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.
- You’ll need to hold an undergraduate degree awarded by a UK higher education provider, or a recognised equivalent qualification.
- You’ll need to have achieved a standard equivalent to grade C or 4, or above, in the GCSE examinations in English and mathematics for applications to training providers in England. For applications to training providers in Wales you must have achieved a grade B or 5, or above, before your training programme starts – check the equivalents to GCSE English and maths grade B or 5 for entry to ITET programmes in Wales (228.08 KB).
- 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 or 4, or above, in a GCSE science subject examination.
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).
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
Most providers ask for you to have at least two weeks’ classroom experience before you begin teacher training. While it is not essential, it is recommended that you arrange some form of 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:
- In England, 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 that 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.
In England, anyone wanting to become a teacher may also need to meet additional requirements including courses or tests.
1. Subject knowledge enhancement (SKE)
It's important to make sure you meet the criteria included in the training programme’s Entry Profile. Obviously, you’ll also need a strong understanding of the subject you want to teach before you start training. If your degree subject doesn’t link closely to your chosen teaching subject, you may still be able to apply for a place by undertaking a subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) course. We’d advise you visit the Get Into Teaching website for more information on eligibility and availability before applying for teacher training.
2. Professional skills tests
You’ll also need to have passed the professional skills tests in numeracy and literacy. Practice tests are available on the Get Into Teaching website. You’ll need to book your tests with learndirect, but remember, you cannot sit your professional skills test until you have made your application.