Everything you need to know about getting a job in teaching
Teaching remains one of the most established and reputable professions around and it’s actually one of the more lucrative. Did you know that headteachers earn above £100k a year and still benefit from generous annual leave as well as earlier retirement than most other careers? A current shortage thanks to the growing population and lure of the private sector also means that new teachers have an advantage over jobseekers in other sectors.
If you are considering moving into teaching the information, however, can be a little daunting. There seems to be an overflow of information that can be difficult to pick apart.
Here is what you actually need to know about getting a job in teaching:
In order to teach in an independent school in the UK (a private or public school) you do not need any formal qualification. More and more independent schools require teachers to have specialised qualifications yet it is not a legal requirement. If the prospect of more formal education is a deal breaker, you can still apply for these independent school roles as long as you are aware the criteria will still be high.
If you want to teach in state schools there is actually only one thing you need to have: Qualified Teacher Status. All the different routes and courses all end up with this accreditation.
If you are looking to get a job in teaching, the first thing you will need is an undergraduate degree. This is the what will shape the type of teacher you can be. If you’re aiming for primary education it can be almost anything; if you fancy yourself as a secondary teacher, your degree subject should obviously correlate to your teaching ambitions. If you know you want to be teacher straight from A-Levels, a BA in Education will grant you the QTS needed as part of your degree and away you go!
If, like most teacher-elects, you realised you wanted to be a teacher during or after your degree, that’s when the road starts to fork. Essentially, you can either stay at your university in a formal academic environment or join a public school as a trainee teacher (though this term is not really recognised). As a trainee teacher at a public school in the UK you learn on the job, submitting a portfolio of your progression after a year.
The university route is generally called gaining a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) although most learn-on-the-job routes will also grant you a PGCE at the end of your training as well.
Of the learn-on-the-job routes, there are several organisations that offer the training:
Teach First, maybe the most recognised option, is a charity that provides an intensive summer course followed by two years of training. This is designed for top graduates (2:1 or above) looking to become future leaders.
School Direct is the government sponsored learn-on-the-job scheme. This usually takes one year to complete and may be coordinated by a school trust.
Premier Pathways is a new scheme that involves becoming a Graduate Teaching Assistant and then a trainee teacher. Set up by recruitment companies like EduStaff, this option brings together several organisations in a single network.
Once you have QTS, you are considered an NQT or Newly Qualified Teacher (Yes, there are a lot of acronyms in education!) You are now officially a teacher!