October 14, 2013, by Jemma Utley

Applying to be a teacher? Advice and changes for 2014

By Suzanne McGregor, Faculty of Arts Careers and Employability Consultant

Whatever year you are in or subject you are studying, teaching may have occurred to you as a career choice. We can all remember our most inspiring teacher, and the opportunity to ‘make a difference’ is often a key motivation for aspiring teachers.

Which age group?

The first decision to make is which age group you would like to teach. Aside from the obvious age difference between primary and secondary pupils, another factor is the generic nature of primary teaching versus having a subject specialism for secondary. As a primary teacher you will have one class for the whole year and be delivering everything from PE, to science, literacy and art whereas with secondary you are likely to teach one, or at most, two related subjects and your timetable will consist of different classes and year groups.

In terms of degree relevance, it is typical for applicants to secondary teaching routes to have at least 50% of their undergraduate course being relevant to the subject you want to teach. With primary there is more flexibility.

Changes to the application process

There are different routes to becoming a qualified school teacher. You may have heard of titles such as PGCE, School Direct, Teach First and SCITT. Information about the different routes can be found on the Department for Education website.

From 2014 entry there are some key changes to the way you apply for programmes that lead to qualified teacher status (QTS). Apart from the Teach First route, all of the other routes will be channelled through a new portal called UCAS Teacher Training. It will not open until 21 November of the year before you want to start; you have initially three choices and you no longer have to list options in choice order. For more information please visit the UCAS website.

For Teach First, you apply via their website and they are hosting a presentation on campus on 22 October for you to find out more about the scheme (book via My Career).

Work experience is vital

Don’t forget that relevant work experience in schools is vital, to make your application stronger but also to confirm that it is what you want to do!  There are some excellent University initiatives to get involved with local schools such as Students in Classrooms plus the Student Volunteer Centre opportunities in schools and related settings. An excellent personal statement is vital when applying for teaching and reflections on work experience is an essential part of this.

Routes into teaching workshops

We are also running workshops called ‘Routes into teaching’ on Tuesday 22 October, Wednesday 23 October and Wednesday 30 October where we will be explaining the different routes and other factors around the application process including finance. If you want to attend, please book via My Career (these are identical sessions).

There are other options to teach such as teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL), teaching in colleges and universities which have different entry routes.

Want to discuss your ideas with a member of our team or get help with the application process? Book an appointment on My Career!

Posted in Applying For JobsCareers AdviceWork experience