What qualifications do I need to be a teacher?

You need qualified teacher status (QTS) to teach in maintained primary, secondary and special schools in England (schools funded by local authorities). You can get this through teacher training.

You do not need QTS to teach in further education or to teach in early years.

Find out more about qualified teacher status (QTS).

What qualifications do you need to train?

To train to teach in primary and secondary schools in England, you’ll need:

  • GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above in English and maths (and science if you want to teach primary)
  • a bachelor’s degree in any subject

Different training providers may also have specific criteria. For example, some may ask that you have a bachelor’s degree class 2:2 or above.

Some training providers may consider candidates with pending GCSEs. If you do not have the GCSEs required, they may also ask you to sit an equivalency test or to offer other evidence to show your ability.

Talk to your teacher training provider or find a course(opens in new window) to check what your provider will accept.

If you do not have a degree

If you do not already have an undergraduate degree, you can train to be a teacher as part of your bachelor’s degree and get QTS.

Or you may be eligible to apply for a new teacher degree apprenticeship (TDA).

What can you teach?

Your degree can be in any subject to teach primary or secondary. For secondary courses, your provider will also want to make sure you have a good knowledge of the subject you’re applying to teach.

This could be through having a degree in the subject, or having:

  • an A level in the subject
  • a degree related to but not in the subject – for example, your degree is in engineering but you’d like to teach physics
  • an unrelated degree but relevant professional experience

You can also train to teach primary with a specialist subject, for example primary with maths, so you can develop your knowledge of that particular subject.

Or you can train to teach two subjects at secondary, for example maths with physics, so you can develop the skills to teach in an additional subject.

Talk to your training provider to find out what you can train to teach.

You could also receive a tax-free bursary or scholarship of up to £30,000 to train to teach certain subjects. Find out more about your eligibility for a scholarship or bursary.

Do a subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) course

You can do a subject knowledge enhancement course before or sometimes during your teacher training to improve your subject knowledge. Your teacher training provider might make this a requirement of accepting you on their course if:

  • you do not have a degree in the subject you’re training to teach
  • you completed your degree more than 5 years ago

Find out more about subject knowledge enhancement courses.

If you have qualifications from overseas

If you have qualifications from outside the UK, you’ll need to show that they’re the same standard as UK GCSEs and a UK bachelor’s degree.

You can get a statement of comparability from the UK European Network of Information Centres (UK ENIC)(opens in new window) to show the standard of your qualifications.

Talk to us to get help and support with understanding your qualifications.

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