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How do I get into teaching?

how teachingAre you a good communicator? Do you have bags of enthusiasm and a burning desire to make a difference? If so then a teaching career may be for you. Read on to find out how to get started.

Where do I start?

Anyone wanting to teach in England and Wales must complete initial teacher training (ITT). Provided you have GCSE grades C in English and Maths, and the same in Science for primary teaching, there are a number of different ITT courses available.

Before selecting a course, it’s important to choose which age you would like to teach. Schooling in England and Wales is divided into four key stages and every teacher must train in at least two key stages.
Find out about the National Curriculum for all key stages.

Undergraduate teaching degree

This qualification is ideal for anyone wanting a direct route into teaching in a primary or secondary school. The course lasts three to four years. Candidates receive support and practice in the course.

PGCE and a degree in your chosen subject

The PGCE is the most common path into teaching. Anyone starting a PGCE must already have a degree in their chosen subject. The PGCE involves a year of post-graduate Initial Teacher Training (ITT). It includes 18 weeks being placed in one or two primary schools, and 24 weeks in secondary schools. The course covers teaching techniques, theory and behaviour management.

School centred initial teacher training

SCITT is a school-centred training programme for people who have completed a degree.
Most of the courses lead to the PGCE.

Your first year as a teacher

When you’ve completed your training, you will be classed as a ‘newly qualified teacher’ (NQT). But, there’s one more hurdle before you’re a fully-fledged teacher. All NQTs must undergo a three-term on-the-job assessment, usually completed during the first year of teaching.
Once you pass this assessment you will have qualified teacher status (QTS).

Finding a job

Some newly qualified teachers take a job at the school they trained or did their placement in. If you are not lucky enough to find work this way, there are a number of places you can find teaching jobs:

  • Your local authority
  • The internet (try sites like JustTeachers)
  • Local and national press. Publications such as the Times Educational Supplement, The Independent (published Thursdays) and the Guardian (published Tuesdays) are a good place to look for teaching posts.
  • Schools. The school where you did your training may be able to put you in touch with other schools or keep you on file until a post arises.

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