The teaching and education sector can be divided into the following main areas:
Education and training also takes place in non-school settings such as hospitals, prisons and the workplace.
Although teaching is the main area of work, opportunities also exist in teaching-related roles, such as teaching assistants in schools and trainers and educational psychologists who work throughout the sector. Opportunities also exist in areas such as policymaking, administration and technical support.
The primary and secondary education systems in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are similar in their curricula and administration. Scotland has a different system, with its own curriculum and qualifications.
There is a fairly constant demand for graduates in teaching, although over recent years there have been shortages of teachers in science, mathematics, technology and languages. The availability of teaching posts varies between the regions and nations of the UK.
Opportunities exist in direct teaching or training roles and in various kinds of administration and support.
Teaching and training posts are available in:
Teachers can also work as private tutors on a one-to-one basis, on a freelance basis or by being employed by a tutoring company.
There is a wide range of administration and support roles available, often in HE and FE institutions. These include:
For those who are not attached to a specific institution, there are roles available in:
The teaching and education sector is a challenging, rewarding and inspiring area in which to work. Many educators enjoy their work because of the great satisfaction that comes from imparting knowledge about a subject they are passionate about and helping individuals to learn and develop. Salaries in education, including teaching, are comparable to those of other graduate jobs in the public sector and related professions.
Working hours in education are generally Monday to Friday and usually between 8am and 6pm. Teachers in school often spend some evenings and weekends preparing lessons and marking students' work. Teachers are entitled to 13 weeks' holiday a year, and lecturers in FE and HE usually have at least 35 days' annual leave plus public holidays. University lecturers are expected to pursue research and scholarship outside teaching hours and in vacations. Find out what an academic career is really like at An Academic Career .
Administration and other support staff in educational institutions usually have the same working hours as similar roles in other sectors, though some overtime may be required at busy periods. Part-time hours and flexible working are often available.
In January 2010, there were over 500,000 registered teachers and over 26,000 schools in England and Wales (General Teaching Councils for England and Wales, 2010). Scotland has over 80,000 registered teachers and 2,722 schools (General Teaching Council for Scotland, 2010).
In the UK in 2010, there were over 220,000 teaching staff in 414 FE colleges (Institute for Learning, 2010) and over 175,000 academic staff in 165 HE institutions (University and College Union, 2010).
There are opportunities in all areas of education and education support throughout the UK. Most teaching qualifications from the UK are accepted in other European Union countries. For further details see opportunities abroad.
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