Routes Into Teaching

Teaching is both a challenging and a rewarding profession. It is a role that can push you to the limits. Equally, it is a profession that provides a way to stimulate your mind, inspire young people and make a difference in your community. So, if you have a passion for a subject that you’d love to share, what are the routes into teaching?

Is there a Demand for Teachers in the UK?

There is a high demand for teachers in the UK. Teacher Labour Market data* suggests that the recruitment of new teachers is significantly below targets. This means schools are actively seeking people with the qualifications and skills to teach.

In particular, there is a shortage of Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Computing and Language teachers. Although there has been an improvement in recruitment in these subjects, more teachers are needed. Therefore, if one of these is your area of expertise, you will be in a strong position when applying for roles.

To increase interest in teaching roles, the UK Government Teacher Recruitment & Retention Plan** has committed to give every new full-time teacher a starting salary of at least £30,000. They have also created a Taskforce to reduce teacher workloads.

What Do You Need to Know About Teaching?

Firstly, you need to be passionate about your subject and know it deeply. Although you have to follow the curriculum, you need to find ways to share knowledge with students of all abilities. Some will struggle to grasp some concepts, while others steam head. So, being adaptable and patient are essential skills.

Equally, teaching is much more than just teaching. A teacher has multiple roles to fulfil, from classroom management and marking to playground supervision and running extra-curricular clubs. Therefore, being organised and energised is a must.

A good handle on IT is also essential for record-keeping, setting assignments and managing attendance. In addition, interactive whiteboards, multimedia resources and online learning are very much integrated into school life.

The day starts before any pupils enter the premises and typically ends about 12 hours later. Even on those long school holidays, there is planning work, classroom preparation, training and meetings to be done. Therefore, this is a role for dedicated individuals, with a good range of skills and a genuine interest in improving opportunities for young people.

What is Qualified Teacher Status?

Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) is the recognised qualification that will open up job opportunities. It is the standard that most primary and secondary schools look for when recruiting. What’s more, newly qualified QTS teachers benefit. That’s because they receive mentoring and support for the first two years in the role.

If you have a degree, you can apply for post-graduate teacher training to gain QTS. It typically takes 9 months to complete a full-time course. However, there are also options to study part-time over a longer period.

If you don’t have a degree, it is possible to study a course in your chosen subject, which incorporates QTS. You will need GCSE C or 4 or above in English and Maths (and Science for primary schools), along with your A’levels to apply.

Although QTS is recommended, it is not a legal requirement in all schools. You may be able to apply for positions in Private and Academy schools without it.

Do You Have to Pay for Teacher Training?

Yes, there are fees to pay for teacher training and degree courses. Typically, these are around £9,500 per year of study, along with living costs. However, student loans and bursaries can assist with the costs. You may be able to apply for a scholarship, but this depends on your specialist subject. In addition, individuals leaving the armed forces for a teaching career can apply for funding.

Can you Apply for Non-teaching Roles without a Degree?

Running a school and supporting students extends far beyond teaching. So, if you want to work in the education sector, there are lots of roles beyond teaching. Some require a degree, while others place greater emphasis on experience.

Here are some examples of non-teaching, school-based roles: Attendance Officers, Caterers, Caretakers, Family Liaison Assistants, Bursars, Workshop Technicians and Pastoral Support Workers.

If you are interested in classroom work, it is possible to become a teaching assistant without gaining a degree. There are a variety of college courses and even an apprenticeship programme to equip you with recognised qualifications.

These include:

  • Level 2 or 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools
  • Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education
  • T Level in Education and Early Years
  • Teaching Assistant Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship

Each will have GCSE entry requirements. It is worth exploring what your local college offers, visiting open days and checking when applications open. Enrollment for courses typically takes place in early September.

Employment Support Services

Are you keen to work in schools? Tara Recruitment can help you explore the most appropriate route into teaching and non-teaching roles based on your current qualifications and experience. Upload your CV and we’ll be in touch to discuss your next career move.

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