Routes into teaching

There are several ways to start your career in teaching. Whether it’s your first step into the World of work, returning to teaching, or moving to Wales; this section provides you with a range of information on the different routes and qualifications that are available to you.

#RouteFinder

Use our interactive route finder to discover which route into teaching could work for you.

Start

All candidates for teacher training need English and Mathematics GCSE grade B or equivalent. Candidates for primary teaching need science GCSE grade C or equivalent. Do you have these?

Do you have these?

What sector are you most interested in?

Do you have a degree?

Postgraduate ITT courses

You need to enrol on a postgraduate ITT course at university of your choice - see http://www.ucas.com/ucas/teacher-training. The ITT course takes about a yearand includes 24 weeks in a school. At the end of this assuming you meet the standers - you will be awarded qualified teacher status (QTS) and become a newly qualified teacher (NQT) ready to undertake your induction year.

OR

Graduate Teacher Programme

The graduate teacher program (GTTP) enables schools to employ trainee teachers and work out an individual training programme for them. You are paid while you train.

If you would like to work with pupils with additional learning needs, contact your local education authority for details of what provision you have locally and what opportunities there are to gain experience. You could also contact your teacher training provider and ask if it would be possible to complete part of your teaching practice in an additional learning needs setting.

You will need to get one to be a qualified teacher.

Do you want to complete your teacher training at the same time as studing for your degree?

Applying to University

Taking the undergraduate route to qualified teacher status (QTS) means applying to a university which offers teacher training. For secondary teaching there are two year or three year routes available. It involves 24 weeks of school based training as part of your normal degree. You will gain a BA with QTS. Visit www.ucas.ac.uk to find out how to make your application through UCAS.

Pre ITT courses

Apply for your first degree in the usual way and then during your final year apply for a postgraduate ITT program.

Primary

Do you have a degree?

Postgraduate ITT courses

You need to enrol on a postgraduate ITT course at university of your choice - see http://www.ucas.com/ucas/teacher-training. The ITT course takes about a year and includes 24 weeks in a school. At the end of this assuming you meet the standers - you will be awarded qualified teacher status (QTS) and become a newly qualified teacher (NQT) ready to undertake your induction year.

OR

Graduate Teacher Programme

The graduate teacher program (GTTP) enables schools to employ trainee teachers and work out an individual training programme for them. You are paid while you train.

You will need to get one to be a qualified teacher.

Do you want to complete your teacher training at the same time as studing for your degree?

Applying to University

Taking the undergraduate route to qualified teacher status (QTS) means applying to a univerity which offers teacher training. For secondary teaching there are two year or three year routes available. It involves 24 weeks of school based training as part of your normal degree. You will gain a BA with QTS. Visit www.ucas.ac.uk to find out how to make your application through UCAS.

Pre ITT courses

Apply for your first degree in the usual way and then during your final year apply for a postgraduate ITT program.

Do you have a degree?

Is it in the subject you want to teach?

Postgraduate ITT courses

You need to enrol on a postgraduate ITT course at the university of your choice - see http://www.ucas.com/ucas/teacher-training. The ITT course takes about a year and includes 24 weeks in a school. At the end of this assuming you meet the standers - you will be awarded qualified teacher status (QTS) and become a newly qualified teacher (NQT) ready to undertake your induction year.

OR

Graduate Teacher Programme

The graduate teacher program (GTTP) enables schools to employ trainee teachers and work out an individual training programme for them. You are paid while you train.

You are expected to have at least 50% degree relevance to the specialist teaching subject being applied for. For more information please check with your desired institution.

You will need to get one to be a qualified teacher.

Do you want to complete your teacher training at the same time as studying for your degree?

Plan your ITT

Apply for your first degree in the usual way and then, during your final year, apply for a postgraduate ITT programme.

Applying to University

Taking the undergraduate route to qualified teacher status (QTS) means applying to a university which offers teacher training. For secondary teaching there are two year or three year routes available. It involves 24 weeks of school based training as part of your normal degree. You will gain a BA with QTS. Visit www.ucas.ac.uk to find out how to make your application through UCAS.

Get the grades

You need these. If you are still at school, be sure to get them under your belt. If you have already left without them contact your desired institution to enquire about an equivalency test. Candidates with overseas qualifications should contact the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) to ask about equivalence. The Certificate of Higher Education Introduction to Secondary Teaching course is a one year full-time or two year part-time programme for those who wish to train as secondary school teachers.

  • Experience

    Experience

    Those who can, teach!

    Anyone wanting to teach in state-maintained schools across Wales and England must achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). This means completing a programme of initial teacher education (ITE).

    There are many different types of ITE courses, and the one you take will be specific to the age group and/or the subject that you want to teach. All involve a mix of learning the principles of teaching and gaining valuable practical experience in schools. In school you will start by observing teachers and then move on to practise giving lessons yourself, preparing you for your first job as a newly qualified teacher (NQT).

    Follow the links below for information that you need to know when becoming a NQT. 

    An NQT survival guide & information for final year teaching students.

    People become trainee teachers at different stages of their lives, and there are various routes to enable you to complete your ITE. It can be completed as part of a degree, straight after a degree, as a part-time course alongside work or as a full-time course after years of working in other fields.

    DBS

    One of the entry requirements for becoming a teacher is that you undertake a criminal records check.  This check is undertaken through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for those resident in the UK and information on the DBS can be obtained at the following website: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/dbs.

    Universities will all have information concerning its criminal record check procedures on its websites so it is important to read this.  Specific information concerning the procedures to be followed by the Universities is however usually sent when offers are made. 

    Having a conviction does not necessarily mean that you will not be considered for a teaching course but registration with the Education Workforce Council (EWC) which is required on completion of the course and employers will have their own policies concerning acceptance. 

    How to gain classroom observation/experience

    Try approaching schools in your local area. They should be happy to arrange for you to spend a day or more observing one of their classes or shadowing one of their teachers. If you have more time to spare, then you could speak to a local school about becoming a regular volunteer – perhaps as a classroom assistant.

    If you are undecided between Primary or Secondary teaching, gain classroom experience in both phases, this will help you make that important decision.

    Remember, it is not just about the number of days you spend in the classroom as such, but how good you are at reflecting on the experience on your application form. To use your experience effectively when completing your personal statement or at interview, it is a good idea to make reference to the following points:

    • In what way have you enjoyed working with children
    • How you would communicate with other teachers and parents
    • How you would engage your students in your specialist subject knowledge
    • How you enjoyed responding to daily and sometimes unpredictable challenges
    • How you would motivate and engage others 

    When it comes to looking for teaching work experience, remember that you could approach their Careers Services at your institution for help and guidance.

    Other ways of experiencing working with children

    If you’d like to understand what it’s like to work with children, you’re by no means limited to observing what goes on in a school. You could also volunteer to work in a youth organisation. This will give you just the kind of appreciation and experience to make your teacher training application stand out from the crowd.

  • Career Change

    Career Change

    Today’s headteachers believe that it is important for schools to have a well-balanced workforce, with a combination of both career changers and graduates who choose teaching as their first career choice upon leaving University.

    Career changers bring a wealth of tools and skills into the classroom, including valuable life experiences and the ability to demonstrate how their subject relates to the world around them.

    If you have thought in the past that either teaching is not for you, or that you do not have the right qualifications to get into teaching, then think again! As you may be pleasantly surprised.

  • Higher Education

    Higher Education

    University Based

    Completing your teacher training course through a teacher training provider is the most popular route to achieving qualified teacher status.  Initial Teacher Education (ITE) combines university based theoretical learning with up to 24 weeks practical teaching experience.  ITE helps you develop the skills and knowledge you need to become an effective teacher.  

    Those entering at PGCE will be expected to have good subject knowledge normally relevant to their degree.  Undergraduates who are combining their degree with teacher training will have their subject knowledge developed as part of their teacher training. Some university providers may expect you to undertake pre-course school relevant placement as part of a condition of your offer.  This can be two weeks in the same area or a week in a primary school and a week in a secondary school.  The 10 days (two weeks) as part of a condition of your offer is in addition to the required 24 weeks of teaching experience.  This will be discussed with you at interview. 

    Those who are fluent in Welsh may opt to take their teacher training through the medium of Welsh and take their practical teaching experience in a Welsh-medium school.   A Welsh-medium Incentive Scheme provides financial and linguistic support to students who need additional confidence and competence training to help them teach their secondary subject through the medium of Welsh. Further information on this scheme can be obtained from the teacher training provider.

    In Wales, you do not have to take the National Skills tests to be recommended for the award of Qualified Teacher Status, however at interview, you will be asked to sit one test in numeracy and one in literacy. More information concerning these tests will be available on the provider websites.
      

    Initial Teacher Education Provision in Wales

     
    Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in Wales is provided for by three collaborative ITE centres of teacher education.  The structure, organisation and course portfolios of the centres will vary and will reflect the individual institutions involved.  The centres are:  

     

  • Training

    Training

    Initial Training Provision in Wales

    Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in Wales is provided for by three collaborative ITE centres of teacher education. The structure, organisation and course portfolios of the centres will vary and will reflect the individual institutions involved. The centres are:

    Certificate of Higher Education Introduction to Secondary Teaching

    This course is aimed at candidates who have few or no formal academic qualifications but do have a flair for Mathematics, Science or Design and Technology and who wish to train as a secondary school teacher.

    The course will prepare you to meet the entry requirements for the two year BSc (Hons) degree programmes with QTS.

    This course may be studied one year full-time or two years part-time. You do not have to complete an Access course beforehand to meet the entry requirements.

    Contact University of South Wales for further details.

    Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP)

    The Graduate Teacher Programme is an employment based route into teaching in Wales which offers a way to qualify as a teacher while you work. Trainees undertake an Individual programme designed to enable them to meet the Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) Standards. There is a limited number of primary and secondary places available on the GTP in Wales each year.

    In addition to fulfilling all the entry requirements for an initial training programme, candidates for the GTP must hold a first degree or its equivalent in an appropriate subject ie a subject that is taught in schools.

    The programme normally lasts one year full-time but trainees with suitable previous experience and qualifications may complete the programme in a shorter time (the minimum period is 3 months full-time/one school term).

    The Welsh Government and employment-based ITE providers welcome applications from people in under-represented groups ie minority ethnic groups and those with disabilities.

    GTP programmes in Wales are managed and delivered by the three regional centres of teacher training and education.

    • The three ITET Centres will act on behalf of employment-based ITET providers for the purpose of administering and delivering employment-based teacher training in Wales.
    • The ITET Centres and Regional Consortia will consider all applications and will make decisions about which ones to support, including the format of applications and setting a deadline for receipt of applications.
    • The ITET Centres will also be in a position to advise on the compatibility of degree subjects with making a GTP application and also on the entry requirements for the programme.

    If you have any queries regarding making an application for a place on the GTP please contact your regional ITET Centre listed below:

    North and Mid Wales Centre for Teacher Education and Training 

    South West Wales Centre of Teacher Education 

    South East Wales Centre for Teacher Education 

    If you have any queries about the policy behind Employment-based teacher training in Wales, you can contact the Education Directorate at the Welsh Government by e-mailing their Teacher Enquiries mailbox at teachingenquiries@wales.gsi.gov.uk

    Teach First

    APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN FOR 2018

    The Teach First Leadership Development Programme is a 2 year, employment based, fully salaried teacher training programme incorporating outstanding teacher training and world-class leadership development. You will teach from Day 1 in the classroom and work towards a fully-funded Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE), worth double the credits of a PGCE. You also have the option to top up to a full Master’s degree thereafter. The programme is designed to ensure you become an outstanding teacher more quickly, as well as build key skills that you can utilise throughout your career thereafter.

    There are a limited number of secondary places available each year, teaching English, Maths and Science in South Wales. You will need a 2.1 degree or above in order to be eligible, as well as minimum requirements from A-levels or equivalents. The application process is separate from UCAS, and involves a 2 stage competency based process, with full support available from Teach First at each stage.

    Please see www.teachfirst.org.uk/graduates for more details, or contact the Teach First Wales recruitment officer Dom at dwilson@teachfirst.org.uk

     

     

  • Returning to teaching

    Returning to teaching

    Returning to teaching

    During the course of your teaching career, you may decide not to practice for a length of time. When you wish to return it is important that you are fully prepared and your knowledge and skills are up to date.


    If you are applying for registration and are currently undergoing or about to commence training on a post-compulsory initial teacher training course at an accredited provider in Wales or England you are exempt from the requirements of the Returning to Practice scheme.


    If the Returning to Practice scheme applies to you, you MUST take time to complete a period of updating for least 10 full days (or equivalent). Please see the scheme guidance and complete the period of updating form which will need to accompany your application for registration.

    Scheme Guidance updating form 

    Period of updating form

     

    When returning to teach, you must be registered with EWC. EWC provide all teachers with the QTS. See the EWC website for further guidance.

    EWC

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Moving to Wales

    Moving to Wales

    Other countries in the United Kingdom

    If you have gained qualified teacher status (QTS) in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland, then you will be eligible to teach in Wales.

    Overseas teachers

    If you are from overseas and want to teach in a world-class education system with great opportunities for career progression, teaching in Wales could be for you. There’s support available for both qualified teachers and graduates seeking to train as teachers, so relocating to teach in Wales may be easier than you think. Head over to the EWC website for more information. 

    EWC

    Gaining qualified teacher status 

    To be a qualified teacher in Wales, you will need to gain qualified teacher status (QTS). You may be able to gain QTS in Wales without any further training or assessment. The Education Workforce Council (EWC) awards the QTS for teachers is Wales. Visit their website to see how you go about gaining your QTS.

    EWC

    Securing a UK visa (non-EEA teachers)

    If you are from outside the EEA, you may need to apply for a UK visa. There are different types of visas, each with its own eligibility criteria. Did you know, for example, that secondary teachers in maths, physics and chemistry are currently considered ‘shortage occupations’ by the Home Office? This means that if you teach these subjects it will be easier for a school to sponsor you for a Tier 2 work visa. 

  • Applying

    How to Apply

    To apply on any of below courses, apart for the GTP visit UCAS or UCAS Teacher Training

    Undergraduate

    You can apply to UCAS throughout the year but early application is recommended; by mid January. 

      Aberystwyth Bangor Swansea Carmarthen Cardiff Newport
    UNDERGRADUATE             
    Primary            
    Secondary Design & Technology             
    Secondary Drama             
    Secondary French             
    Secondary Mathematics with ICT             
    Secondary Mathematics with Science             
    Secondary Science with Mathematics             
    Secondary Science with ICT             
    PRE-ITT COURSES          
    REFRESHER COURSES          
    Postgraduate

    UCAS Teacher Training applications open mid-September.  Apply to UCAS Teacher Training by 1st December for PGCE Primary courses starting the following September.  

    Applications may be submitted throughout the year but early application is recommended particularly for competitive subject areas such as history, PE and Primary. 

      Aberystwyth Bangor Swansea Carmarthen Cardiff Newport
    POSTGRADUATE            
    Primary          
    Secondary Art & Design           
    Secondary Biology             
    Secondary Business Studies           
    Secondary Chemistry       
    Secondary Design & Technology           
    Secondary Drama         
    Secondary English             
    Secondary General/ Integrated Science             
    Secondary Geography             
    Secondary History             
    Secondary Information Technology           
    Secondary Mathematics             
    Secondary Modern Languages             
    Secondary Music             
    Secondary Outdoor Activities             
    Secondary Physical Education           
    Secondary Physics         
    Secondary Religious Education             
    Secondary Welsh             
    PRE-ITT COURSES          
    REFRESHER COURSES          
    Course providers

    Aberystwyth

    Bangor

    Swansea

    Carmarthen

    Cardiff

    Newport

     

    Graduate Teacher Programme 

    Apply to:

    North and Mid Wales Centre for Teacher Education 

    South West Wales Centre of Teacher Education

    South East Wales Centre for Teacher Education
     

     

     

     

  • Useful links

    The Teaching Profession and Advice

     

    Applying For Teaching Training

     

    Teaching Positions in Wales 

     

     Other Information 

  • Entry Requirements

    Undergraduate Qualifications

    3 Year courses

    The entry requirements for 3 year courses leading directly to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) are normally a minimum of:

    GCSE Grade B or above (or equivalent) in English Language and Mathematics.  Please click here for guidelines on B grade GCSE equivalencies for English and Maths, recommended by Higher Education providers in Wales.

    For Primary, GCSE Grade C or above (or equivalent) in Science or a Science subject in Chemistry, Biology or Physics.

    At least 2 A levels or equivalent (see individual course requirements at Institutions for details).  Welsh Baccalaureate considered.

    You must have the necessary qualifications before the start of the course.

    Postgraduate Qualifications

    Postgraduate

    The entry requirements for PGCE courses leading directly to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) are normally a minimum of:

    GCSE Grade B or above (or equivalent) in English Language and Mathematics.  Please click here for guidelines on B grade GCSE equivalencies for English and Maths, recommended by Higher Education providers in Wales.

    For Primary, GCSE Grade C or above (or equivalent) in Science or a Science subject in Chemistry, Biology or Physics.

    A first degree of a UK institution or equivalent (see individual course requirements at Institutions for details).

    Do you have overseas qualifications? Check your qualifications at the NARIC website

    Do you have a HND or HNC qualification in an appropriate subject?  Consider two year BSc (Hons) degree programmes for training to teach in the secondary school.

    Do you have a Foundation degree?  Contact individual providers to discuss the best route for you.  

    Secondary Courses

    Secondary teachers are subject specialists.

    It is expected that the content of your degree will contain a significant proportion of the subject in which you wish to train to teach or be closely related to the subject.  There may however be flexibility in some subjects, whilst other degrees may require very relevant subject knowledge. Please refer to individual course requirements at Institutions for details.

    Native speakers of Modern Foreign Languages and Welsh are welcome to apply, with or without the relevant degree as consideration may be given dependant on depth of knowledge. 

     Primary Courses

    Primary teachers teach all the subjects in the National Curriculum; English, mathematics, science, design and technology, information and communication technology, geography, history, physical education, art, music, religious education and Welsh.

    Your previous education (degree, A level, equivalent qualifications) should match at least one of these National Curriculum subjects.

    If you have a non-National Curriculum degree, you should highlight on your application form any modules which relate to primary education.

    Other Requirements

    Interview

    All applicants are required to take part in a group or individual interview. Interviews usually take place once an application is received by the teacher training provider

    Criminal Records Checks

    All teacher training providers must check the background of any student who wishes to enrol on a course that puts them in contact with children.  As part of the application process you will be asked to undertake an Enhanced Disclosure through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).  Institutions may start this process at interview by collecting details or start the whole process when a reply is received to an offer.  Processes do differ amongst institutions so please refer to information sent from providers, but all involve the satisfactory completion of the DBS procedure.

    All enrolments are conditional upon the checks being completed to the satisfaction of the University. A conviction does not necessarily mean that you will not be able to undertake the course, but the decision made to accept does not mean that other bodies requiring registration or employers will accept this decision, as their own processes will need to be followed.  If convictions are revealed after enrolment and thought to be serious enough to preclude you from further study, the enrolment will be terminated and you may be asked to leave the course. 

     

    Registering with a General Teaching Council

    If you gain employment in the UK you are required, on completion of your course, to register with the relevant General Teaching Council.  If you gain employment in Wales, you need to register with the Education Workforce Council (EWC).Read more

     

    Please note in order to teach in a school you will need a Qualified Teaching Status (QTS) which includes a degree.

  • Other Routes

    If you want to teach or train young people or adults, there are Post Compulsory Education and Training (PCET) programmes available.

    These are designed for those teaching/training or wanting to pursue a career in post 16 contexts, e.g. higher, further, adult, community, vocational training in industry, commerce or other professions, school sixth forms, 14-19 school/tertiary courses. A recognised teaching qualification is now essential for all teachers working in post-compulsory education and training. Obtaining this qualification can be a stepping stone to further study and for career development and progression in the sector.

     

    The routes include the following:

     

    Professional Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) PCET

     

    The PGCE PCET is for graduates who want to teach their degree subject or any subject for which they have at least a level 3 qualification in. They should also be teaching or actively seeking teaching in the post-compulsory sector of education and training. Students do not need GCSE Maths or English to apply for this course. This course is for graduates who want to teach in the post-compulsory education and training sector. If you want to teach a wide range of learners aged 16+, in colleges, training organisations, prisons, voluntary and adult community organisations, this is the course for you.

     

    Professional Certificate of Education (PCE) PCET

     

    The PCE PCET is for students with a Level 3 qualification (e.g. NVQ3, OCN 3, A Level equivalence) preferably in the subject they are teaching or want to teach. The programme is for students who have experience in their subject areas and who wish to further their experience by teaching in the PCET or lifelong learning and skills sector. Some institutions require GCSE Grade C or above (or equivalent) in English and it is desired that applicants have a C or equivalent in Maths. Check with institutions for further information.