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Train to Teach

How to Get into Teaching

We hope that the information within the pages on the left-hand side of this screen and on the screen below will help you to understand the options available for those considering teacher training. You may prefer to contact us (01252 986890 or tshub@sfet.org.uk) - our team would be happy to answer any questions that you may have (however big or small).

A great starting point for information on how to become a teacher is the Department for Education's Get into Teaching website. You can browse the information here or register for tailored support. You can obtain personalised advice from the Get into Teaching team on your training options, the application process and your next steps. You can register here.

 

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What qualifications do I need to be a teacher?

You need qualified teacher status (QTS) to teach in maintained primary, secondary and special schools in England (schools funded by local authorities). You can get this through teacher training.

You do not need QTS to teach in further education or to teach in early years.

Who do you want to teach?

Get school experience or attend events to see which of the following settings suits you best:

Check your qualifications - are you eligible?

If you have a degree or are studying for one

You need a bachelor’s degree to teach in primary, secondary and special schools in England. This does not have to be a bachelor’s degree in teaching.

You also need to gain qualified teacher status (QTS) to teach in most schools which you get through teacher training.

Once you have a degree or equivalent qualification you’re ready for postgraduate primary or secondary initial teacher training.

You also need the following GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above, or equivalent qualifications:

  • English
  • maths
  • science if you want to teach primary

You may be able to show you meet the standard in another way if you do not have these GCSEs.

Chat online for qualifications advice

If you’re not from the UK, find out about training to teach in England as a non-UK citizen.

If you do not have a degree

You need a bachelor’s degree to train to teach in primary, secondary and special schools in England. This does not have to be in teaching.

If you do not already have one, you can train to be a teacher as part of your bachelor’s degree and get qualified teacher status (QTS).

QTS is what you need to teach in maintained primary, secondary and special schools in England (schools funded by local authorities).

Degree courses that include QTS typically cost £9,250 per year and can take up to 4 years but you can get funding for your training.

Qualifications vary depending on the course. For example, you could get QTS with a:

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Bachelor of Education (BEd)
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc)

You also need the following GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above, or equivalent qualifications:

  • English
  • maths
  • science if you want to teach primary

You may be able to show you meet the standard in another way if you do not have these GCSEs.

Find out more about the qualifications you need to be a teacher in England.

As part of selecting your degree course, you will need to decide if you want to train to teach at a primary or secondary level. Learn about deciding who to teach.

If you’re a non-UK citizen who wants to study in England, you can visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs(opens in new window) for information about studying at an English university.

BA (Hons) in Primary Education for TAs

The University of Buckingham has designed a three-year BA degree course for those working as teaching assistants in schools who wish to become primary or prep school teachers. To be a qualified teacher in England you have to have a degree and the most relevant degree to take is one in Education. 

Our degree has many significant advantages:

1. It is designed to enable you to work in a paid job while taking the course.

2. The course is online and this enables you do the work and complete tasks at times you can manage. The course materials are written by academics and leading primary school head teachers in England.

3. The course is excellent value. Every student will need to find out whether their employer is happy to pay, or whether they will take a student loan.

4. You will have your own University of Buckingham tutor who will support you throughout the course.

5. The degree course is integrated with your work because much of the study is based on you reflecting on your school and what happens there.

This is a three-year BA degree course. To become a teacher you will then need to complete a Qualified Teacher Status (ITT) course which may be paid, through your employer, by the apprenticeship levy. A typical teacher training course is only 10 months long, so adding a three-year degree to that will ensure you have a much higher level of knowledge.

Entry Requirements

  1. You must be in employment in a primary school in England and your school will need to write a letter supporting your application. Part-time teaching assistants are welcome.
  2. You cannot have a university degree already.
  3. You should have passed two A-levels or equivalents.
  4. You must pass an interview.
  5. You must be determined and organised.
  6. To teach in a primary school you need to have passed GCSE English, Maths and Science. Overseas applicants will need to prove they have equivalent qualifications using UK ENIC.

 

Chat online for qualifications advice

Find out what to do if you’re an international candidate with qualifications from overseas.

If you're not already studying for a degree and you do not have one you can do undergraduate teacher training.

What can I teach?

You do not necessarily need a bachelor’s degree in a subject to teach it. It’s up to your teacher training provider to decide if you have the skills and knowledge required.

In some cases, you may be able to train to teach a different subject to your degree if:

  • you have an A level in the subject
  • your degree is related to but not in the subject – for example, your degree is in engineering but you’d like to teach physics
  • you have an unrelated degree but relevant professional experience

Talk to your training provider to find out what you can train to teach.

You could also receive a scholarship or bursary of up to £29,000 to train to teach certain subjects. Find out more about your eligibility for a scholarship or bursary.

You may also have the opportunity to teach other subjects in your career and can train to teach more than one subject.

Subject Knowledge Enhancement

The department funds Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) programmes for applicants who have the potential to become outstanding teachers but who need to increase their subject knowledge.


The length of the SKE courses can vary in duration, from an eight-week refresher or booster course through to a 28-week programme. The SKE courses can be undertaken on a full-time or part-time basis but must be completed before QTS can be recommended and awarded.


The secondary subjects funded are biology, chemistry, computing, design and technology, English, foreign languages, mathematics, physics, religious education (eight weeks only), and primary mathematics.


Further information can be found here.

Funding

Financial support while you train

You can get funding that you do not have to pay back if you train to teach certain subjects.

You can also apply for a student loan to cover course fees and living costs.

Training to  teach can be a big investment and you need to consider course and living costs, which can vary between programmes and regions of the UK. Find out what financial help is available here.

The amount of funding you receive for teacher training can vary each year and depends on:

  • your degree classification or highest relevant academic qualification
  • the subject you have chosen to teach
  • where you live and plan to study
  • your personal circumstances.
  • teaching bursaries for training in England

If you are on a salaried teacher training course, such as the School Direct salaried route, Teacher Apprenticeship or Teach First, trainees are treated as employees from the beginning. This means that you will earn a salary while you train, and so will not be entitled to other financial support packages. You will require a supporting school who will enter into a contractual arrangement with you. The teacher training providers that you are applying to will be able to advise you on local options.

To encourage graduates to teach certain subjects, bursaries and scholarships may be available:

 

To encourage graduates to teach certain subjects, bursaries of up to £27,000 are available in England. You will need a first, 2:1, 2:2 (honours), Master's or PhD to be eligible for a bursary. Certain eligibility requirements depend on the subject and age range you plan to teach and your degree class. Bursaries are only available if you are on a course leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and are not currently employed as a teacher.

 

An alternative to a bursary, teaching scholarships of £29,000 are available to fund your teacher training for some subjects only. This is set up in partnership with highly regarded professional subject associations. These competitive scholarships are aimed at those with a first or 2:1 (honours) degree. Applicants with a 2:2 and extensive experience can apply.

Student loans and Tuition fees

Tuition fee loans are paid directly to your university, college or ITT provider - it does not matter if you already have a student loan from your undergraduate degree. You can still apply for this student loan to support your teacher training. You will not repay a penny back until you are working and earning. Click here to check your eligibility.

Maintenance loans

UK students starting a one-year postgraduate teacher training course in 2024/25 could be eligible for maintenance loan and/or tuition fee loans. Tuition fee loans are available to cover course costs, while maintenance loans are available to help with living costs. Students with children or a disability can apply for further funding from Student Finance - this could include the Childcare Grant, Parents' Learning Allowance, Adult Dependents' grants and Disabled Students' Allowance, which do not have to be paid back.

Details about these grants and the funding arrangements for trainees can be found here.

Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)

DSA is paid in addition to other student finance to help pay the extra costs you may incur because of your disability. It does not have to be repaid, depends on your individual needs and is not assessed according to your household income. Find out more about Disabled Students' Allowances click here.

Get school experience

You can visit schools to get unpaid experience in the classroom before you start your initial teacher training (ITT).

It can help you:

  • decide if you want to train to be a teacher
  • discover which setting you’d like to teach in (primary or secondary)
  • build a relationship with a school you might want to work for later
What to expect

Your experience will either be in a school or joining classes and meeting teachers online. Placements usually last one or 2 days, but some can last up to 3 weeks.

During your experience, you’ll get to do things like:

  • observe lessons
  • see how teachers manage a classroom
  • find out how specific subjects are taught
  • speak to teachers and interact with pupils
  • learn more about teacher training - including the application and interview process
Find school experience

You can search for and request school experience(opens in new window) in England.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can call a school directly. You can find schools near you(opens in new window) and ask who to talk to about getting school experience.

They may ask you to have a DBS check before attending.

Teaching internships

A paid teaching internship could help you to understand what it’s really like in the classroom if you’re currently doing an undergraduate degree and are interested in teaching:

  • chemistry
  • computing
  • languages
  • maths
  • physics

You’ll get to experience a range of activities to help you get a feel for school life.

Watch pre-recorded lessons

You can observe teachers’ lessons (opens in new window) on the Oak National Academy website to help you get to know teaching better, before or alongside your ITT.

Find the right training provider

Hampshire and Surrey have outstanding teacher training providers. You can connect with them all using this website

Apply

Get tips on applying, including finding the right referees and writing a personal statement.

Your teacher training adviser can also help you get your application ready.

Get tips on applying.