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Routes into Teaching

Routes into Teaching
Find the right route into teaching!

You can teach Early Years, Primary, Middle Years, Secondary or adults.

To start: You will need to get English Language and Mathematics GCSE at grade C or above or an equivalent qualification. If you want to go into primary school teaching you will also need Science GCSE at grade C or above. (You can get these while you are at school but if you are older it is never too late. Further Education Colleges and some organisations do evening classes for adults).

If you have an overseas qualification you should contact the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) to ask about equivalence.

Access courses offer mature students a way into further study. ('Access to Teaching' offers GCSE Maths, English, Science and appropriate
A-levels for initial teacher training degree entry). It is also possible to do Education Foundation courses.

Initial Teacher Training
You can complete your teacher training at the same time as studying for a degree at a university or higher education institution. You will finish with a BEd, BA or BSc with qualified teachers' status (QTS). Courses usually take three or four years full time or four to six years part time.

In addition to grade C in GCSEs English Language, Maths (and Science for Primary ITT) you will also normally require a minimum of two A levels or equivalent. Individual providers will have different requirements so do check with them.

Apply through Universities and Colleges Admissions Service UCAS.

People with degrees
If you already have a degree you can do an Initial Teacher Training (ITT) course. There are many ITT courses and the one you choose will be specific to the age group and/or subject that you want to teach.

Trainee teachers also have to also pass online skills tests in numeracy, literacy to achieve the Qualified Teacher's Status standards. These are commonly taken during your training, but from 2013, will be taken prior to training as part of the selection process.

If your degree subject is not close enough to the one you want to teach and you cannot go straight on an ITT course there are subject enhancement courses available. These are individually tailored courses designed to help you 'top up' your subject knowledge in certain areas. These courses can vary in duration and are subject to individual requirements that are determined at interview stage.

Visit for more information.

You can choose between the following options:

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE )
This is a postgraduate initial teacher training qualification which enables you to experience a range of educational settings and also to gain Masters level credits. You will need to demonstrate a good understanding of the subject you wish to teach. This usually means having a UK degree or equivalent qualification before beginning your course as well as the relevant GCSEs or equivalencies. It is usually one year full time or two years part time and will lead to Qualified Teachers' Status. You will need to demonstrate good knowledge of at least one national curriculum subject if teaching in the compulsory education sector.

School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT)
School centred initial teacher training is a postgraduate initial teacher training programme leading to QTS based in and run by schools, and validated by a university.

The course is usually one year full time. You will usually be based in one school (the lead school) while completing teaching practices at others. You will need a degree or equivalent qualification in the subject you want to teach or in the case of Primary Education a core national curriculum subject as well as the expected GCSEs or equivalent qualification.

Employment Based Routes (EBR)
You can also be trained and employed at the same time. The GTP (Graduate Teacher Programme) allows you to work and be paid in schools while training. Schools can employ graduates and work out an individual training programme for them. Please note: If you are considering teaching abroad the GTP only comes with the award of Qualified Teachers Status and most countries require that you hold a PGCE.

School Direct
School Direct is a new recruitment and training option from 2012. Applicants will apply to a school with a guarantee of a job at the end of training - and be trained by an accredited provider to acheive QTS. Further details forthcoming...

Overseas Trained Teacher Programme
If you qualified as a teacher inside the European Union you can access teaching positions in the same way as home trained teachers.

If you qualified as a teacher overseas, and outside the European Economic Area, you may be able to work as a temporary, unqualified teacher for up to four years while you achieve qualified teacher status (QTS). Currently, this programme is only available in England.

When you have found a teaching position in a school, the Overseas Trained Teacher Programme will provide you with an individual training and assessment programme. This will lead to your qualification to teach in England permanently.

The length of the programme depends on how much additional training you need. The longest amount of time you can spend on the programme is one year full-time.

You must be qualified as a teacher overseas, have qualifications equivalent to a degree and the required GCSEs and be working as an unqualified teacher in a school in England.

PCET (Post-compulsory Education & Training) Certificate in Education / PGCE
Some Initial Teacher Training providers offer professional qualifications for those who wish to teach in the post-compulsory sector. The full-time course is designed for students who wish to enter the profession; the part-time course is designed for those already employed as teachers and trainers in the post-compulsory sector; this might be in Further Education, Higher Education, the Health Service, Adult and Community Education, Prison Service, Armed Forces or private training providers.

These courses leads towards the status of Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) and is equivalent to the Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS).

Students in shortage subjects (on the full-time course) will qualify for a training bursary, which is paid monthly (subject to DFES confirmation) - see for the latest information.
  PATH into Teaching South West, University of the West of the England, Coldharbour Lane, BS16 1QY, UK.