Careers Service


Writing a personal statement for teacher training

These guidelines apply to applications for a PGCE or Schools Direct which are both made through UCAS.

Include the following:

  1. Your reasons for teaching: Avoid clichés like, "I've always wanted to be a teacher".
  2. Choice of programme: Demonstrate that you have made a well-researched and informed choice. Show your knowledge of Initial Teacher Training providers.
  3. Knowledge and commitment to the age range you are applying for: If you are applying for both primary and secondary places in the same application, you need to make a strong case for your preferred option.
  4. Subject specific commitment: Subject tutors read the forms, so if you are applying for secondary it is important to mention this.
  5. Enthusiasm: Selectors look for clear-headed, informed enthusiasm. You need to demonstrate you understand the demands of the profession. Why would you be a good teacher?
  6. Recent school experience: Show insight into teaching and learning in your chosen phase. It's not just a case of visiting and joining in, but the insights gained. Some of the insights gained could involve;
    • the national curriculum, national strategies and subject organisations eg The Association of Science Education
    • classroom management (behaviour, groups, resources, timing and pastoral care)
    • teachers roles and responsibilities
    • classroom organisation
    • differentiation- special education needs (SEN)
    • the role of ICT
    • assessment for learning
    • awareness of possible gaps - eg if you have a C grade in English and are applying for primary, you need to show that you are willing to polish up
  7. Mention any geographical restrictions you have, as these may be taken into account.

Information on other routes into teaching

  • Teaching Download the guide or collect from Careers.