How To Apply And Get Into Teaching

There are many options available if you want to get into teaching. Therefore, with so many routes available, you’ll find one that is suited for you. The main options are PGCE, SCITT, Schools-Direct (with the option to earn a salary) or Teach First.

Most importantly, all of these courses offer:

  • QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) which allows you to teach throughout England.
  • Classroom experience and placements throughout the course.
  • Being able to meet the Teachers’ Standards.
  • Professional, academic and practical support from mentors, etc.

I shall only be discussing the four routes outlined above (PGCE, SCITT, Schools-Direct and Teach First). However, if you’d like to read more about the vast amount of options out there then head on over to UCAS for more information or The Guardian has a good detailed article as a place to start.

PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education)

A PGCE is often a university-led and based course that involves time on campus studying and placements. It focuses on building your teaching skills and subject knowledge. Student finance and the government bursaries are available for these courses in most Secondary subjects but Primary funding is limited. It’s the most recognised route into teaching. You’ll have access to the university partner schools and a great support network as well as being able to spend a lot of time observing and teaching in school placements.

I‘ve discussed the PGCE in great depth in this post

SCITT (School-Centered Initial Teacher Training)

In this course, graduates undertake their training in a school-based environment. Sometimes, these courses do lead to a PGCE but that depends on what educational institution they are associated with. It’s a full-time year-long course and is school-based. You’ll have a ‘lead school’ but will have placements in more than one school. A class teacher will serve as your mentor. As a SCITT student, you are still entitled to Student Finance and a government training bursary. Entry requirements are the same as the PGCE course.

Schools-Direct Route

The Schools-Direct route is relatively new; it was designed to fill local needs of schools whereby teacher shortages were an issue back in 2012. You apply directly to the school which is in partnership with a university institution. As a part of this course, you’ll have a mentor, opportunities to observe and eventually be the class teacher. Trainees are often employed by their school following the training year.

Teach First

Teach First is a salaried option which offers all its placements in challenging schools. The course takes place over two years and you’ll earn money whilst on the job. It’s a salaried route which throws you in at the deep end from the start. You’ll have six weeks of extremely intense training before then spending two years working as a teacher in a school. Teach First is a charity set up to supply disadvantaged schools with teachers. In the end, you’ll obtain a Postgraduate Diploma in Education and Leadership. Although, places fill up quickly when applications open in June.


The choice of route is entirely up to you with a huge deciding factors being: school or university based and salaried or unsalaried? However, whatever you choose, if you get into teaching you won’t be let down because it is rewarding, exciting and challenging all at once.

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