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Teaching and Education

Training to become a teacher

There are various options when it comes to training to be a teacher with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), including:

  • PGCE - one year course at a university with placements in schools
  • school-based training scheme - learn on the job with the expectation that you will go on to teach at the school
  • salaried/unsalaried graduate teacher training scheme eg. Teach First, Researchers in Schools
  • postgraduate teaching apprenticeship - earn a salary while you train to be a teacher
  • school-centred initial teacher training - school-led course run by experienced teachers.

Some graduates choose to gain experience as a  teaching assistant before undertaking their initial teacher training.

Additional training is necessary if you want to teach a subject you don't have a degree in. Three month courses in language and six month courses in maths and science are available called subject knowledge enhancement courses.

All applicants for teacher training courses must sit and pass professional skills tests in numeracy and literacy before beginning training.

Get advice from a Teacher Training Adviser

If you want to train as a teacher in England, you can get free 1-2-1 advice from a Teacher Training Adviser.

They can advise you on: 

  • getting school experience
  • funding your course
  • choosing the right training
  • writing your personal statement
  • interview tips

PGCE route

A postgraduate certificate of education taught in a university, with substantial school experience via placements. This is a common way for degree-level students to qualify for teaching. You can choose primary or secondary education routes.

Postgraduate teaching apprenticeships

This DfE scheme offers graduates the opportunity to train on the job while receiving the salary of a non-qualified teacher. On successful completion, apprentice teachers will be awarded Qualified Teacher Status.

Teach First

A teaching and leadership graduate scheme that aims to place exceptional talent in challenging schools. The scheme involves studying for a 2-year PGDE with Qualified Teaching Status (QTS) plus additional training in education leadership. There is the optional possibility of taking on a Master's in Education/Leadership after your PGDE.

Applications are made directly to Teach First via their website.

School Direct

A scheme to train teachers run by schools. Students gain a teaching qualification (QTS, and in some cases a PGCE) while working in a school. In theory, people get places on this course because the school believes it can employ them afterwards and has a specific vacancy in mind.

These courses either train you while you work, or charge a fee for training provided. Graduates can get paid to work in the school while they study, but this usually requires 3+ years of work experience.

Early years teacher training

There are training pathways for people who want to work with pre-school children. A £7,000 grant to cover course fees is available to UK/EU students, plus bursaries for subsistence costs depending on your degree classification.

School-centred Initial Teacher Training

A teaching qualification taught in partnership between a school and a university. Trainees are taught by experienced teachers in the classroom at the school where you are a trainee.

Researchers in Schools Teacher Training

Researchers in Schools recruits PhD graduates to work as teachers in non-selective state schools through a tailored initial teacher training programme.

FE teacher training

To train as a further education teacher you need to have a higher education qualification in the subject you want to teach, or to have considerable practical experience in the area.

Many jobs require applicants to have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) although some merely require the willingness to obtain the qualification while working. When you start working, you will be expected to work towards a further qualification with Standards Verification UK.

Other training options


Between £3,000 and £30,000 of funding is available to help teachers train. How much you can get depends on your degree topic and results

Student loan reimbursement for teachers

A student loan reimbursement scheme is available in selected local authorities for languages, biology, chemistry, physics and computing teachers.