Applying for teacher training

Rachel Swain, Editorial manager
December, 2023

Your application is your chance to make a great first impression, so do your research and take your time to ensure you land a teacher training place

Most teacher training routes across England 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.

For more help with choosing your pathway, see how to become a teacher.

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. To find out more, visit Get Into Teaching - Get school experience.

If you have any questions about teaching or the application process, you should register for the Department for Education's (DfE) Get Into Teaching mailing list, where you will receive 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.

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

Application deadlines

Applications for teacher training courses opened on the 10 October 2023 to start in September 2024 (sometimes January). 

Places are allocated as people apply and close once courses are full. If there's a particular course you want to apply for, then it's wise to do so as soon as you can.

The form

You'll need to create an account and then complete an online application form, applying for up to four training programmes. You don't have to apply for all four courses at the same time.

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

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. Your personal statement needs to be between 500 and 1,000 words and is split into two sections. It is an important part of your application and successful candidates often spend a few weeks writing it.

The first section covers why you want to be a teacher, while the second part looks at why you're suited to the subject and age range 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 our 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 beforehand 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. Training providers should respond to your application within 30 days. Get prepared by looking at some teaching interview questions.

If you're unsuccessful you will receive feedback on your application. 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; many people succeed on the second or third attempt.

Find out more

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