I want to be a teacher, where do I start?

21 Mar


So you’ve decided that you would like a career in teaching, but where do you start to find out all the information you need? Follow our step by step guide below to start your new career!

1. Do I have the basic requirements for teaching? – In order to be a teacher you need a degree and GCSE grade C or equivalent in maths and English (and science if you want to apply for primary).

2. What age range do I want to teach? – Primary, where you will work with a specific age range of children from age 3-7 or 5-11, or secondary, where you will work with children from age 11-18.

3. What subject do I want to teach? – If you are interested in secondary training then what subject would you like to teach? You need to have a degree in or related to the subject that you would like to teach. If you don’t have that then do you might have to complete a subject knowledge enhancement course.

4. Register with us – Register your details with us and receive a comprehensive programme of support to help you go from interested in teaching to application and interview. You can also find out if you are eligible for extra support as part of our Premier Plus programme.

5. Do I have enough classroom experience? – Classroom experience is a vital part of your application as you will need to show that you have spent time in a school observing lessons. It can also help you decide which age range you might want to teach if you are unsure. If you don’t know where to start then read our guide on how to find classroom experience and then read our guide on what you need to observe when you are in the classroom.

6. What routes are available to me? – University, SCITT, School Direct… there are lots of university-led and school-led options available to you and each one might have different positives and negatives depending on your personal circumstances. Spend some time finding out about each route to choose one that will suit you, or have a look at our quick-reference table which outlines the characteristics of the most popular postgraduate routes.

7. What funding is available? – Different routes have different funding options. Teacher training is currently offering big tax-free bursaries and scholarships for high quality graduates, especially in shortage subjects in secondary, and for primary teacher training too. Visit the funding pages on our website to find out what you might be eligible for.

8. Am I ready to submit my application? – When you are ready to apply, there is a comprehensive programme of support available from us to help you. We have an application form assistant along with application tips and interactive interviews to help you really make the most of your skills and submit the best application possible.

9. I’ve been invited for an interview, what should I do? – Make sure you give yourself a good amount of time to prepare and read our advice on how to prepare to make the best of your interview and present yourself in the most positive light possible.

After an amazing interview you will hopefully be offered a place on a training course – welcome to your new career!

If you weren’t successful at application or after interview then don’t give up. Is there a different route available to you? Can you spend time getting more experience? Can you get feedback from the provider to find out areas to improve on? Look at all the options available to you and if you still feel teaching is for you then give it another try.

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21 Responses to “I want to be a teacher, where do I start?”

  1. mrs tolu_ April 2, 2012 at 1:24 am #

    hi ,i wanna relocate to uk and im interested in continue my teaching career as a biochemist teaching in the senior secondary section ,with a PGD in education.how do i go about this ?i am still in Nigeria though.thanks.

  2. getintoteaching April 3, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    You should start by taking a look at the Teaching Agency website http://www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching and you can find all the information you need about teaching in the UK. Good luck!

  3. Samantha June 28, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    Hi! I am currently working as a fashion designer after getting an ND, HND and Degree in fashion design and am now looking at a career change to teaching. I have no teaching experience but have managed to arrange some with my old secondary school in the textile department. I am nervous about leaving my current job to pursue my PGCE, my main doubts are that because I am fashion based I will not be able to get onto a PGCE course. Its a big career jump for me but one I think will be more rewarding and better for me in the long run. Do you have any tips for me as a complete beginner? x

    • getintoteaching June 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

      Hi Samantha,

      It’s great to hear that you’re interested in training to become a teacher. I would suggest speaking to your chosen PGCE training provider to discuss your current situation and see what they recommend – it would be up to them as to whether they think your degree and experience is relevant to the subject you wish to teach.

      There are subject knowledge enhancement courses available which may also be of use to you – http://www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching/subjects-age-groups/age-groups/teaching-secondary/boost-subject-knowledge

      A tip for during the application process would certainly be to ensure that you provide enough knowledge and experience in the subject want to teach.

      I hope that helps!

      Get into Teaching

  4. Roven Nassif August 3, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

    Hello , am Mr Roven Nassif from Lebanon . I have BA in interior design and I have 5 years experience in interior design in several technical schools in Beirut . Am moving to London and wondering to have a job in same field here. What do I need to be a design teacher In London .
    Thank u and best regard.

    Sent from my iPhone

    • getintoteaching August 7, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

      Hi Roven

      Please contact the Teaching Line for further information about getting into teaching on 0800 389 2500.

      I hope this helps!

      Get into teaching

  5. Shaun Raynes August 8, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    Is there any way to go into primary teaching without a degree? Or any way you can do a ‘qualify whilst you work’ scheme at all? I really want to go into teaching but going back to university isn’t financially viable for me. Thanks. Shaun.

  6. Bridget August 24, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    please i have completed teacher training and i have obtained Bachelor of .Education in information communication technology. and i would like to relocate to London. how can i get into your teaching field, the primary school to be precise?

    • getintoteaching September 4, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

      Hi Bridget

      Please contact the Teaching Line for further information about getting into teaching on 0800 389 2500.

      I hope this helps!

      Get into teaching

  7. Oli September 27, 2012 at 11:29 am #


    I am 29 and looking to become a Primary School teacher (3-7 year old) and I was wondering if you could provide me with a bit more advice. I am about to re-take my Maths and Science GCSE as I didn’t get a C in these at school. Do I have to have all the Sciences or just a ‘Science’? I am also degree level educated.

    I am unsure as the best route to take as I am currently employed full time and have a relatively good salary and so have monthly commitments, which I still need to keep up with. Is there a way of training in a school whilst being paid but also becoming qualified at the same time.

    This is a really exciting yet very scary point in my life as this will be a complete career change but I feel that this is where I want to move my career forward.

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. I have registered on the teacher Agency and my registration number is 5488235. I have also heard that there is a lot of interest in male teachers within a primary school environment.


    • getintoteaching September 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

      Hi Oli
      Please contact the Teaching Line in regards to your question on 0800 389 2500

      Hope this helps!

      Get into Teaching

  8. leanne October 3, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    hi im in year 11 and was thinking of becoming a science/biology teacher but i wanted to know do i need to study maths at A-level to be a science teacher.

  9. Alex D October 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    I am currently in my 3rd year of Undergrad Hospitality management. But want a career change into teaching either at the primary or further ed level.Hospitality has nothing to do with primary subjects. I have no experience in teaching. How do i start?

  10. Erin Brierley November 27, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    I am currently doing my second year of a Psychology BSc degree, and am hoping to apply for a PGCE next year to teach maths at secondary level. My course is heavily stats based, and I attained at A* at A Level in the subject, but is this enough for me to apply? Or would I need to do a knowledge enhancement course too?
    Thank you.

  11. zelal January 24, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    Hi. i was a teacher in Turkey. i had a degree at universty about philosphy teaching. also i did pedagogical master degree. i have been living in london for 2.5 years now. im willing to be a teacher but i dont know where do i start ? i m working as a private turkish teacher at the moment. but i want to be a teacher in primary school.
    kind regards..

  12. Loz January 27, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

    I’d like to know, if you study an early years PGCE (3 -7 year olds) how easy is it to move up teaching 8-11 years if you decide that in the future? Can you do study while being a teacher to teach old kids in primary? Or do you have to go to university again?

    Thank you

  13. Emma February 9, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    I’m 16 and nearly finishing Year 11. I did Year 10 work experience of about 2 weeks, but I hear I should/need to do more if I want to apply to a University.. is this true? If so, how much extra experience do I need?


  14. robert paulinus ime February 19, 2013 at 1:58 am #

    iam still in university as a chemical engineering student.i like chemistry as a course.how can i teach this subject in order to get pocket money for feeding.

  15. Future Teacher March 9, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

    Anyone who wants more information on, or wants to know what its really like to be a male (or female, its good for them too) primary school teacher should read this great book. Its called Tips for Real Men in Primary School and its on Amazon its well cheap and written in late 2012 contains everything you need to know. Just have a wee look it can’t do any harm!

  16. reen March 19, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    Hi im an engg graduate. can i become a teacher and what should i do further?

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