Getting Into Teaching In The UK


Getting Into Teaching In The UK

Teaching is now a profession which has much less difficulty attracting high-calibre university graduates than it did in the past. Many graduates now rightly see teaching as a great opportunity for them to continue to use their specialist subject knowledge to help produce the next generation of highly qualified, skilled young people.

This makes the profession more competitive than ever to get into and it will be necessary to show more than qualifications to prove that you have the aptitude and ability to teach. When it comes to qualifications, however, there are three ways of training as a teacher: an undergraduate Bachelor of Education (BEd) course, a Post-Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) and employment-based teacher training. These will appeal to people of different ages and experience, so choose the course which most applies to your situation.

Showing You Care

A BEd course is great for people just leaving school who are convinced that they want to teach. The four-year course involves subject focus, educational theory and teaching practice. The PGCE is a year-long course for graduates and usually includes two lengthy spells of teaching in schools. The employment-based teacher training often suits mature students with considerable experience in other areas. The good thing about this type of training is that you are paid a salary while you train.

Before you apply for any courses, though, it is wise to get some kind of experience of a school. You need to write to a local head teacher to request that you can come into their school for a period and do some observation. This will allow you to acclimatise to the often strange and slightly intimidating world that is a school. You will have to have a CRB check.

Schools receive many such requests, so you will need to make your request stand out. Write personally to the head teacher and explain your reasons for wanting to teach. Remember that inspiring young people and actually teaching them your subject are often very different things, so show some awareness of the practical issues you might face and how you would deal with them.

Experience and Knowledge

Some experience of working with young people already is also useful, such as being a junior sports coach or working with a local youth group. Getting this glimpse of a modern school environment should allow you to become familiar with classroom layouts and typical procedures, while prospective science teachers can get used to educational laboratory design and equipment. This is crucial when it comes to knowing how to manage large groups of potentially excitable students in situations which require health and safety procedures to be obeyed.

The next stage of the process is completing an online GTTR form. This then goes to your chosen prospective training providers in order of your preference. If you meet the entry requirements you will be invited for interview. This can take several forms and may include a subject skills test as well as a literacy and numeracy component.

The key to getting accepted is to make your experience and enthusiasm count. Back up your skills with referenced evidence and show that you care about children. Always remember that it is all about the children in the end.

This blog post was written by blogger Jamie Knop on behalf of

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