Find out about the qualifications, courses, and classroom experience needed to become a teacher.

You can find out more about teacher training programmes in England through The Department for Education’s ‘Find postgraduate teacher training’ service.

We've got lots of information and advice to help you complete your teacher training application, including writing your personal statement, and getting references.

Academic requirements


The teaching profession looks for the highest quality candidates, so you’ll need to meet the following requirements before you can be accepted for a training programme. Some training programmes have many more applications than places available, so their requirements might be higher.

  1. For postgraduate teacher training programmes, you'll need to hold an undergraduate degree awarded by a higher education provider or a recognised equivalent qualification.
  2. You’ll need to have achieved a standard equivalent to grade C/4, or above, in the GCSE examinations in English and mathematics.
  3. If you intend to train to teach pupils aged 3 – 11 (early years and primary), you must also have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C/4, or above, in a GCSE science subject examination.

What’s happened to the skills test?

The skills test is no longer part of the entry requirements for Teacher Training in England. Instead, the DfE are replacing the skills test with a new approach, designed with (and delivered by) providers. The new approach will allow providers to work with candidates to help them develop their literacy and numeracy skills throughout their course, if needed. However, trainees who remain unable to meet the required level of literacy and numeracy skills will not reach Qualified Teacher Status.

For more information about the entry requirements for your chosen training programme, please contact the training provider.

If you haven’t achieved the required GCSEs, there are options to study the qualifications through local colleges or at home, through organisations like NEC (National Extension College).

If you studied outside the UK, check the UK ENIC, operated and managed by Ecctis Limited website to find out whether your qualifications are of an equivalent level to UK GCSEs, A levels, and an undergraduate degree. If you have non-UK qualifications, you will need a Statement of Comparability. This can take some time, so we would advise you to start the process before you submit your application.

Subject knowledge enhancement explained

Subject knowledge enhancement explained

Subject knowledge enhancement could open the door to teaching a different subject. Watch trainee teachers and a subject knowledge enhancement coordinator explain what it is. Video provided by Get Into Teaching.

Subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses

If your degree subject doesn't link closely to your chosen teaching subject, you may still be able to apply for a postgraduate teacher training programme by undertaking a subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) course. Training providers may ask you to take an SKE course as a condition of your offer if they feel you have the right qualities to become a teacher, but need more subject knowledge first. To find out more about SKE courses, visit Get Into Teaching.

Arranging school experience independently

Arranging school experience independently

Getting some experience before you apply for teacher training will provide you with an invaluable insight into what teaching is really like. School experience will also strengthen your application to your preferred training courses. Video provided by Get Into Teaching.

Non-academic requirements

As teaching involves working with children on a daily basis, there are some non-academic requirements you'll need to meet to make sure teaching’s the right job for you.

1. School experience

If you can spend some time observing and helping out with lessons in a local school before you apply, it will help to strengthen your application. You can use the experience in your personal statement, showing what you’ve gained from it and how it’s increased your motivation to be a teacher. There are several ways you can get school experience:

2. Medical fitness

When you accept a place on a training programme, your training provider may send you a health questionnaire to find out about your medical fitness.

  • Some applicants may be asked to have a medical examination.
  • If you have a disability, it’s helpful if you give us full details on your application, so training providers can try to make any adjustments you may need.

3. Declaration of criminal convictions

If you have a criminal record, it won’t necessarily prevent you becoming a teacher. You’ll need to disclose any criminal convictions, cautions, or bind-overs that are not filtered, and you’ll need to agree to an enhanced criminal record check. We also advise you to discuss your circumstances with training providers before you apply.

4. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) 

This is the Government scheme that replaced the Criminal Records Bureau. This enables training providers to identify people who are barred from working with children and vulnerable adults. Check with the DBS to see what you need to do to comply with these arrangements.

Overseas graduates
If you're a graduate from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), you may need to apply for a visa before starting your teacher training programme. For more information, visit Get Into Teaching.

School experience programme (SEP)

School experience programme

Find out more about the School experience programme (SEP) to help support your teacher training application. Video provided by Get Into Teaching.