Careers Service


Primary and Secondary education

Primary teachers work with children between the ages of four and eleven. They are responsible for a class and are also expected to offer a subject specialism and act as a coordinator for this subject across the school. Primary teachers teach across all areas of the primary national curriculum. Primary teachers focus is on the three core subjects of English, maths and science but also need to be comfortable teaching subjects such as art, history, music and PE, and be proficient in the use of ICT.

Teachers in secondary schools teach one or more national curriculum subjects to pupils aged between eleven and sixteen. Some may also teach A level in schools with a sixth form.

Gaining Qualified Teachers Status (QTS)

Identify schools for work experience or job vacancies

Work experience is essential if you are applying for teaching. Usually you will need 1-2 weeks classroom experience ideally in your chosen age range or specialist area.

  • EduBase Search the Department of Education register of educational establishments in England and Wales. Includes Academies but not Independent Schools.
  • Independent Schools Council Search for Independent Schools.

Early years teaching

Early years or nursary teachers work in pre-schools, nursaries or reception classes with pupils aged up to five.

Early Years Teachers may obtain Early Year Teacher Status (EYTS) by taking a specific Initial Teacher Training (ITT) course. Applications for Early Years ITT courses should be made directly to the course provider. Some Early Years Teachers may take a Primary ITT course, see primary teaching for further information on the application process.

Getting a teaching job

The number of vacancies differ each year. More vacancies are usually available in shortage subjects, it may be necessary to consider relocating if you specialise in a non-shortage subject.

See also

  • Education alternatives PDF includes Museum, environmental & health education, tutoring, training , working with offenders etc.