Editorial: 7 ways to become a primary school teacher

My eldest girls are now looking towards their futures and planning what they might like to do; it has been strange to see 2 of them move naturally into part time jobs that involve teaching and coaching children – you might think that their formative years out of school wouldn’t equip them for that –  but yet again, home education proves itself as an amazing grounding for life. With the first uni offer in for that little girl who this website started for, she’s looking to become a sports coach and many of her ‘home ed cohort’ are now also at uni or looking towards their future. No doubt some of them will end up teaching, a career likely to undergo considerable evolution over the next ten years. Here is some career advice for anyone considering teaching as their vocation.


A good primary school teacher can change the lives of children, inspiring them to be confident, capable and hardworking individuals. Schools are constantly on the lookout for dedicated, well-educated staff that can shape the next generation in a creative and imaginative way, so if you think you’ve got what it takes to teach primary-aged kids – here are seven ways to enter the profession.

  1. Choose the right degree

If you’ve always dreamed of seeing children skip in and out of your classroom, book bags in hand, choosing the right degree could make this a reality. These days, it’s possible to study for a university degree and gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) at the same time, so keep a look out for the following: BA (Hons) degree or BSc (Hons) degree with QTS or Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree courses.

  1. Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

If you already have an undergraduate degree in a subject relevant to the primary education such as English, Science or Maths, you can gain QTS by doing a PGCE. This is a one-year course offered at many UK institutions including colleges and universities and, while intense, is a great option for those who have higher education qualifications but are now looking for a more focussed career.

  1. School-led teacher training

Looking for something a bit more hands on? Then a school-led teacher training programme might suit your personality. There are many different routes you can take but the School-Centred Initial Teacher Training Programme (SCITT) lasts for one year and will lead to QTS. This option is aimed at people who already have a degree related to a national curriculum subject.

  1. School Direct

Like SCITT, School Direct course offer suitable applicants the perfect opportunity to learn on the job with schools offering two main options – the School Direct Training Programme and the School Direct Training Programme (with salary). You will need a degree for either of the options and at least three years of work experience for the latter. You’ll find more information via the UCAS Teacher Training website.

  1. Teach First

If you’re up for a challenge and not afraid to work in schools that are facing difficult social and economic problems, it might be worth considering the courses offered by Teach First – a charity which aims to provide all children with a decent education no matter what their background. Two-year teaching and leadership programmes are available to graduates with a degree of 2:1 or higher.

  1. Researchers in Schools

Aimed at people who have finished or are completing their research doctorate, Researchers in Schools is a two-year training route which leads to QTS. It’s currently a pilot scheme operating in London schools and all successful applicants will receive a salary while they train.

  1. Troops to Teachers

The Troops to Teachers training initiative is the ideal way for people leaving the armed forces to retrain as a primary or secondary school teacher. Aimed at non-graduates, this is a two-year course that combines work in the classroom with university study and you would receive a training salary over the two years. In order to apply you must have some training experience from your time in the armed forces and or qualifications as well as at least a week’s work experience at a school.

There are many routes into primary school teaching, so look what suits you best and follow your dream.

This is an editorial post.