1. What do you want to teach?

This is the starting point! You should be thinking about the age of the children – primary or secondary? And if secondary – are you passionate about sharing your chosen subject?

If you are not sure, Get school experience or attend events to see which setting might suit you best:

Primary teaching – ages 5 to 11 years – Key Stages 1 and 2

Secondary teaching – ages 11 to 18 years- Key stages 3, 4 and 5.

There is also early years  (for children up to the age of 5 years) or further education (for example, teaching at further education colleges or sixth form colleges)

Getting some school experience will help you with your decision if you are unsure – working with children in an educational setting will ensure you have a clearer insight into life in a school and you can observe up to date teaching methods.

Having school experience will also help strengthen your application, although don’t worry if you don’t have any – it isn’t a mandatory requirement.

The Downland Alliance does not offer early years or further education teacher training.

2. Have you checked you have the right qualifications?

It might sound obvious but the DFE qualification eligibility criteria are very clear – check you meet all of them. Some key things are: you must have a degree; you must have GCSE Level 4 / Grade C or above in English and Maths and also in Science for Primary. If not you might have to consider a GCSE equivalency qualification and you will need to factor that in.

If your qualification is international – have you thought about equivalency? If you have studied outside of the UK, you must check your qualifications with UK ENIC before making an application and confirm your qualifications are of an equivalent level to UK GCSEs, A-Levels and undergraduate degrees.

3. Think about how you will be able to fund your training!

Our school direct training programmes are generally not salaried – you have to pay tuition fees. There are options available and further information on funding your training is available here.

It’s important to plan well ahead so you know where you stand!

4. Have you really thought about where and how you want to train?

Choosing the best route for you into your new career and deciding where to train is an essential part of your training to teach journey. Make sure you weigh up all the options but also think about some of the basics as well – these might include – how far will I have to travel? Will I be able to find somewhere to live easily?

You can find information on teacher training providers here – you can search using by city, town or postcode, across England or by school, university or another training provider.

5. Are you ready to apply?

There is nothing worse than having to delay submitting your application because you don’t have all the information to hand.

Here are some of the basics. You’ll need information on your qualifications – check you have the certificates! Have you spoken to your referees? If they are not expecting to provide a reference, it can delay your application. Make sure you have full details of any work experience – do you know all the dates and have the correct job titles?

Above all – really think about why you want to train to teach! When preparing your personal statement, make sure you demonstrate the great qualities you have that would make you an effective teacher, highlighting any experience you’ve had with children.

And don’t forget to consider any deadlines!