Get into teaching

There are are number of ways you can get into teaching - it all depends on your personal circumstances, qualifications and experience.

Which route is best for you?

If you work as teaching or classroom assistant

If you work in a school as teaching or classroom assistant you should consider the Qualifications and Credit Framework route if your current highest qualification is below Advanced level or HND.

On this route you would progress to Level 3, Higher Level Teaching Assistant, then to the Foundation Degree.

With the Foundation Degree you can enrol on a first-degree course leading to a BA, BSc or BEd.

Classroom assistants and others with a degree may be eligible to train in school on the Graduate Teacher Programme.

If you work in school support

School support staff can study towards a Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) qualification.

If you have a BA or BSc qualification

If you have a BA or BSc qualification you may be eligible to do a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or the Graduate Teacher Programme.

Currently the main difference between these two routes is that the PGCE is college-based training and the GTP is school based. The PGCE and Graduate Teacher Programme are normally one-year courses, and are currently oversubscribed.


You need a degree to be a teacher.

You can either complete a degree in your chosen subject and then do a postgraduate qualification leading to qualified teacher status or; you can study for a degree which incorporates qualified teacher status, e.g. Bachelor of Education (BEd).

You will also need to have GCSE grade C or above in Maths and English (and Science for primary teaching).

Normally you need to have at least 50% of your degree in the subject you are to teach.

A Further Education Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) only qualifies you to teach in Further Education Colleges (normally 16 to adult) whereas a PGCE with Qualified Teacher Status qualifies you to teach in all schools.

Training on the job

The Early Years Registered Teacher Programmes are employment-based routes into teaching.

You need to find a supporting school before making a full application.

  • Early Years Registered Teacher Programmes

You can study for a degree by distance learning and there are flexible/distance learning postgraduate courses leading to qualified teacher status.

Funding for trainee teachers

Incentives are available for those studying to teach the secondary shortage subjects.

Secondary shortage subjects are:

  • Maths
  • English
  • Science
  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • Design and Technology
  • ICT
  • RE
  • Music

Teaching Agency

The Teaching Agency helps you become a teacher, providing guidance all the way through the application process.

Teaching Agency