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Basic requirements

Academic requirements

  1. An undergraduate degree, awarded by a UK higher education provider, or a recognised equivalent qualification. The content of this degree should be a minimum of 50% content in the subject area you choose to teach
  2. GCSE English and maths grade C or above (or equivalent)
  3. If you intend to train to teach pupils aged 3–11 (early years and primary), you must also have achieved GCSE grade C or above in a science subject (or equivalent)
  4. If you haven’t achieved the required GCSEs, there are options to study the qualifications through local colleges, or at home through organisations like the National Extension College (NEC).

If you studied outside the UK, check the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) to find out whether your qualifications are of an equivalent level to UK GCSEs, A levels and an undergraduate degree.

Further requirements:

  • You'll need to have passed the two professional skills tests, in numeracy and literacy
  • You'll also need a strong understanding of the subject you want to teach before you start training. If your degree subject doesn't link closely to your chosen teaching subject, you may be able to take a subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) course before starting teacher training. You can only do these in certain subjects, so check before applying
  • If you have non-UK qualifications, you will need a Statement of Comparability from NARIC, the national agency for providing information and advice on worldwide qualifications. This can take some time, so we would advise you to start the process before you submit your application

Check these requirements with the training providers you're interested in too – some training programmes have many more applications than places available, so their requirements might be higher.

Non-academic requirements

Classroom experience

Most providers expect you to have at least two weeks’ classroom experience before you begin teacher training. If you don’t have any classroom experience, try to spend some time observing and helping out with lessons in a local school before you apply. You can then use this experience in your personal statement, showing what you’ve gained and how the experience has increased your motivation to be a teacher.

Declaration of criminal convictions

If you have a criminal record, it won’t necessarily prevent you from becoming a teacher.

  • You'll need to disclose any criminal convictions, cautions or bind-overs, and you'll need to agree to an enhanced criminal record check. We also advise you to discuss your circumstances with training providers before you apply

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in England and Wales

  • This is the government scheme that replaced the Criminal Records Bureau, and which enables training providers to identify people who are barred from working with children and vulnerable adults

Check with the DBS to see what you need to do to comply with these arrangements.

Useful links

Get into teaching - https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/

Professional skills testssta.education.gov.uk

SKEwww.gov.uk/government/publications/subject-knowledge-enhancement-course-directory

NARICwww.naric.org.uk/naric

NECwww.nec.ac.uk

Disclosure and Barring Servicewww.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service