How to write your personal statement for teacher training

28 Sept 2023, 09:24

The information in this article is based on the Apply for Teacher Training service personal statement, with hints and tips that will be useful when completing the form.

Teaching personal statement

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Your personal statement is a crucial part of the application and your chance to stand out from the crowd. You should write between 500 and 1000 words for your personal statement. See two sample personal statements at the end of this article.

Your statement must be concise, enthusiastic and sell your potential to be a successful teacher. It should explain why you want to teach, your suitability to teach that age group, and/or your chosen subject (if you’re applying for secondary teaching). Here are some ideas on what to write about in your personal statement:

  • Your interest in the subject or age group you want to teach.
  • An appraisal of the demands and rewards of teaching, with evidence of your motivation, showing an understanding of teacher training and the role of a teacher.
  • The skills and qualities that would make you an effective teacher, such as communication, teamworking and leadership. You can evidence how you have developed these using examples from your degree and work experience.
  • How you could contribute to a school outside of the classroom, for example, giving details of any specific skills that you have, that could be useful for the range of extracurricular activities the schools provide.
  • Any school work experience you have. You might discuss areas of the national curriculum you observed, age groups you worked with, subjects you covered and types of schools you visited (and for how long).
  • Any other experience working with children or young people, and what you learned from this.
  • Any other activities you have undertaken, such as first aid courses or volunteering, reflecting on how the skills you have gained will help you become an effective teacher.
  • Your thoughts on welfare and education.
  • The subject of your undergraduate degree and/or relevant modules you studied as part of your degree. You could also talk about your A Level subjects, postgraduate qualifications (if applicable), or expertise you’ve gained at work if this is relevant for the subject or age group you want to teach.
  • If you are applying for primary courses, you could mention any specialist knowledge relevant to teaching the range of subjects in the national curriculum.

If you do not currently live in the UK, explain why you want to study in the UK; if relevant, provide evidence (through UK ENIC for example) that your qualifications are at the required standard. Check that your language skills are sufficient to complete the training programme as requirements vary between institutions.

Explain anything not made clear elsewhere on the application, such as reasons for gaps in your education or working life.

Tips for writing and checking your personal statement

  • Remember that you can only write one personal statement for all your choices, so make sure it reflects the route or routes you have applied for.
  • Give yourself enough time to write a few drafts.
  • Write your statement using a word processing programme so you can check it for spelling and grammar errors. Cut and paste it into the application form as you go along to make sure you do not go over your word limit.
  • Keep it simple and natural in style.
  • Personalise your statement by writing in the first person, using 'me', 'I' and 'my'.
  • Use action verbs such as 'coordinated', 'established' and 'managed'.
  • Provide evidence of your motivation, experiences and qualifications as well as your understanding of teacher training and the role of a teacher.
  • As the word count is limited for each section, make sure each sentence contributes something useful.
  • Show your personal statement to a school recruiter, careers adviser or tutor for feedback.
  • Copy your application, particularly the personal statement, before sending it so that you can remind yourself of the content when going for interviews.
  • Make sure the personal statement is all your own work, as all statements are put through the CopyCatch similarity detection system.

Discover our top tips for writing a more refined personal statement by reading how to write a great personal statement for a teaching job .

Note: if you’ve already started to apply before the next application cycle begins in September 2023, you may see two sections for your personal statement instead of just one. This includes a section on “why you want to teach” (maximum 600 words) and “your suitability to teach a subject or age group” (maximum 400 words). If your application is unsuccessful this time and you apply again, the two sections of your personal statement will merge. When this happens, you will be asked to review your statement before applying again.

Primary school teacher training personal statement

Read this example of a personal statement for primary school teacher training.

Secondary school teaching personal statement

Read this example of a personal statement for secondary school teaching.

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Written by Gemma Fairclough, Manchester Metropolitan University, July 2023


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Occasionally targetjobs will work with another organisation to provide impartial careers content. This is to provide you with the most relevant information to make the best decisions about your future. As such, ‘in partnership’ content has been written or sourced by the partner organisation and edited by targetjobs as part of a content partnership.

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