the University of Greenwich and several other universities work closely with schools in Kent based to deliver their teacher training programmes.
If you have a degree and wish to train as a primary or secondary school teacher, then this route may be suitable. A PGCE is a 1 year course leading to QTS and focuses on developing your teaching skills and underpinning your knowledge. The PGCE involves lectures, seminars and other taught sessions in a university setting, including teaching placements in schools. Dedicated subject knowledge enhancement courses are also available in some secondary subjects should your degree not closely align with the subject you wish to teach.
If you do not currently have an undergraduate degree, you can complete a Bachelor of Education (BEd) or Bachelor of Arts (BA)/Bachelor of Science (BSc) with qualified teacher status (QTS) course. These courses enable you to study for a degree and complete your initial teacher training (ITT) at the same time.
Applications for all routes into Teacher Training are handled by UCAS. Please visit UCAS - Teacher Training for more information and to apply.
SKE courses are designed to enhance your existing knowledge in a particular subject area to help you progress in your teaching career. Find out more about SKE courses here.
Available via university or school-led training routes, all programmes lead to Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) upon completion. EYTS allows you to specialise in working with children up to the age of five only.
Designed for outstanding A Level students with a passion for physics or maths, this six-year programme offers financial support for undergraduate study, as well as employment-based teacher training post-graduation. Please visit The Future Teaching Scholars Programme for more information.
Offered by several universities, colleges and training providers in England, this programme is aimed at individuals working as unqualified teachers. If you have a degree and substantial experience of working within a school, this routes allows you to gain QTS without a teacher training programme. You can find approved providers on the Get Into Teaching website.
This non-graduate teacher training route is for service leavers, leading to an honours degree with QTS. Find out more from UCAS.
If you have completed, or are in the process of completing, a doctorate, then this three-year teacher training programme may be for you. It offers a combination of classroom teaching and research opportunities to work towards gaining QTS. You will also work towards the Research Leader in Education Award. Find out more from Researchers in Schools.
For further information, or for tailored advice and information about teacher training visit
Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) is a route into teaching that can enable you to become a qualified teacher without holding an existing degree. QTLS is a professional teaching status, it’s traditionally aimed at people wanting to teach in Further Education and Adult Education as a way of professionals transferring from industry into teaching, but following a regulation change in 2012, there is now legal parity between QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) and QTLS. Educators with QTLS status and who are also members of the Society for Education and Training have been recognised by law as equivalent in status to teachers with QTS in schools. Holders of QTLS are able to teach across all subjects and all ages on equal pay and conditions, opening up career development and wider employment opportunities.
To find out more about teaching in England as an overseas teacher visit this page.
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