Teaching is a growing sector which appeals to many students and graduates and is seen as a stable and fulfilling career. Grants for teacher training are available in specialist subjects and there are several routes into teaching.
Although teaching is the main area of work, successful graduates can also work in other teaching-related areas, like non-school settings such as prisons and work places, and in roles such as teaching assistants and educational psychologists.
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How do I become a teacher?
There are three main routes in if you want to become a teacher – through undergraduate study, postgraduate study or work-based training. Find out more about ITT, QTS and other acronyms.
Undergraduate study routes into teaching come through practical based undergraduate courses, such as the Bachelor of Education or a Bachelor of Arts or Science with Qualified Teacher Status. This is the ideal route for students who know that a career in teaching is for them.
Postgraduate routes into teaching include taking a Postgraduate Certificate of Education, which focuses on providing graduates with teaching skills rather than looking at subject specific knowledge. All PGCEs follow a mixture of classroom and lecture-based learning, with students spending at least 18 weeks in an actual classroom to get the required experience. You can also take school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT).
Employment-based routes include paid programmes like Teach First and the School Direct Training Programme. These are often paid positions with qualifications also attached, meaning these are perfect for those looking to get into teaching whilst still earning. However, applicants need to be aware that these programmes are extremely full on and can be very stressful.
What kind of work do teachers do?
Teacher training graduates work in many areas – and not just direct teaching. If you achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), you can expect to be able to work in:
However, if direct teaching is not for you, graduates of teacher training also go on to work in the following areas:
Funding for teacher training
There are a range of funding options, incentives and financial support available to students both during and after their training, for all three main routes into teaching. However, postgraduates fare particularly well, with teacher training bursaries available to become physics teachers, chemistry teachers, maths teachers and modern languages teachers.
There is also teacher funding available through individual bodies such as the Royal Society of Chemistry and other scholarships.
How do I find a teaching job?
There is currently a shortage of teachers in key areas such as maths, science and languages. Vacancies for teaching roles are advertised throughout the year, but the peak recruitment season is between April and August – with new teachers ready to start in the new school year.
You can find a teaching job through specialist recruitment sites and publications, such as:
Demand for teaching jobs varies according to location, your specialist subject and what level you want to teach at. Before applying for a teaching job, it is useful to have as much school work experience as possible. You can contact schools directly to ask to shadow teachers or volunteer with youth clubs and play schemes to build up your experience.