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Become a teacher with
The Lark Teaching School Alliance


What qualifications do I need to apply for teacher training in the UK?

You need a degree and GCSE English and Maths (or equivalent qualification: You will need to demonstrate equivalency to a grade ‘C’ GCSE). For overseas qualifications NARIC UK will support you with this process).

Different teacher training providers have their own entry criteria. Often, they stipulate a class of degree or that the degree is in the subject you wish to teach. With us you will need a minimum of a 2:2 degree and at least 50% of your degree should be in the subject you wish to teach, with the exception of Primary.

Apart from qualifications, what are teacher trainers looking for?

Essentially, teachers work with young people. Therefore, teacher trainers are looking for evidence that a candidate has relevant experience of working with young people in the age group they wish to teach. This could be in a voluntary capacity and might involve work outside a school context, such as with a youth group, Scouts etc. However, recent experience of working in a classroom in the age range you wish to teach is preferable. Many of the current cohort of successful candidates are already working in schools in support roles such as a Teaching Assistant.

Do I need to visit schools before I apply?

The amount of experience you will have gained in schools will vary depending on your circumstances. Fundamentally, the more experience you have working/volunteering in schools the better. However, we recognise that this isn’t always possible, especially if you are considering a career change into teaching. Existing work commitments may make extended experience in schools difficult. Different providers have different requirements in this regard. You should ensure that you have had at least 5 days experience working in UK state schools before applying or indicate on your form that you have arranged some teaching observations in the future.

Can I train part-time?

If you are planning to be a secondary Maths, Physics or Computer Science teacher there is a flexible salaried route open to you. The arrangements are pro-rata equivalent to the full-time salaried programme, over two years.

I have qualifications from overseas – how do I find out if they are equivalent to UK qualifications?

You can contact NARIC via their website. They will provide you with documentation to say that your qualifications are equivalent to ones in the UK. You need to do this in order to apply for teacher training.

I have a teaching qualification from abroad. Do I need to do a teaching course to be able to teach in the UK?

You do not have to do a full teacher training course in the UK. You will need to complete an Overseas Teacher Training Programme (OTTP). CTSN does not currently offer this qualification.

What’s the difference between QTS and a PGCE?

QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) means that you have met the statutory requirements (The Teachers’ Standards 2012) for teaching in the UK. You need QTS to be able to teach in maintained schools in the UK.

A PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate of Education) is an additional academic qualification which includes QTS. Some PGCE courses count as part of a Masters in Education course.

At CTSN we offer QTS with 30 Masters credit with Anglia Ruskin University. This is offered as part of the non-salaried training route only.

Which is the best route into teaching?

There is no ‘best route’ into teaching. All routes are well respected by employers. The question is which is the best route into teaching for you? This may depend on your own personal situation.

How much does it cost to train to be a teacher?

It does not cost anything to train on the School Direct (salaried) course. Instead, you are employed by the school.

The cost of PGCE or School Direct (non-salaried) courses varies. Our CTSN QTS course charge is £9000. Many universities charge £9000 for the PGCE course. There are bursaries for non-salaried course candidates. The amount will depend on the subject you wish to train in and your class of degree.

What will my teacher training programme be like?

Your experience of teacher training will be different depending on your preferred route. However, there are key things that will unite all teacher training programmes.

Teaching is one of the most rewarding careers one can have. Some would argue that it is a vocation, rather than a job. Embarking on a teacher training programme should not be underestimated. Some people in the past have seen coming into teaching as an easy option – ‘those who can, do; those who can’t, teach’. The reality of the situation could not be further from the truth. As with all things that are really worth doing in life, learning to teach is very hard work. You will need determination, resilience and be prepared to work long hours, both in the evenings and at weekends. For those people who choose to do it, it is one of the most rewarding ways of spending your working life, and well worth the effort.