Considering Teaching?

Why Teach?

Information about the different options into Teacher Training

The route that you choose to train for teaching will depend on the current qualifications you have already gained, whether you wish to teach at Primary or Secondary and, if you wish to teach at Secondary level, the subject area you wish to teach.

To become a Teacher in the UK you will require a degree in order to progress onto Teacher Training.  If you already have a specific teaching degree, or intend to complete a teaching degree you will not need to complete additional Teacher Training after your degree as it will be included as part of your course.  Further information about specialist teaching degrees can be found on the Department for Education Get into Teaching site.

If you already have a degree that is unrelated to Teaching, or you wish to keep your options open and complete a degree that is not specifc to education but later decide you wish to be a teacher, you will need to complete Initial Teacher Training after the degree, the options for this are detailed below.

To be eligible for Initial Teacher Training you will need GCSE Maths and English at grades A* – C, or equivalent.

To teach at primary level or Key Stage 2 and 3 (ages 7-14) you will also need science GCSE, A*-C or equivalent.

If you have a degree but you have not achieved the required GCSE (s) grade you will need to gain this as some ITT programmes may not accept you onto the course until you have achieved it.  Contact the School or University you intend to apply to in order to check this with them, in some circumstances they may be able to offer you the opportunity to obtain the required qualification prior to the course starting.

If you do need to achieve the GCSE to be accepted onto the course you will need to learn the content for the relevant subject syllabus either through a local College or private tuition and you may need to arrange to sit the actual GCSE exam at a local Secondary School.  Alternatively you could study for and sit the equivalency tests which are in most instances are an accepted alternative to GCSE’s (check with the School or University you intend to apply to).

There are predominantly three main options for Initial Teacher Training and these are detailed below, to apply for any of these 3 routes you will need to apply through the Post Graduate section on the UCAS website.  Each of these routes contain a minimum of 24 weeks school based practice, based in at least 2 schools.

To be accepted onto Initial Teacher Training applicants must also pass the professional skills tests. The professional skills tests (skills tests) for prospective teachers assess the core skills that teachers need to fulfil their professional role in schools, rather than the subject knowledge needed for teaching. This is to ensure all teachers are competent in numeracy and literacy, regardless of their specialism. Full details of the professional skills tests including how to prepare and how to book is available on

University study: Post Graduate Certificate in Education, PGCE (*normally one year full time)

A PGCE is a combination of university based study and school based practice. Entry is usually following completion and award of your first degree. When you apply for your PGCE you can select the PGCE subject area that you wish to teach, the qualification normally takes a year to complete full time. The PGCE is University taught but will be outplaced to schools to gain valuable teaching experience required to obtain the qualification. A PGCE is an internationally recognised qualification which will enable you to work across the world. Applications must be made through the UCAS website.


School Direct (*normally one year full time)

School Direct places are offered by a school or group of schools in partnership with a University that provides accredited teacher training. Trainees on the programme will work in the school or group of schools and will receive school based training in addition to teaching experience in at least two schools, they will also attend University for blocks of training and will be set assignments, but the majority of time will be spent in school. The training usually takes a year full time; upon completion there is no guarantee of employment at the school(s) providing the training.  School Direct results in qualified teacher status (QTS). Most courses also award a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE). Check the details of individual courses on the UCAS Teacher Training website.

School Direct is normally unsalaried but there are a limited number of salaried spaces which are open to graduates with three or more years’ career experience. Salaried trainees will be employed as an unqualified teacher with a salary subsidised by the National College for Teaching and Leadership. The amount a trainee earns during training will be dependent on the school and the subject they are teaching.

Schools offering School Direct Placements in North Yorkshire generally do so through an Alliance, details can be found on the individual school websites.

School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT)

Across England there are school-led training options for graduates who want hands-on training in a school. All of the training is designed and delivered by the school. A school-led training course gives you the chance to learn on the job in at least two schools.

During the training you will work with the schools teaching team, learning from experienced colleagues and putting your new skills into practice with their support and encouragement.

School-led courses generally last a year and result in the award of qualified teacher status (QTS). Most courses include a postgraduate qualification, which is likely to carry with it Master’s-level credits. You should check the exact details of individual courses on UCAS Teacher Training.

There are several SCITTS in North Yorkshire, schools that offer training through this route provide information on the individual school websites.

UCAS Teacher Training;

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Other routes into Teaching

Teach First

Teach First deliver a two year Leadership Development Programme for Graduates with a 2:1 or above who wish to train to become a teacher whilst based in a school. 

Teach First trains its participants to be effective teachers and leaders in schools in low-income areas.  Through the comprehensive training programme you will gain classroom based experience and a PCGE qualification. Applicants apply to the Programme and will be out-posted to a participating school, hence you are not guaranteed to be in a school of your choice.  For further details;

Troops into teaching

Courses are for non-graduate leavers of the Armed Services.

Courses last for 2 years and lead to qualified teacher status (QTS) and a degree qualification.

You’ll need to be able to demonstrate, through your qualifications in the Armed Forces, that you have sufficient evidence of academic achievement and specialist subject knowledge to support your development.

The minimum eligibility requirements for the course are:

•Maths and English GCSE A* – C, or equivalent qualifications. If you want to teach primary or Key Stage 2/3 (ages 7-14) you will also need science GCSE, A*-C or equivalent.

•A minimum of 120 subject-related Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) points if your current qualifications relate specifically to your chosen subject for teacher training.

•A minimum of 240 credits if your qualifications are not specific to your chosen specialist subject for teacher training but they are related.

Troops to Teachers is run by the University of Brighton. For further information contact:

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Telephone: 01273 643598