To work as a teacher in England and Wales, you will need to complete an initial teacher training (ITT) course...
Your initial teacher training (ITT) can be completed:
For information on teacher training in other areas of the UK, see:
As part of your initial teacher training (ITT), you will gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
QTS is awarded by the Teaching Agency , to achieve it, you will need to:
Anyone applying for an initial teacher training (ITT) course from September 2013 will be required to pass the skills tests before starting their course. Pre-entry test appointments will be available from 1 September 2012.
Once you have gained Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), you will need to complete a period of induction known as the newly qualified teachers (NQT) year. There is no set time for starting and finishing this induction period, but it is recommended that induction takes place soon after gaining QTS.
To work as a teacher in further education (FE) colleges or sixth form colleges, you need Qualified Teacher, Learning and Skills (QTLS) status or QTS. Since 1 April 2012, further education teachers with QTLS from the Institute for Learning (IfL) and membership of the IfL are recognised as qualified teachers in schools.
If you're an experienced teacher and don't have QTS, see Teaching Agency - Qualified Teacher Status .
With so many alternatives to choose from, you need to think carefully about your options:
To find out more about a training option that suits you, see Teaching Agency - Teacher Training Options .
There are a number of different avenues that can lead to a role in teaching in England...
A Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course undertaken through a university is an option available to those who already have a degree. The course will focus on developing your teaching skills, rather than your subject knowledge. If your degree subject doesn't match the subject you would like to teach, you can take a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course. This may improve your chances of getting a place on an initial teacher training (ITT) programme.
School-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) courses are for graduates who would like to complete teacher training in a classroom. You might need to complete a pre-training course if your degree subject isn't related to the subject you want to teach.
The courses are designed by schools and colleges in England and taught by experienced teachers and lead to qualified teacher status (QTS).
Courses last from September to June, though some may start earlier.
Find out more about School-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) courses.
On the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) you can obtain qualified teacher status (QTS) while training and working in a paid teaching role. You will be employed by a school and earn a salary. This on-the-job programme is ideal if you want to become a teacher but need to earn an income while you train.
The GTP normally takes one school year, working full time, to complete. Depending on previous teaching experience, this period may be shorter.
To apply you must have a UK Bachelors degree or equivalent and a GCSE grade C or above in mathematics and English.
The GTP will be replaced with School Direct Training Programme (salaried) in September 2013; some providers are still accepting applications for the GTP programme for 2012. The School Direct Training Programme (salaried) allows you to train and work in a paid teaching role.
The School Direct Programme allows schools to recruit trainees with the expectation that they will go on to work in the school or group of schools in which they have been trained, though there is no guarantee of employment.
There are more than 100 schools offering places. Courses generally last for one year full time, starting from September 2012.
From September 2013, School Direct will be offering the School Direct Training Programme and the School Direct Training Programme (salaried).
Following the closure of the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP), the School Direct Training Programme (salaried) will be open to graduates with three or more years' career experience. Trainees will be employed as an unqualified teacher with a salary subsidised by the Teaching Agency.
For more information, see School Direct
You can teach in the further education (FE) sector as a full teacher or as an associate teacher. Full teaching roles require Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS). Associate teacher roles require Associate Teacher Learning and Skills (ATLS). See further education lecturer; higher education lecturer.
To teach in FE in Scotland, you will need a Teaching Qualification in Further Education (TQFE) from a Scottish teacher education institutions or equivalent.
The usual route into teaching in the FE sector is through a PGCE, which can be achieved through full-time study at a university or part time while you teach.
It is also possible to gain QTLS by studying part time while in a teaching role in the FE sector through the In-service Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning sector (DTLLS).
If you are a teacher with QTS, you can work in the FE sector but will need to gain QTLS within five years. Apply for QTLS via the Institute for Learning (IfL) .
As of April 2012, teachers with QTLS now have equivalent status to QTS and can teach in primary and secondary schools if they hold appropriate degree/subject qualifications. For more information go to Department for Education - QTLS .
Teach First offers graduates a two-year Leadership Development Programme . The programme focuses on providing graduates with the skills, experience and leadership development training to excel in careers in any field.
If teaching is your ambition, a popular route is to obtain a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) in Scotland. Find out what you need to apply…
Your degree will need to be in the subject you would like to teach or a recognised equivalent qualification. You can find out if you have a UK-equivalent qualification through UK NARIC (National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom) .
If you are interested in teaching another subject, you can boost your subject knowledge by completing a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course.
'Fitness to teach' standards must be satisfied. Recruiters of existing and prospective teachers, lecturers and those entering initial teacher training have a responsibility by law to ensure that employees have the health and physical capacity to teach and will not put children and young people at risk.
GCSE standard requirements are: a standard equivalent to a grade C or above in GCSE English and mathematics to teach in England. To teach primary or key stage 2/3 (ages 7-14), you must also have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C or above in a science GCSE.
Work experience: In addition to formal qualifications many course providers also require evidence of work experience with specific age groups. Contact the individual course providers for requirements, see PGCE courses for contact details and work experience in schools for opportunities.
To find out about teacher training in other areas of the UK, see:
The majority of applications for PGCE courses are made through the Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR) . Applications are accepted from September to June for courses starting in the following September.
In some cases, you may need to apply direct to the university. Some courses are very popular, so you will need to apply by the end of November. Find a PGCE course.
Application through GTTR is £19. This charge covers up to four courses. The Teaching Agency are reimbursing the £19 application fee for some courses starting 2012. For more information, see GTTR - Cost of Applying .
Grants and bursaries are available, depending on your circumstances. Tuition fee loans are also available; the amount you get will depend on your household income. For information on tuition fees, see Direct Gov - Student Finance .
To find out if you are eligible for financial support, see:
Build a solid foundation for your future teaching career with a work experience scheme...
Gaining work-related experience is essential. If you're interested in teaching, you should contact schools directly to ask for work experience. It is also a good idea to make contact through your family and friends.
The following schemes will help you to find work experience opportunities: