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Get into teaching

Make a difference with the Learning Community Trust and develop your future to make a difference to our students’ futures!

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Our future teachers

Get into teaching and work in one of our amazing Learning Community Trust academies.

Inspire the next generation by becoming a teacher and you’ll get job satisfaction that few will experience. Other than parents, teachers have arguably the biggest influence on a child’s life. The visible results you’ll see from pupils are guaranteed to send you home with a sense of pride! At the Learning Community Trust we are dedicated in our support of future teachers. The below guidance provides the full range of approaches:

To become a qualified teacher in state-maintained schools across the UK, you need to undertake Initial Teacher Training (ITT) or Initial Teacher Education (ITE). Entry is generally competitive, but less so for shortage subjects such as maths, physics, and languages. Register and find out more about Initial Teacher Training with Get Into Teaching.

Completion of ITT leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in England and Wales. Some independent schools, academies and free schools might not specify QTS or registration with a teaching council as an entry requirement.

To help you decide if teaching is right for you, and to support your application, you should do some work in or volunteer in schools. If you’re not sure which age or subject would suit you, contact schools in your area and ask to observe in a classroom. You should also speak to teaching staff about the challenges and rewards of teaching. For more information, see how to become a teacher.

Once you’ve decided which age range and subject you’d like to teach, look for a route that gives you the relevant experience. If you haven’t already, access the careers and employability service where you’re studying or have graduated from. Attend universities, schools and training provider open days before you apply.

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

The most common route into teaching is the PGCE, which can be studied at university or as part of a school-based training programme.

You’ll need:

  • an undergraduate degree or equivalent
  • GCSE C/4 or above in English and maths (a B in Wales)
  • GCSE C/4 in a science subject to teach primary pupils
  • some experience of working with children in a mainstream UK school in the age group for which you’re applying
  • a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

PGCE courses start with an academic focus and usually cover teaching, learning theory and managing classroom behaviour. After the first few weeks you’ll spend up to two-thirds of your time on placement in schools, teaching in two different key stages. The PGCE takes one year if studied full time and two years part time. You’ll study modules including professional teacher, subject specialist, reflective teacher, and research-informed teacher. Check whether your preferred course leads to QTS, as you won’t be able to teach without it.

There are a couple of universities in England that offer the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) and the main difference is the number of academic credits you’ll get. The PGDE carries 120 university credits, while the PGCE carries 60.

School direct

You could do all your training at a school, or you could split it between university study and school training, so you’ll need to weigh up the best option for you.

You’ll need:

  • an undergraduate degree or equivalent
  • GCSE C/4 or above in English and maths
  • GCSE C/4 in a science subject to teach primary pupils
  • at least three years’ work experience (salaried route)
  • a DBS check

If you choose the salaried route, you will be employed as an unqualified teacher while you learn on the job.

On the unsalaried route you’ll be based in a school, but will also be taught by the university, college, or school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) that the school partners with.

You will spend time in one or two schools and as well as hands on teaching, you’ll learn about lesson planning and the theory behind teaching. You will be assigned a mentor and be assessed through lesson observations and gathering evidence of your skills.

Not all courses include a PGCE/PGDE element so it’s worth checking with the institution what qualifications you’ll receive.

Teach First

You’ll work in schools in low-income communities as part of a two-year training programme leading to a fully-funded Postgraduate Diploma in Education and Leadership.

You’ll need:

  • a 2:1 undergraduate degree or equivalent
  • GCSE C/4 or above in English and maths (a B in Wales)
  • GCSE C/4 in a science subject to teach primary pupils · your degree or A-levels to meet some curriculum requirements
  • to commit to training in June and July and to start work in September
  • a DBS check.

There is a five-week course (37.5 hours a week) over the summer to get you ready for the classroom and then you’ll be given a mentor in school and a university tutor to oversee your progress. There is also a part-time option that takes nine weeks and a weekly commitment of 12.5 hours.

In year one you’ll teach 80% of a fully qualified teacher’s timetable, as well as attend training days and conferences. In your second year you’ll be a newly qualified teacher teaching a full timetable.

Both primary and secondary trainees gain a fully funded Postgraduate Diploma in Education and Leadership (PGDE), worth double the credits of a PGCE. You’ll gain QTS during this two-year period, while working in the classroom and earning a salary.

Applications open in June of the year before you want to start. Early application is recommended, especially for popular subjects such as history.

Undergraduate teaching degree

Ideal for those who don’t already have a degree, you could study a Bachelor of Education (BEd), Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc) with QTS.

You’ll need:

  • GCSE grade C/4 or above in English language, mathematics and science
  • A-levels or equivalent (check with the institution for required UCAS points)
  • a DBS check.

Taking three years if studied full time and four if done part time, completion of the course will give you QTS. You’ll cover subjects such as becoming an effective teacher, inclusive practices, marking, assessments and how children learn, as well as carrying out projects and school placements.

In your first-year placement you will take on some of the teacher’s role working with small groups of children. In years two and three this will increase, and you’ll get involved in planning, teaching and assessing.

Now Teach

This is a bespoke support programme and network for experienced professionals to retrain as teachers via a range of training providers across England.

You’ll need:

  • an undergraduate degree or equivalent
  • GCSE C/4 or above in maths and English
  • a DBS check
  • an A-level related to the subject you want to teach.

Aimed at career changers who want to bring their professional insight into the classroom to improve education. They prioritise those who want to teach subjects where there is a shortage of teachers, including maths, computer science, languages (French and Spanish), geography and all sciences.

You’ll receive insight and guidance to help choose the course that’s right for you, expert career advice for your entire time as a teacher, and connections with hundreds of other career changers across England. There’s also regular face-to-face and online events and access to a one-to-one programme manager.

Teaching without a degree

When choosing an undergraduate course, make sure your qualification allows you to teach in schools. If you’re in England or Wales, choose a degree that includes qualified teacher status (QTS). If you’re in Northern Ireland or Scotland, check your course leads to provisional registration with a teaching council.

It’s also possible to teach without a degree as academies, free schools, independent schools, and further education (FE) colleges don’t always require QTS. However, having a degree can improve your career prospects and help you move between schools. Another option is teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL/TESOL), which can be useful if you’re interested in teaching abroad. Be aware that TEFL employers often look for a degree and a teaching qualification, and these may be requirements for your visa. Working as a teaching assistant is undoubtedly great preparation for becoming a teacher, but it is not a direct route to qualification. You will still need to study for a degree and obtain QTS.


If you would like further information about how Learning Community Trust can support you with your early careers teaching, please leave us a message below, and we will be happy to give you a tour of our academy campuses and discuss your options.

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