Further education teacher training

Further education (FE) encompasses all post-secondary school study, excluding most higher education, although some is delivered through FE. This makes for a vast range of training and career possibilities for prospective FE teachers. By completing FE teacher training, you can go on to open doors for a wide variety of students and help them realise their ambitions in a range of learning contexts.

Why train to teach FE?

In FE teaching you can help people improve their qualifications, future job prospects, or simply satisfy their desire to learn something new. The array of possibilities includes:

  • teaching languages, or English as a second language
  • basic skills training
  • teaching on vocational courses such as apprenticeships, foundation degrees and BTECs
  • delivering the training for specific professional qualifications

These are areas in which people continue to need quality teaching throughout their lives. FE learners range from 14 years old to adults, and although the majority are aged over 19, as an FE teacher you could work with a broad cross-section of people of different ages and circumstances. 

There are also tax-free bursaries available for eligible postgraduate trainee FE teachers in maths or English. 

FE students come from a range of backgrounds and experiences, and may enter further education from local schools, the community, industry or local businesses. Because there’s no national curriculum in FE, courses are often tailored to meet employer needs and can take place in a number of different organisations, including:

  • more than 350 FE colleges, sixth form colleges and independent specialist colleges in England
  • approximately 390 private providers, 80 employer providers, and 260 adult and community learning providers


FE colleges educate more than three million students each year, across a wide range of ages

How to become an FE teacher

Formal qualification requirements for FE teachers were revoked in September 2013. However, the sector still recognises the need for good teaching qualifications – FE training providers are all independent organisations that recruit directly to their courses, so they may still specify particular requirements or eligibility criteria.

There are three training routes available to become an FE teacher, catering for people with and without teaching qualifications:

  • pre-service – this involves gaining a teaching qualification with a university, college or other training provider, with entry requirements decided by the specific institution
  • in-service – typically involves working within further education as a teacher while training part-time at a college of FE
  • transferring to FE – if you already have a teaching qualification, you can transfer to FE with a few additional steps and potential extra qualifications, all of which can be done in-service

For more information on the different types of training and how to apply, please visit the FE Advice website. A small number of FE teacher training providers can also be found on UCAS Teacher Training.

Get a tax-free bursary as a trainee FE teacher in maths or English

Watch this video for helpful tips on getting into teaching, from real trainees and experienced teachers. Transcript (PDF, 118KB)

Teaching is a very challenging, yet also very rewarding, profession.

Gavin McIntyre, ICT Learning Co-ordinator

Upcoming events

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Train to Teach University of Cumbria

22 June 2017 15:00

This event in Lancaster will give you the chance to ask experts about your teacher training options and what it’s like to teach.


Preparing for your teacher training

05 June 2017 18:30

Have you accepted a teacher training place for September 2017? Join us to find out how you can prepare for the best possible start.

Advice for First and Second Year Undergraduates

12 June 2017 18:30

This online event is for first and second year university students interested in teaching. Find out what you can do now that will help you make a great application for teacher training.

Support with your application

19 June 2017 18:30

This online event will provide hints and tips on how to draft a great personal statement.