You need to get Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) to be a primary or secondary teacher in a state school in England.

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.

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 award such as a PGCE to teach in England, but it may be useful if you want to teach in another country.

You can also get funding.

Find a PGCE 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

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.

Researchers in schools

To go down the researchers in schools route you’ll need a doctorate, or be about to receive one, in the subject you want to teach.

You’ll then train over 3 years with a bursary.

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

Find out more about ways to train

Find out more about ways to train or talk to us to discuss your options.