Who do you want to teach

If you want to teach a particular student group you might need to do specific training. Find out what you can do to get the right qualifications.

You could teach:

  • primary (ages 5 to 11)
  • secondary (ages 11 to 18)
  • disabled students and students with special needs
  • early years (children up to the age of 5)
  • further education (for example, teaching at further education colleges or sixth form colleges)

If you want to teach in primary or secondary schools there are a number of ways to get qualified teacher status (QTS) which you will need to teach in the majority of schools in England.

You will need a degree to teach all student groups except those in further education, depending on the type of further education you are teaching.

Teach disabled pupils and pupils with special educational needs

Most disabled pupils and pupils with special educational needs learn in mainstream schools. No matter what settings you train and work in – whether it’s mainstream schools, special schools, or both – you’ll work with pupils with complex needs.

You can find a course which specialises in special educational needs and disability (SEND)(opens in new window) if you have a particular interest in this area.

However, it’s not essential to do a course specialising in SEND. As you train and teach you’ll get the skills you need to work with disabled pupils and pupils with special educational needs. This will enable you to work in a range of settings throughout your career.

Teach pupils with sensory impairments

You need specific qualifications to teach a class of pupils with hearing impairments, vision impairments or multi-sensory impairments(opens in new window).

Become a special educational needs coordinator

A special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) assesses, plans and monitors the progress of disabled pupils and pupils with special educational needs.

Once you’re a qualified teacher you’ll need to complete the National Award in Special Educational Needs Coordination (NASENCo) when you take up your SENCO post.

Early years teacher training

The early years are critical in children’s development. Your input will have a lasting and positive effect on their development and wellbeing. You’ll use your knowledge and skills to help young children enjoy high standards of teaching and open their minds to new ideas every day.

You’ll need to do early years initial teacher training (EYITT) to achieve early years teacher status (EYTS).

EYTS is different from QTS, which is the equivalent for teaching children aged 3 to 18.

Your training will enable you to meet the early years teachers’ standards(opens in new window).

To start early years teacher training, you’ll need these qualifications (or to demonstrate an equivalent standard):

  • maths grade 4 (C)
  • English grade 4 (C)
  • science grade 4 (C)

If you do postgraduate early years teacher training, you’ll need a 2:2 bachelor’s degree with honours or higher.

Contact accredited early years training providers to apply for a place(opens in new window).

Learn about funding(opens in new window).

Undergraduate early years teacher training

This is a full-time bachelor’s degree in an early childhood-related subject leading to EYTS. You will usually study for 3 or 4 years.

Fees for full-time courses are usually around £9,250 but you can:

Graduate early years teacher training

This is a full-time post-graduate course leading to EYTS. You will usually study for 1 academic year.

Fees for full-time courses are usually around £7,000 but you can:

There are also bursaries available, including:

£5,000 if you have a first class degree £4,000 if you have a 2:1 degree £2,000 if you have a 2:2 degree

You don’t have to pay a bursary back.

Graduate employment-based early years teacher training

This one-year part-time route is for graduates working in an early years setting who need further training to meet the early years teachers’ standards(opens in new window). It usually takes 1 academic year.

Funding of up to £14,000 is available. This would cover course fees of up to £7,000, plus £7,000 for your employer, to help cover their extra costs while you train.

Graduate ‘assessment only’ training

This self-funded route is ideal for graduates with early years experience. If you already meet the early years teachers’ standards(opens in new window), you can gain EYTS without the need for further training. It usually takes 3 months.

Further education

Further education is any study that takes place after secondary school but outside of a university or other higher education institution.

In further education, teaching doesn’t always happen in a classroom. It can take place in community centres, workplaces and private training centres. You could teach a diverse set of learners, including young people and adults.

You do not need a degree to start teaching in further education.

You can find out more on the teach in further education website(opens in new window).

You can speak to us on 0800 389 2502 from Monday to Saturday between 8:30am and 5:30pm.

You can email teach.fe@education.gov.uk.

Advice and support

Find out more about teaching

Explore how you can get into teaching primary or secondary, including top tips on making a successful application.

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