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Careers Service

Primary and Secondary Education

Primary teachers work with children between the ages of four and eleven. They are responsible for one class and teach across all areas of the primary national curriculum. Primary teachers focus 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. They are also expected to offer a subject specialism and often act as a coordinator for this subject across the school.

Teachers in secondary schools teach one or more subjects to pupils aged between eleven and sixteen. These will include national curriculum subjects such as English, Maths and Science or non-national curriculum subjects such as Business Studies or Media Studies. Some may also teach A level and vocational courses such as BTEC in schools with a sixth form.

The majority of roles in schools are subject to the candidate completing an enhanced DBS check.

Training and qualifying

In order to qualify to teach in state-maintained and special schools in England and Wales you must acquire Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

There are several ways into the profession which will award you this required accreditation (QTS). All training programmes that offer at least 24 weeks teaching in 2 schools, offer QTS or a teaching qualification. This includes both non salaried and salaried options. There are some differences between courses that are university led and those that are school led. The information in the links below will provide further details.

Work Experience

On your application for teaching you will need to demonstrate understanding of teaching and the curriculum. Many students gain a variety of experience with young people including volunteering, tutoring and work shadowing in schools.

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.