FAQs: Teaching as a career choice

I have a degree but I don’t have GCSE in maths, English or science.  Can I still apply for initial teacher training without this?

Contact the course provider as they may offer pre-entry tests for anyone who doesn’t hold GCSE in the core subjects

What’s the best way to prepare for a course interview?

The key is preparation. Make sure you research the course and institution you’re interviewing for thoroughly, as well as the issues surrounding education and teaching in general. Demonstrate your experience of working with young people, your commitment to teaching and your relevant knowledge and skills. You can also contact your ITT provider for additional information on your assessment interview (GH)

How much will I earn as a new teacher?

The minimum starting salary for new teachers is £20,627 pa (£25,000 for posts located in inner London).  Use the TES  salary checker  for more detailed information.

I started a PGCE course a couple of years ago but did not complete it due to unforeseen circumstances. Can I pick up from where I left off?

A. Requirements for returning to a PGCE course after a break can vary according to individual training providers.  Please contact your course provider.

Am I too old to teach?  I’m nearly fifty and really attracted to teaching.  I’ve got physics degree and wondered about demand for physics teachers.  Also, would my age go against me at job interviews?

It’s for individual schools to make their recruitment decisions - but don’t let age put you off teaching. There are many trainee teachers over 50. Plus, physics teachers are in great demand. It’s unlikely that you’d find difficulty in getting a job if you qualify and come across well as a potential teacher, which your training will certainly help you do.

You may also be eligible for a £9,000 (£225 a week) postgraduate training bursary and a £5,000 ‘golden hello’ at the start of your second year of teaching, after you successfully complete your induction period. Make your application for postgraduate teacher training on the Graduate Teacher Training Registry website http://www.gttr.ac.uk/ (GH)

I’d like to become a maths teacher but I don’t have any qualifications in maths.   I have a degree and A levels but not related to maths.  Can I still become a maths teacher?

Acceptance on to a PGCE programme depends on a number of things including your subject knowledge. This is assessed through your application and also at interview.

You may be interested in the iTeach (physics, chemistry or maths) PGCE (11-16) programmes offered by Canterbury Christ Church University. It contains subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) modules. It is an online PGCE programme so you can study from your home anywhere in the UK. Placements are undertaken in England.

There is a £16,000 bursary.  More information can be found at http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/iteach  Please take a look at the video on the site.  You can download the application form from the website address above.  Start dates are in April and October.  (GH)

For more questions and expert answers related to teaching as a career, visit the TES forums.


With thanks to Graham Holley, chief executive of the Training and Development Agency

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