Turn your talent to teaching
Around 35,000 people in England are recruited to train as teachers every year, and there are a number of reasons why an increasing number of skilled and talented people are choosing teaching as a career. Teaching is a well-respected profession which offers excellent opportunities for development and career progression, as well as great financial rewards.
Get into teaching
If you want to train to teach, there are a number of different routes available to you, depending on your current qualifications and your individual circumstances. This is attained via either undergraduate or postgraduate courses. There are also some basic academic standards which must be met.
All applicants for initial teacher training (ITT) must demonstrate a standard equivalent to a GCSE grade C or above in English and maths, and in a science subject if you wish to teach in a primary school. If you don’t reach this minimum academic standard there are access courses available to you as an alternative option.
If you are interested in teaching, you should think carefully about whether you want to teach across a broad range of subjects in primary school or specialise in one or two subjects at secondary school. A good way of finding out which suits you better is to contact local schools and ask to see if you can spend a day there observing classes.
Kalpana Patel, a maths teacher, found this a really valuable experience. “I wanted to discover if I was making the right choice and find out what type of school best suited me. I found it a really useful experience, especially when it came to finding my first job.”
Along with a degree, all teachers are required to have qualified teacher status (QTS) to teach in primary and secondary maintained schools and non-maintained special schools.
An undergraduate route into teaching will offer a BEd, BA, or BSc, combining degree studies with QTS. You are required to have a minimum of two A-levels or equivalent in order to enrol on an undergraduate course. Some ITT providers do offer part-time courses, which can be found on the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) website (www.teach.gov.uk)
The postgraduate course will award you with a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). A PGCE course mainly focuses on developing your teaching skills, and not on the subject you intend to teach. For this reason, you are expected to have a good understanding of your chosen subject – usually to degree level – before you start training. Entry to most postgraduate courses is through the Graduate Teacher Training Registry (www.GTTR.ac.uk), although some training providers accept applications directly.
If you don’t want to go into full-time education, there are other options. The Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) is an employment-based route within a school and allows you to earn while you learn. During the GTP you will be employed by the school as an unqualified teacher and this can take up to a year to complete (full-time) depending on your previous experience. To enter onto this programme you will need to have a degree. To find out more about the GTP visit www.tda.gov.uk/gtp
Further information on routes into teaching is available via the TDA website. Alternatively, you can call the Teaching Information Line free on 0800 389 2500 to find out more information about a career in teaching and to register with the TDA.
There are a great number of benefits to being a teacher. Kalpana was “pleasantly surprised by how well teachers are rewarded financially”: your starting salary as a qualified teacher will be at least £21,588 (inner London at least £27,000) and could be more depending on your previous experience. The teaching profession also offers a highly competitive structure for pay rises.
The range of opportunities for career progression and promotion in teaching is diverse and exciting. You could earn up to £56,950 (£64,036 in inner London) as an advanced skills teacher (AST), and as much as £105,097 as a headteacher (£112,181 in inner London) if you follow a school leadership path.
You’ll be supported during your first three terms as an NQT by a tailored induction programme, including the help of a mentor. In the second and third year of your career, early professional development (EPD) is a phase of the continuing professional development (CPD) scheme that involves further coaching and mentoring from peers and specialists.
Research into the differences between working with young people and working with adult colleagues has also revealed that teachers view their jobs as unusually exciting, enjoyable and satisfying. Kalpana Patel chose teaching after spending a number of years in accountancy and gets a great deal of satisfaction from her job. “I’ve been teaching at my current school for over four years now and I still find it rewarding. My days are never the same and I’m always facing new challenges. I don’t think I could ever see myself going back to an office job.”
What to do next
If you’re interested in learning more about a career with sustained opportunities to progress, unbeatable job satisfaction and an excellent starting salary, sign up with the TDA for information and advice www.teach.gov.uk, or alternatively, call the Teaching Information Line free on 0800 389 2500.
Powered by Facebook Comments