Graduate jobs in teaching

When do you need to apply for teaching jobs?

If you want to apply to train to become a teacher, for university or college-led PGCEs, SCITTs and School Direct programmes in England and Wales you apply through UCAS Teacher Training, which opens from late September. Teach First releases vacancies in June and recruits on a rolling basis.

Schools typically recruit teachers from January onwards, and the busiest time is between February and June. Check our teaching job application form and CV advice and guidance on writing a personal statement before you apply.

There are various different ways of applying for teaching jobs.

  • Some schools advertise specific vacancies on sites such as
  • Teacher registration schemes and databases. You register your interest in working in a school in a particular local authority area.
  • Pool applications. This also involves expressing an interest in a particular local authority. The whole selection process may be carried out centrally.
  • Speculative applications.
  • Agencies.

You can find out more from our advice on where to find teaching jobs and when to apply here.

What's it like working in teaching and education?

If you're keen to help children learn and fulfil their potential, teaching can be a profoundly satisfying profession, as you can have a direct positive impact on the lives of your students and the community around the school. You'll need plenty of energy, stamina and flexibility to keep up with an emotionally and intellectually challenging workload, including responsibilities such as managing challenging behaviour, planning lessons and tracking pupils' progress. However, you should receive plenty of support from your colleagues, including both teaching and non-teaching staff.

How do I get a job in teaching and education?

You need qualified teacher status (QTS) to work as a teacher in state-maintained schools in England and Wales, apart from academies and free schools. To achieve QTS you'll need to complete a period of training, such as a one-year Professional or Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). You can find out more from our advice on how to train to become a teacher.

Can you become a teacher from any degree background?

Yes, you can work towards QTS and enter the profession from any degree background. However, some training providers may prefer particular subjects, depending on the age group of the children you wish to teach and the course you are applying for.

  • Primary teaching: a degree in a national curriculum subject may be preferred.
  • Secondary teaching: you are likely to need a degree in, or closely related to, the subject you wish to teach.

If you wish to teach a shortage subject and don't have a relevant degree, you may be able to take a subject knowledge enhancement course.

Some first degree courses include QTS, such as the BEd, which is particularly popular with would-be primary teachers. There are also some BSc and BA courses that include QTS.

In England, you have to pass professional skills tests in literacy and numeracy before you start your teacher training. You can find out more about the how to become a teacher from our advice on TARGETpostgrad.

What are the different routes to qualifying as a teacher?

Here's a broad overview of postgraduate teacher training routes in England:

  • University-led Postgraduate or Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). Full-time courses usually last one year and you'll spend at least 24 weeks on placement in at least two schools.
  • School-centred initial teacher training (SCITT). Training is offered by a consortium of schools and colleges. Most SCITTs also offer a PGCE, with training provided by university staff.
  • School Direct training programme. School-led training run by a lead school in partnership with a university or SCITT and other schools, which may lead to a PGCE.
  • School Direct training programme (salaried). Graduates with three or more years' experience in any career since graduation can apply for this scheme, which involves being employed as an unqualified teacher.
  • Teach First. Two-year employment-based leadership development programme based in primary and secondary schools that are in challenging circumstances. Graduates on this programme start as unqualified teachers and work towards a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE), which includes credits at masters level.
  • HMC Teacher Training. This is a two-year programme that offers a PGCE and is based in secondary independent schools belonging to HMC (the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference).
  • Assessment Only route. This training route is designed for experienced unqualified teachers and involves being assessed by a teacher training provider and providing evidence to show you meet all the standards for QTS.

If you want to teach in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, there are different routes to qualifying and finding work.

You can find out more about teacher training routes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from TARGETpostgrad.

Can you work in teaching and education without qualifying as a teacher?

There are some jobs in education that are open to graduates who haven't qualified as teachers, including tutoring and working as teaching assistants. Teachers in independent schools are not required to have QTS, and free schools and academies can also recruit teachers who do not have QTS. However, the vast majority of teachers working in state-funded schools in England have QTS.

You'll need to decide the age range of students you wish to teach before applying for teacher training.

Is there any help available to help with the costs of teacher training?

There are bursaries and scholarships worth up to £30,000 available to help with the cost of training for some subjects. If you're not eligible for these, you may be able to apply for a loan to cover tuition fees for your teacher training course, and you may also be able to take out a maintenance loan to help with living expenses.

How much do you earn as a newly qualified teacher?

Newly qualified teachers in state-maintained schools in England and Wales usually start on the minimum rate of the main teachers' pay scale, currently £22,467 outside of London and £28,098 in inner London.


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