Applying for teacher training

Rachel Swain, Editorial manager
October, 2022

To secure your place in this competitive industry you'll need to make an outstanding first impression with a well thought out application

Most teacher training routes across the UK ask for an application form to be completed, which will include some sort of personal statement. Before completing your teacher training application form, you need to:

  • choose your training route, age range and/or subject and provider
  • make sure you meet the minimum qualification requirements.

While not a mandatory requirement for teacher training, gaining school experience will enhance your personal statement and help you to decide if teaching is for you and which age group you want to teach. For more help with choosing your pathway, see how to become a teacher.

If you have any questions about teaching or the application process, you should register with the Department for Education's (DfE) Get Into Teaching, as they're able to provide personalised help from teaching experts.

How to apply

Postgraduate teacher training applications in England are made through the DfE's Apply for teacher training service. This has replaced the UCAS postgraduate teacher training application in England.

Allow yourself plenty of time to complete everything, so that you can check your application before sending it off.

Application deadlines

Courses usually open for applications in October for entry the following September (sometimes January). 

Places are allocated as people apply and once courses are full they will close, so if there's a particular course you want then it's wise to apply early.

The form

You'll need to create an account and then complete an online application form, applying for up to three training programmes.

It asks for your personal details, what qualifications (GCSEs, A-levels and degree) you have, work history and any experience that you have. This is also where you mention any criminal convictions you have or any adjustments you may need during the application process, for a disability for example.

You don't need to complete the form in one sitting, you can save it and return to it later.

Teaching personal statements

In a teaching personal statement, you'll demonstrate your suitability for a career in teaching and a place on a course with one of your chosen providers. It's split into two sections totalling 1,000 words and is an important part of your application.

The first section covers why you want to be a teacher, while the second part looks at why you're suited to the subject or age range that you've chosen. You'll need to tailor your statement to the path you'd like to take, into either primary or secondary school teaching, and convey your drive and passion for the work.

See teaching personal statement examples for more guidance on what to include.


You'll need to provide two referees on your application who can write 500 words about your character and teaching potential. This could be your university tutor, manager at work or a teacher at a school where you have worked or volunteered. You should contact them before to ask if they're happy to do it, explain what they'll have to do and a little about your motivations for becoming a teacher.

What happens next?

It's likely you will be contacted by email so keep checking your inbox. If your application is successful you will be invited to an interview. Get prepared by looking at some teaching interview questions.

If you're unsuccessful you will receive feedback on your application and this could be the need for additional qualifications, more information on your application or a better interview technique. You can apply again as many times as you want and many people succeed on the second or third attempt.

Find out more

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