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about 1 month ago by Adam Haggag

How to become a Teacher in the UK

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Are you passionate about shaping young minds and making a difference in the lives of students? Maybe you’re a TA and are ready to take the next step in your career? Then teaching may be the perfect path for you!

But with various routes into a career as a Teacher, it can be daunting to know where to start. Whether you hold a degree, have been working as an unqualified teacher or do not hold a degree, we’ve got you covered.

This guide will explore the diverse routes into teaching, no matter your background!


Routes if you have a degree or are studying towards one

School Direct (Initial Teacher Training)

What is School Direct?

School Direct, now commonly known as Initial Teacher Training (ITT), is a teaching route which allows you to learn on the job and earn a salary whilst you train towards a QTS.

The course will usually take between 3 and 4 years to complete and includes 24 weeks of practical experience in several schools.

When can you apply?

ITT is an undergraduate course that you will be able to apply for through university services like UCAS.

Eligibility Criteria

Depending on the programme, the entry requirements will vary. You will need to get in touch with your provider to find out about their criteria.


Teach First

Who are Teach First?

Teach First are an education charity established in 2002 that train teachers and support leaders in giving children with the fewest opportunities access to an education.

Teach First offers a fully-funded teaching qualification where you’ll be paid and employed by a school. You will be helping pupils from the poorest backgrounds and be provided with the necessary support and training by Teach First experts.

Upon completing your programme, you will be a qualified teacher.

When can you apply?

Applications to start in September 2024 are just about to close. You will need to complete your application by April 11th.

Eligibility and qualification requirements

Teach First requires the following for you to be eligible:

·         A 2:1 degree or above. They will also consider a 2:2 for secondary teaching.

·         Right to work in the UK full-time for the duration of the programme

·         You cannot do the Training Programme if you have an existing teaching qualification

·         Grade 4 (equivalent to a C) in GCSE Maths and English Language. Grade 4 in one GCSE science subject is also required for primary teaching

·         The A-levels and degree subject you need are dependent on whether you want to teach early years, primary or a secondary subject

How much you will earn

Your salary will vary depending on several factors, including whether you are in your first or second year of the Training Programme, the year groups you teach, subject and location.

To find out what you can earn, visit the following website >



What is a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)?

A PGCE is an academic qualification you can achieve through Teacher Training. You don’t need to obtain a PGCE to teach in England but it can be beneficial in developing your knowledge and skills.

There are different types of PGCEs, preparing you for:

·         Primary

·         Secondary

·         Further Education

Courses often run from September to July and take nine months to complete when studying full-time.

When can you apply?

Applications generally open up to a year before the course start date.

It’s best to apply as early as possible, as places are allocated as people apply and close once the course is full.

Eligibility and qualification requirements

Generally, you will need to have:

·         An undergraduate degree.

·         GCSE grade 4 (equivalent to a C) in English and Maths

·         GCSE grade 4 (equivalent to a C) in a science subject to teach primary school pupils

There may be some exceptions and variations to the entry criteria so you are advised to check with the admissions department of the institutions you apply to.


The standard tuition fee for UK students is £9,250. This figure will be higher for international students and can vary widely.

We advise you to check with the admissions department of the institutions you apply to for accurate information.

Routes without a degree

Teacher Degree Apprenticeships

Degree apprenticeships have long been a popular avenue for candidates to gain the necessary qualifications in their industry whilst working and earning a salary. Nursing, law and engineering are just some of the industries offering this. It has recently been announced that this opportunity will now be extended to teachers.

What are Teacher Degree Apprenticeships (TDA)?

Normally, teacher training courses require candidates to already have a degree. However, a new initiative was announced where trainee teachers would be able to gain a degree through an apprenticeship.

A TDA will allow you to obtain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) which is what you need to be able to teach in the majority of schools in England. Whilst working towards obtaining a QTS you will be studying for a degree which will be run as a 4-year course.

The initiative will be available for people to train as primary and secondary teachers.

When can you apply?

Schools will be able to recruit degree apprentices from autumn 2024 onwards. The first trainees are expected to begin the programme in 2025.

Eligibility and qualification requirements

The apprenticeship will be available to those beginning their careers as well as those who are currently in employment and are interested in pursuing a teaching career. Further criteria will be provided at a later date.

How much you will earn

As a trainee, you will be working in the classroom from day 1. Details of exact earnings are yet to be announced, however, your salary will reflect your responsibilities at each stage of the course.

The course is fully funded, and this covers both the training as well as the qualification.



If you’ve worked as an Unqualified Teacher

If you have been working as an Unqualified Teacher, you may be able to complete an assessment-only programme to gain QTS.

What is the assessment-only route?

If you already meet the standards for QTS (keep reading to find out if you’re eligible), you can take the assessment route as you do not need further training.

You will undertake a series of assessments which can include lesson observations, written assessments and providing portfolios of evidence.

The assessments you take will vary depending on your provider, and courses take up to 12 weeks to complete.

Assessment-only route costs

Fees vary between providers, so it is important to check directly with them to see how much they charge.

Generally, it ranges between about £1,500 to £4,000.

If you are currently working at a school, talk to your employer to explore funding options, as they may be able to pay for you.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible, you need the following:

·         To have worked in 2 or more schools

·         Grade 4 (equivalent to a C) or above in GCSE English and Maths

·         To provide evidence that you meet the teachers’ standards and do not require more training

It is important to note that criteria can vary by provider.


We hope this guide provides you with the information you are looking for to take your career in education to the next level. Please reach out to us if you have any further questions.

And if you’re looking for work, whether as a Teacher or as Support Staff, take a look at our jobs page ( for our latest vacancies or give us a call on 0203 771 1138 to register.