Why teach in Wales?

Explore and learn about what it is like to teach in Wales. From video insights to practical benefits and salary expectations, the help and guidance here will support you in your next steps in starting or furthering your teaching career.
  • Why teach?

    Why teach?

    As most teachers will tell you, there’s no such thing as a ‘typical’ day at work. That’s because no two days are the same – you’re unlikely ever to be bored by a lack of variety. It’s also a career that offers great benefits and gives you an opportunity to use a wide range of skills and inspire students to learn.

    Make a difference and inspire the next generation

    You may remember a truly brilliant teacher from school who made a real difference to your life. As a teacher you can use your knowledge and passion for learning to help children unlock capabilities and talents that they didn’t even know they had. You too will develop a wide range of transferable skills for yourself in the process.

    In addition to planning and teaching a range of engaging lessons, you can pass on your hobbies and interests as part of your work and by getting involved in after-school clubs, trips or sport.

    Children and young people are exciting and unpredictable. They are the future. Working with them as a teacher is never dull! Making sure that every individual has access to a quality education and the opportunity to succeed is incredibly rewarding.

    A career for the future

    As well as job satisfaction, teaching also offers great employment prospects and job security:

    • Nine out of ten newly qualified teachers were employed within six months of completing training
    • 70% of newly qualified teachers are still in the profession after five years.

    And, once you qualify, there are lots of chances for good teachers to climb the career ladder

    A competitive salary and great benefits

    You will also earn a competitive salary and have access to a wealth of other benefits – from a generous pension to up to 13 weeks of holiday allowance. So you can look forward to a career that is both personally and financially rewarding.

    Financial support while you train

    As a trainee teacher in Wales you may be able to access funding and support while you are training. This will vary depending on where and how you train, and which subject you are training to teach, as well as where you normally live and your personal circumstances. To find out what you are eligible for, contact your Student Finance Company.

    Spotlight on Education: Careers Wales

    You can become a teacher at different stages in your life and there are various routes you can take to achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). 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 working in another sector.

    The education sector is constantly changing as it responds to new government policies, and the development of new teaching and learning theories and methods. Be prepared to be both an educator and a learner, throughout your life.

    Head over to the Careers Wales website. It includes facts and information on the current employment status in education in Wales.


    • 9.6% of the total workforce in Wales is employed in Education.
    • 1 in 10 Welsh workers work in the education sector.
    • Wales needs more...
      • Higher Education Lecturers
      • Primary School Teachers
      • Secondary School Teachers
      • Managers in Education
      • Further Education Lecturers
      • And much more......


  • Eligibility



    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 and Mathematics
    • For Primary, GCSE grade C or above (or equivalent) in science
    • 2 passes at A Level (normally minimum 200 UCAS points) or equivalent (see individual course requirements for details.) The Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification is accepted.
    • You must have the necessary qualifications before the start of the course.
    2 year courses:

    The entry requirements for 2-year courses leading directly to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) are normally a minimum of:

    • GCSE Grade B or above (or equivalent) in English and Mathematics
    • Successful completion of 1 year in higher education (normally 120 credits at level 4) in a related subject(s). For example, HND, Open University credits, vocational or professional qualifications.
    • Do you have overseas qualifications? Check your qualifications on the NARIC website 


    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 and Mathematics
    • For Primary, GCSE grade C or above (or equivalent) science
    • A first degree of a UK institution or equivalent
    • 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 sector
    • Do you have a Foundation degree? Contact individual providers to discuss the best route for you.
    • Secondary teachers are subject specialists
    • You are expected to have at least 50% degree relevance to the specialist teaching subject being applied for. There may be flexibility in some subjects, because other degrees may contain very relevant subject knowledge. For example, engineering, economics, business studies, management science, health science etc
    • Native speakers of Modern Foreign Languages and Welsh are most welcome to apply, with or without the relevant degree.
    • Primary teachers teach all the subjects in the National Curriculum: English, Welsh, Mathematics, Science, Design and Technology, Information and Communication Technology, Geography, History, Physical Education, Art, Music and Religious Education.
    • 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 subject degree, you should highlight on your application form any modules which relate to primary education.
    What level of Welsh is needed to teach in Wales

    It depends what the job is and what kind of school it is. In English medium or bilingual schools, where the subject is taught through the English language, there is no requirement to be bilingual. But naturally in Welsh medium schools, you would need to be fluent in Welsh. The language requirements will be identified on the job advert, and can vary in nature and linguistic categories of the school.



  • What can teaching offer you?

    What can teaching offer you?


    • Excellent progression opportunities allowing you to fulfil your ambitions
    • Allows you to use your degree knowledge or area of specialism
    • A stimulating profession
    • Competitive pay
    • Exceptional rewards of working with young people
    • Real variety on a day to day basis that few other professions can match

    Combined, these factors show why teaching is such a rich and rewarding career where you can really make a difference for future generations.

  • Why Wales?

    Thinking about coming to Wales to teach? Due to living costs, your wage will get you further here in Wales compared to other areas within the UK. As well as paying less for living costs, you will also have a higher standard of living.

    You will never be short of things to do, it’s a country full of old bespoke towns full of unique shops and restaurants. The beautiful coast of Wales wraps in the treasure of the land with it being packed with attractions including its beaches, castles and mountains. If your an outdoor or an indoor person, Wales will fill your needs. Take a look on the following link to see everything Wales has to offer.



    Are you fed up of your commute home and wish you could spend your time doing something more exciting? In Wales you could be out of the classroom and close to a beach/golf course/mountain bike trail or even on a zip-wire!

    If you live and work in Wales you could be visiting one of our 641 castles, taking in our spectacular locations – from 1200kms of coastline to mountain tops, buzzing commercial centres to lavish country estates and you could be putting on your walking boots and spending your weekends at one of our three National Parks (Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire Coast or the Brecon Beacons). Find out more about what Wales has to offer by visiting www.visitwales.com


    The new Curriculum for Wales

    This is one of the most exciting times to become a teacher in Wales. We are in the process of developing a new curriculum that aims to create a successful and exciting future for all children and young people across Wales. The new curriculum is being developed by teachers with the intention of creating students who are

    • ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives
    • enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work
    • ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world
    • healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.

    These four purposes of the new curriculum will form the basis for all future decisions about national and local educational priorities, and underpin all teaching and learning in Wales.

    The new curriculum is aimed towards 3 to 16-year-olds and will be organised into six ‘Areas of Learning and Experience’ to ensure a broad educational experience for all children and young people. Literacy, numeracy and digital competence are so important to thinking, learning and life that they will be developed and strengthened across the whole curriculum alongside opportunities to develop wider skills and Cwricwlwm Cymreig. Learning will be a continuous experience, building progressively as children and young people grow and mature with a range of Achievement Outcomes.

    The prospect of the new teacher led curriculum and future of education for our students and teachers in Wales has never looked so optimistic and progressive.  It will result in teachers being provided with more autonomy to implement innovative and exciting learning experiences for their pupils.


  • 21st Century schools

    21st Century schools

    If you decide to teach in Wales you could be working in one of a number of 21st Century schools.

    The 21st Century Schools and Education Programme is a unique collaboration between the Welsh Government (WG), the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) and local authorities.

    It is a major, long-term and strategic capital investment programme with the aim of creating a generation of 21st century schools in Wales. The programme will focus resources on the right schools in the right places, for early years through to post-16.

    Much more than a building programme - it is a major, long-term and strategic capital investment programme. Its aim is to create educational communities fit for the 21st century in Wales.


    Interested to learn more? Follow the below links to learn about schools across Wales who have already been transformed to a 21st Century School.

  • New professional standards
    New Professional Standards

    The new standards concentrates on the following elements that all teachers come across;

    • Pedagogy
    • Collaboration
    • Leadership
    • Innovation
    • Career-long professional learning

    These new professional standards will replace 55 standards with five standards.

    Their aim is to;

    • Inspire, challenge and support every practitioner
    • Provide greater support to new entrants and provide greater continuity between ITE, induction and continued development throughout a teacher’s career
    • Help teachers work together in order to provide all learners with excellent teaching and learning opportunities
    • Help develop all teachers’ leadership skills and support them through the education system

    The standards will apply to all serving teachers and leaders by September 2018 and ITE programmes form September 2019.

  • Pay and conditions

    Pay and conditions

    Teachers’ Pay

    As a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) in Wales you can expect to receive a starting salary of at least £22,467 during the 2016/17 academic year.

    As schools are responsible for setting their own pay policies, they have the freedom to decide how they will reward teachers who possess valuable skills and experience relevant to their role, or who display exceptional performance. Teachers’ pay is no longer linked to length of service, but rather to performance, meaning that your salary could increase faster than ever before.

    Teachers’ pay is reviewed annually across both England and Wales. The maximum and minimum points of all teachers’ pay ranges, for the 2016/17 academic year, are shown below. Schools are responsible for determining the points that fall between the maxima and minima; more detail will be contained in their pay policies.


    Maximum           £108,283

    Minimum            £44,102

    Leading practitioners

    Maximum           £59,264

    Minimum            £38,984

    Classroom teachers

    Maximum           £38,250

    Minimum            £22,467

    Unqualified teachers

    Maximum           £26,034

    Minimum            £16,461

    Other benefits

    You may be able to take advantage of the following benefits as a teacher in Wales, in addition to your basic salary:

    • A generous pension, by becoming a member of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme;
    • 24/7 access to an all-Wales online community, where you can access and share resources with other education professionals;
    • A range of Continuing Professional Learning opportunities relevant to your role;
    • Various opportunities to further your career, by taking steps up the ladder;
    • You could be rewarded with a teaching and learning responsibility (TLR) payment on top of your basic salary, if you take on additional responsibilities as a teacher. This additional payment could be between £2,640 and £12,898 per annum;
    • Individual schools may also offer recruitment and retention incentives for some teaching posts;
    • If you work as a qualified teacher with pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN) or Additional Learning Needs (ALN), you could be eligible for a SEN allowance of no less than £2,085 and no more than £4,116 per annum;
    • Perhaps most importantly, you will also enjoy some fantastic non-financial benefits as a teacher – including feeling a great sense of satisfaction knowing that you have made a difference and inspired the next generation.
    • Generous holidays.