• Routes into Teaching

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There are many routes you can take to become a teacher. Most will involve studying for a degree as well as some time spent on school placements. Below you can discover the different options and see what is best for your own personal circumstances. Whatever they are there will be a route in to teaching suitable for you.

Undergraduate ITT courses

Entry Requirements: Entry requirements vary according to the specific course, although a minimum of two A levels or equivalent is usually required. You should check with individual course providers for details.

To train as a teacher on any programme, you must achieve a standard equivalent to a grade C in GCSE English and mathematics. If you want to teach primary or key stage 2/3 (ages 7–14), you must also have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C in a science GCSE.

Length: Courses generally take three or four years full-time, or four to six years part-time. However, if you have undergraduate credits from previous study you may be able to complete a course in two years.

Funding Available: Yes, normal undergraduate degree funding.

Qualified to Teach: Either KS1/2 (Primary) or KS3/4 (Secondary) or KS3/4/5 (Secondary and Sixth Form) – depending on the course you apply for.

Confers QTS? Yes, after an NQT year

Notes: This is an undergraduate degree. Most undergraduate degrees in teaching are in Primary Education. There are a few subject-specific secondary undergraduate teaching degrees out there as well. The courses are normally 3-4 years in length and award a BA (Hons), BSc, or BEd with recommendation for QTS. Some Primary courses allow you to choose a subject specialism, such as English, Mathematics or Early Years.

Pros and Cons:
+ Straight route into teaching.
+ Teaching practice during every year with strong support.
+ Good coverage of educational theory and subject knowledge.
+ Less stressful than a PGCE
- Full time table throughout the three years.
- Less flexible degree if you decide not to go into teaching.


PGCE

Entry Requirements: You must have a UK undergraduate degree or a recognised equivalent qualification. Find out if your qualifications are equivalent to UK qualifications through UK NARIC. If your degree subject does not link closely to the subject you intend to teach, you may improve your ability to gain a place on an initial teacher training (ITT) programme by following a subject knowledge enhancement course

You also need a standard equivalent to a grade C in GCSE English and mathematics. If you want to teach primary or key stage 2/3 (ages 7-14), you must also have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C in a science GCSE

Length: One year full-time or up to two years part-time.

Funding Available: Tution fees and loan, like for undergraduate degree funding.

Qualified to Teach: Either KS1/2 (Primary) or KS3/4 (Secondary) or KS3/4/5 (Secondary and Sixth Form) – look carefully at the PGCE specification.

Confers QTS? Yes, after an NQT year (done when you get your first real job)

Notes: Conventional teacher training courses are a popular route to gaining qualified teacher status (QTS) through training with a provider and usually takes one academic year to complete, though you may prefer to take a part-time PGCE (postgraduate certificate in education) over two years. The PGCE focuses on the skills, knowledge, understanding and attributes needed to teach in the classroom. The course will include experience of teaching and training in at least two schools and time in a college setting attending seminars and tutorials with other trainees

Pros and Cons:
+ Development of solid knowledge of your chosen subject
+ Relatively good emotional and academic support when doing your teaching practice
- Only a basic coverage of educational theory – you’ll need to use insets and general reading to extend your knowledge if you want to be really innovative.
- Reduced timetable whilst doing teaching practice doesn’t give you a proper experience of teaching workload.


School Direct Training Programme

Entry Requirements: You must have a UK university degree or a recognised equivalent qualification. If your degree subject does not link closely to the subject you intend to teach, you may improve your ability to gain a place on an initial teacher training (ITT) programme by following a subject knowledge enhancement course

To train as a teacher on any programme you must achieve a standard equivalent to a grade C in GCSE English and mathematics. If you want to teach primary or key stage 2/3 (ages 7 to 14), you must also have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C in a science GCSE.


Length: 1 year

Funding Available: Trainees on a School Direct Training Programme will have to pay tuition fees to cover the cost of the course, but home and EU trainees will be eligible for a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of these fees. Tuition fees will vary depending on the institution, and the maximum fee you can be charged is £9,000. You should contact link Student Finance England to apply for a tuition fee loan.

Top graduates could be eligible for a tax-free bursary of up to £20,000. Bursaries are dependent on the subject you want to teach and the degree class that you hold.

There is a 25 per cent premium paid on the bursaries/scholarships to School Direct trainees whose training is based in a school where more than 35 per cent of pupils are eligible for free school meals.

To see what funding you might be entitled to, please visit our postgraduate funding page.

Home trainees can also apply for a means-tested maintenance grant of up to £3,250 and a maintenance loan of up to £5,500 (more if you live away from home and you study in London). More details of how to apply for this can be found on the Directgov Student Finance pages

Qualified to Teach: Either KS1/2 (Primary) or KS3/4 (Secondary) or KS3/4/5 (Secondary and Sixth Form) – look carefully at the PGCE specification.

Confers QTS: Yes, after an NQT year (done when you get your first real job)

Notes: With School Direct, you are selected by a school from day one. Your school, which could be one of the best in the country, will have a job in mind just for you, and there is financial support available throughout your training. It’s a great new way to gain the qualifications and practical skills you need to become a teacher. So, what’s stopping you?

Pros and Cons:
+ Development of solid knowledge of your chosen subject
+ Realistic insight into the realities and pressures of “being a teacher”
+ Expectations of a job at the end of training.
- You’ll be in at the deep end; schools will tend to treat you as a real teacher and heap work on you. You’ll also have very little emotional and academic support when compared to PGCEs.
- You’ll need to negotiate your own placement before talking to the DRB about funding (and this is harder than it seems as schools don’t want to “babysit” trainees).

School Direct Training Programme (salaried)

Entry Requirements: If you are changing career and are a graduate with three or more years’ experience of working life, then you can apply to the School Direct Training Programme (salaried).

You must also have a UK university degree or a recognised equivalent qualification. If your degree subject does not link closely to the subject you intend to teach, you may improve your ability to gain a place on an initial teacher training (ITT) programme by following a subject knowledge enhancement course.

To train as a teacher on any programme you must achieve a standard equivalent to a grade C in GCSE English and mathematics. If you want to teach primary or key stage 2/3 (ages 7 to 14), you must also have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C in a science GCSE.

Length: 1 year

Funding Available: Trainees on the School Direct Training Programme (salaried) are not required to pay tuition fees to cover the course.

You will receive a salary whilst you complete the School Direct Training Programme (salaried). Your host school will pay you in line with the unqualified teacher pay scale

Qualified to Teach: Either KS1/2 (Primary) or KS3/4 (Secondary) or KS3/4/5 (Secondary and Sixth Form) – look carefully at the PGCE specification.

Confers QTS: Yes, after an NQT year (done when you get your first real job)

Notes: With School Direct, you are selected by a school from day one. Your school, which could be one of the best in the country, will have a job in mind just for you, and there is financial support available throughout your training. It’s a great new way to gain the qualifications and practical skills you need to become a teacher.

Pros and Cons:
+ Salary whilst training
+ Development of solid knowledge of your chosen subject
+ Realistic insight into the realities and pressures of “being a teacher”
+ Expectation of a job at the end of training.
- You’ll be in at the deep end; schools will tend to treat you as a real teacher and heap work on you. You’ll also have very little emotional and academic support when compared to PGCEs.



School-centred initial teacher training

Entry Requirements: You need a UK degree or an equivalent qualification. If your degree or other experience doesn't relate to the subject you want to teach (if primary, that means the core subjects of the national curriculum), you might need to complete a pre-training course to get your knowledge up to the required level.

To train as a teacher, on any programme, you must have demonstrated a standard equivalent to a grade C in GCSE English and mathematics. If you want to teach primary or key stage 2/3 (ages 7-14), you must also have demonstrated a standard equivalent to a grade C in a science GCSE.

Length: Courses generally last for one year full-time

Funding Available: You may be eligible to receive funding while you train for your SCITT. Find out about funding for school-centred teacher training

Qualified to Teach: All SCITT courses lead to qualified teacher status (QTS). Many, though not all, will also award you a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) validated by a higher education institution.

Confers QTS: Yes.

Notes: SCITT programmes are designed and delivered by groups of neighbouring schools and colleges. If you prefer to spend more time training in the classroom, putting theory into practice and gaining confidence through increased contact with the school environment, then a SCITT programme is a good option for you.


Teach First

Entry Requirements: In order to apply for the programme, eligible candidates will need to satisfy the following minimum requirements: • 2:1 degree or above 300 UCAS points (or equivalent, excluding General Studies) • have a degree or A levels that satisfy the teaching subject requirements. More information on these can be found on the Teach First website • grade C (or equivalent) in GCSE maths and English • flexibility to work anywhere within Teach First's seven regions • commitment for the duration of the two-year Leadership Development Programme

In addition to this, candidates need to demonstrate relevant subject knowledge and the following competencies: • humility, respect, and empathy • interaction • knowledge • leadership • planning and organising • problem solving • resilience • self-evaluation

Length: 2 years

Funding Available: Teach First participants are paid and employed by their primary or secondary school throughout the two years. Salaries vary according to the region and school in which you are placed. There are no training fees for the Teach First Leadership Development Programme. In your first year you are paid as an unqualified teacher and in your second year you will be paid as a qualified teacher. While accommodation, transport and food expenses are provided over the Summer Institute, Teach First is aware that there are those who will require financial support over this period and August. Teach First would not want applicants to be discouraged from applying owing to financial reasons. For details around the support that Teach First can offer please contact the recruitment team at <a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a>


Qualified to Teach: Either KS3/4 (Secondary) or KS3/4/5 (Secondary and Sixth Form)

Confers QTS: Yes.

Read more about Teach First on TSR

'Notes:The Teach First Programme aims to attract outstanding graduates to teaching in shortage areas (particularly more challenging schools in inner-London); Successful applicants are given 6 weeks of intensive training before being sent into deprived schools (criteria for schools applying like 50% of students have to be receiving free school meals). It's an interesting programme, which will give you a real seat of the pants/make-or-break experience in difficult circumstances. Only open to a minority of applicants (high flying graduates with at least a good 2.1, and at present the only schools involved are in London, the West Midlands, North West and Yorkshire), but have a look here - http://www.teachfirst.org.uk - for more info nonetheless. (thanks to Economic for the link) There are two deadlines for applying: one at the start of December, which is the only deadline for many subjects such as History and one early April. However, there is no single time for interviews, so although they are still receiving applications in April, applying this late may mean they've already filled all the spaces.

Other information

Comments

Thanks to Peacey for writing the original content for this article on the forums.

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