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Where to start

The website Get Into Teaching is a comprehensive introduction to teaching careers. It shows the bursaries you can get to train which vary considerably depending on the subject you want to teach and your degree grade.

There are many ways to train and get qualified teacher status (QTS):

  • PGCE and School Direct (training on the job in a school) - apply through UCAS
  • SCITTs (school-centred initial teacher training) where you apply direct to the SCITT partnership or school
  • HMT (public schools) has its own initial teaching training route as do many independent schools
  • Teach First
  • Researchers in Schools for PhDs
  • Now Teach for alumni with significant experience.
How to know if you’re suited to this sector

Before you decide on a teaching career, you will need a passion for your subject, and some working experience of what it’s really like being a teacher (shadowing, summer schools, and so on).

Specifically, you should know if you enjoy spending time with teenagers: working or volunteering at youth camps or with the Scouts is a good way of finding this out.

How to get the experience to be credible

Arrange a couple of weeks work shadowing in a school. This can be quite hard to fix up so going through contacts or to your old school is a good idea.

  • Some help is given on the Get Into Teaching website
  • Teach First insight programmes for STEM
  •  Give a Year, run by City Year, is a one-year paid programme where you run afterschool clubs
  • Summer schools
Further study or certification required

You need QTS (qualified teacher status) but you can train for this in a number of ways, as listed above.

How to find employers or training courses
  • UCAS for PGCEs and School Direct routes
  • Multiple SCITT partnerships in various regions of the UK
  • The Brilliant Club’s Researchers in Schools programme - for PhDs. They sponsor visas.
  • HMC (Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ conference) for independent schools
  • Teach First
Tips for succeeding in the application or selection process

Apply early for popular subjects such as History, English and primary, as they fill up quickly. If you want to teach Maths or Science there are usually places available until quite late.

In your application you should reflect on your work shadowing in schools and demonstrate a passion for your subject. You should also show that you are good with teenagers.

What Cambridge offers to help with this career

STIMULUS is a Cambridge initiative for maths/science students to volunteer in local schools. Great for getting experience pre teaching application. 

You could take part in the university’s Widening Participation outreach work in schools

The Faculty of Education holds an open day each year

You can find teaching-specific Careers Service events via the ‘events’ page on Handshake

Other things you should know

There is a big shortage of students wanting to be teachers.  Anyone wishing to teach STEM or languages is likely to be snapped up.