Teacher training entry requirements in England

Find out about the qualifications, courses, and classroom experience needed to become a teacher.
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Eligibility for teaching
Find out about the qualifications, courses, and classroom experience needed for postgraduate teacher training programmes in England and Wales.
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UCAS Teacher Training – professional skills test
A short video to answer your questions about the professional skills test.
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Arranging school experience independently

Arranging school experience independently | Get Into Teaching
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.
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Subject knowledge enhancement explained

Subject knowledge enhancement explained | Get Into Teaching
Subject knowledge enhancement could open the door to teaching a different subject. Watch trainee teachers and a subject knowledge enhancement coordinator explain what a subject knowledge enhancement course is. Video provided by Get Into Teaching.
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School experience programme (SEP)

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

Qualifications

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 in England or Wales, 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.
  4. You'll also need to pass the professional skills tests in numeracy and literacy before you begin your teacher training. Some training providers may require you to complete them before your interview, or ask you to complete them by a certain date as a condition of your offer. You’ll need to book your tests with learndirect after you have paid and sent your application. Remember, you cannot sit your skills tests until you have submitted your application, and received your UCAS Teacher Training application welcome letter. Find out more in our professional skills tests blog.

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 National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) 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 from NARIC. This can take some time, so we would advise you to start the process before you submit your application.

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.

  • SKE courses are available in maths, physics, languages, biology, chemistry, computing, English, geography, and design and technology. They can be full-time or part-time, classroom-based or online. Contact your chosen training provider and ask them about their SKE offer.
  • SKE courses last between 12 — 28 weeks, depending on the subject you want to teach and how closely related your subject knowledge is. Most applicants complete their SKE course immediately prior to starting their teacher training programme.
  • SKE courses are fully funded, so you won’t have to pay any tuition fees. You may also be eligible for a tax-free SKE training bursary – these are paid by your training provider, so we recommend you get in touch to find out what financial support you would receive before you apply.

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:

  • You can register with Get Into Teaching to book school experience online through their School Experience Programme (SEP). You can search for participating schools to find one near you, and enrol through their online portal.
  • Alternatively, you can arrange school experience independently. If you’re not sure where to begin, the Get Into Teaching website has lots of tips to help you get started. Hear first-hand from teachers about their experience of gaining class time in this short video.

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, 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) in England and Wales

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.