Maths teacher helping a pupil work out a problem.

How to become a teacher

Discover if a career teaching in a primary or secondary school in England is right for you.

These steps can help you to achieve qualified teacher status (QTS), which you need to teach in many primary and secondary schools in England.

You do not have to follow the steps in order and some may take longer than others.

There are more steps to consider if you're a non-UK citizen.

A teacher training adviser can give free practical advice and reassurance about all of these steps and more. Learn more about teacher training advisers.

  • Check your qualifications

    If you have a degree or equivalent qualification, you can do postgraduate primary or secondary teacher training.

    If you do not have a degree and are not studying for one, you can do undergraduate teacher training.

    To train to teach, you’ll need to have GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above in English and maths.

    If you want to teach primary, you will also need a GCSE at grade 4 (C) or above in science.

    Find out more about the qualifications you need to teach.

  • Understand funding

    Undergraduate and postgraduate teacher training course fees are around £9,250 per year.

    You can apply for tuition fee and maintenance loans, even if you already have a student loan.

    If you're interested in teaching certain subjects, you might be able to get up to £29k tax-free to support you while you're training. This money does not have to be paid back.

    Find out how to fund your training.

  • Consider getting experience

    Experiencing life in a school can help you decide if teaching is right for you and who you want to teach. This is a good way to give you a taste of what the classroom is really like.

    Learn more about getting classroom experience.

  • Find a teacher training course

    Full-time postgraduate teacher training courses usually take 9 months, while part-time courses can take from 18 to 24.

    Whichever course you choose, they all involve school placements with some theoretical learning.

    You can search for postgraduate teaching courses in England(opens in new window) to study for qualified teacher status (QTS).

    If you do not have a degree and are not studying for one, you can do undergraduate teacher training. These courses usually take 4 years to complete.

  • Apply for teacher training

    You can usually start applying for postgraduate training in October, the year before your course starts. You can apply any time throughout the year, but some courses do fill up quickly.

    Get tips on making a great application including finding the right references and writing a personal statement.

    Apply for teacher training(opens in new window).

Get free one-to-one support

An adviser with years of teaching experience can help you with your application. Chat through phone, text or email as little or often as you need.