How to Become a Teacher
How do I become a teacher? A regularly asked question on the Teachers Forum, this article should tell you all you need to know.
There are a number of ways into teaching, some of which depend on your current situation and qualifications.
Rest assured though, there will be a way into teaching for you, good luck!
This article relates to those wanting to teach in state-maintained schools in England and Wales
Routes into Teaching
To gain QTS you will need to complete a programme of ITT (Initial Teacher Training) this will involve at least 18 weeks practical experience in a school environment. ITT can be performed through a number of options, one of which should suit everyone with the desire to become a teacher:
You can train to be a teacher whilst completing a degree through a BEd (Bachelor of Education), BA (Bachelor of Arts) or BSc (Bachelor of Science), the latter two with an included QTS course. The courses normally take 3-4 years full time and the BEd is a popular route for those interested in primary teaching.
1 year PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate of Education) courses are a popular route, providing a further year of college/university study, focussing specifically on teaching, you are expected to already have a thorough understanding (degree level) of your chosen subject.
PGCE courses will provide a total of 24 weeks (18 for primary) placement in at least 2 schools.
SCITT (School-Centred Initial Teacher Training) courses provide an alternative to PGCE (though a PGCE qualification may be awarded with some). Favoured by those who have not been in higher education for some time, SCITT is usually the route to take if you are looking for a more classroom based learning experience. SCITT is provided by groups of local Schools and Colleges with skills provided by practising teachers and often tailored towards the local educational needs. (SCITT is not available in all areas and is a competitive route to take). View the Graduate Teacher Training Registry website for further details.
Education Based Training
The GTP (Graduate Teacher Programme) provides a 1 year school based employment programme, tailored for the individual. This is a preferred route by mature people who wish for a career to change but still need to earn whilst they train. Competition is high and places limited. Places can be found through school advertisements, or via a Designated Recommending Body (in England), usually your Local Education Authority.
RTP (Registered Teacher Programme) is available to individuals who have completed 2 years of a degree course. You will need to find employment as an unqualified teacher in a school that is willing to train you on the individual tailored programme. This route allows you to continue to gain your degree level qualification along with your QTS over a 2 year period, whilst earning unqualified teacher's salary.
OTTP (Overseas Trained Teacher Programme) allows qualified teachers from within the EU and some teachers from outside the EU to work in England whilst training for their QTS. Through working in a school a tailored programme provides additional training required to gain QTS. EU teachers may be able to apply for an Assessment Only route to QTS. Visit the National Academic Recognition Centre (NARIC) website or contact the Overseas Trained Teacher Advice Line on 01245 454321 for further details.