Anyone wanting to become a teacher needs to meet some essential requirements.
- Academic requirements like qualifications, courses, or tests.
- Non-academic requirements like classroom experience or medical fitness.
It's important to make sure you meet the criteria included in the training programme’s Entry Profile.
To discuss entry requirements in more detail, speak to the Get into Teaching line about subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses before applying for teacher training: call free on 0800 389 2500.
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 (268.14 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).
- In England, you’ll also need to have passed the professional skills tests. Practice tests are available on the Get Into Teaching website. Remember, you cannot sit your professional skills test until you have made your application.
- 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, we’d advise you to speak to the Get into Teaching line about subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses before applying for teacher training: call free on 0800 389 2500.
- If you have non-UK qualifications, you will need a Statement of Comparability from NARIC; the national agency for providing information and advice on worldwide qualifications. This can take some time, so we would advise you to start the process before you submit your application.
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. Classroom experience
Most providers ask for you to have at least two weeks’ classroom experience before you begin teacher training. While it is not essential to have this experience, it is recommended that you get some form of classroom experience.
- Try to spend some time observing and helping out with lessons in a local school before you apply.
- You can then use this experience in your personal statement, showing what you’ve gained from it and how it’s increased your motivation to be a teacher.
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.