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How to become a teacher?

© Shane Global Language Centres (Flickr) Upper Intermediate Class
© Shane Global Language Centres (Flickr)
The role of a primary school teacher
Primary school teachers teach in line with the curriculum objectives set for infants or junior school pupils.

Teachers in infant schools in England and Wales teach Key Stage One, designed for children aged between five and seven years.

Teachers in junior schools teach Key Stage Two, designed for children aged between seven and 11 years. In Scotland, primary school teachers can teach Primary On, designed for children aged five, through to Primary Seven, designed for children aged 12.
The role of a secondary school teacher
Secondary school teachers teach national curriculum subjects to students aged between 11 and 16 years.

Teachers in schools with sixth forms may teach students aged up to 19 years.

Secondary school teachers prepare older school pupils in England and Wales for their GCSE and A level examinations. In Scotland, secondary school teachers prepare students for their Standard Grades and Higher Grades.
Primary school teacher entry requirements
The majority of primary school teachers possess either a Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree or a BA/BSc degree with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS, or TQ if in Scotland).

It is important to note that:
QTS or TQ is essential for those wishing to teach in local authority schools.

QTS or TQ may be achieved through a Postgraduate Certificate in Education
(PGCE) programme or a Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) if in Scotland.

Graduate Teacher Programmes (GTP), School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programmes, and Registered Teacher Programmes (RTP) are available. Postgraduate primary school education programmes are designed for all graduates.
Secondary school teacher entry requirements
The majority of secondary school teachers possess an undergraduate degree in their chosen subject specialism before embarking on a teacher training degree. For example, those wishing to teach Biology at secondary school level therefore require a degree in Biology or a relevant scientific subject before embarking on a postgraduate teaching programme.

Trainee teachers
Most trainee teachers opt to study for a PGCE. This can be studied at full-time or part-time level. In Scotland, trainee teachers can study for a PGDE.

It is possible for prospective secondary school teachers to enrol on a SCITT. This programme has been devised by schools in partnership with a local higher education institution and a local education authority.

What other options are there for trainee teachers?

Trainee teachers may choose to study a RTP following their undergraduate degree. The GTP is also available. Places on this particular course are highly sought as graduates receive a salary throughout their training.

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