You need to get ‘qualified teacher status’ (QTS) to teach in the majority of schools in England. This includes primary, secondary and special ‘maintained schools’ - part of the state funded schools system.

You can get QTS in different ways.

For example, if you already have an undergraduate degree you can do a postgraduate initial teacher training (ITT) course which leads to QTS.

If you do not have a degree, you can do an undergraduate degree which leads to QTS.

Different types of training have different eligibility criteria, funding options and qualifications. Lots of courses also allow you to study part-time.

You can also get support to improve your subject knowledge to supplement your training.

Not looking for primary or secondary training? Consider training to teach early years or further education.

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Get support from a teacher training adviser

If you’re not sure which would be the best way to train for you, you can get personalised support from a teacher training adviser.

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

Cost
Up to £9,250
Salary
No
Funding available
Yes
Length of training
Typically 1 academic year
Available for
Primary, secondary
Qualification
PGCE and QTS

PGCE programmes combine academic study with a minimum of 24 weeks spent training in schools.

You do not need an academic qualification such as a PGCE to teach in England, but it may be useful if you want to teach in another country.

Many PGCE courses give you credits that count towards a master’s degree.

You can also get funding.

Postgraduate Diploma in Education

Some providers offer a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) instead of a PGCE. A PGDE sometimes offers more masters credits than a PGCE.

Find a PGCE or PGDE course

School direct (fee-funded)

Cost
Up to £9,250
Salary
No
Funding available
Yes
Length of training
1 academic year
Available for
Primary, secondary
Qualification
QTS, PGCE dependent on the course

You’ll learn on the job while you work towards your Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

You’ll be based in a school but you will not be employed by them.

You’ll also be taught by the university, college, or school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) provider that the school partners with.

Most school direct programmes lead to a PGCE, but not all do. Check with the training provider before you apply.

You can also get funding.

Find a school direct course

School direct (salaried)

Cost
You do not pay tuition fees
Salary
Yes
Funding available
No
Length of training
Typically 1 academic year
Available for
Primary, secondary
Qualification
QTS, PGCE dependent on the course

You’ll be employed by a school as an unqualified teacher while you work towards your Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

You’ll earn a salary and do not need to pay any tuition fees.

This route typically requires 3 years of transferable work history.

Most school direct programmes lead to a PGCE, but not all do. Check with the training provider before you apply.

Find a school direct course

Postgraduate teaching apprenticeship

Cost
You do not pay tuition fees
Salary
Yes
Funding available
No
Length of training
1 year
Available for
Primary, secondary
Qualification
QTS

You’ll be employed by a school and learn while you’re working.

You’ll split your time between school and university study, with at least 20% of your time studying.

Find a postgraduate teaching apprenticeship

Teach First

Cost
You do not pay tuition fees
Salary
Yes
Funding available
No
Length of training
2 years
Available for
Primary, secondary
Qualification
PGDE with QTS

The Teach First Leadership Development Programme is a two-year salaried programme.

It combines leadership development with teacher training, and focuses on training exceptional teachers to teach in challenging schools.

You’ll learn on the job while you work towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE).

A PGDE contains up to 120 credits at master’s degree level.

Find a Teach First course

Undergraduate teacher training

Cost
Typically £9,250 per year
Salary
No
Funding available
Yes
Length of training
1 to 4 years
Available for
Primary, secondary
Qualification
Qualifications vary — for example, BA (Hons) with QTS, or BSc (Hons) with QTS

You can get Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) as part of an undergraduate degree course.

This could be right for you if you do not have a degree yet.

You can also get funding.

Find an undergraduate course

Assessment only

Available for
Primary, secondary, further education
Qualification
QTS

If you’re an experienced teacher with a degree, you can gain QTS without doing a teacher training programme.

You’ll need to show evidence that you meet the standards for QTS.

A number of universities and School Centred Initial Teacher Training programmes (SCITTs) offer assessment only routes. Their criteria for entry may vary.

You can apply to them directly.

See assessment only providers

Specialised routes into teaching

Career changers

A career change into teaching will give you the opportunity to use your life, work experience and passion for your subject to inspire young people.

Now Teach and Transition to Teach can support you with your career change.

Researchers in schools

Researchers in schools offers a route into teaching if you have or are about to get a PHD.

If you have a lot of relevant work experience you could train and earn a salary.