You could choose to work as a primary, secondary or college teacher, or maybe even study to become a university lecturer. Primary teachers teach across the curriculum whereas secondary teachers specialise in teaching one or two subjects to different ages and abilities throughout the school. Further education lecturers would typically teach one or two subjects at age 16-19.
You must gain Qualified Teacher Status by completing Initial Teacher Training. You need GCSEs (A-C) in English and maths or equivalent science to work in Middle Schools. In Scotland you must achieve the Teaching Qualification (Primary or Secondary Education) by completing a series of Initial Teacher Education courses. You will complete three terms in a teaching job before you are fully qualified. In Scotland you are provisionally registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland, and must complete an induction year to for full registration. You will need additional training to be a SEN (special educational needs) teacher. To teach in further education, you need a level 3 qualification (e.g. NVQ level 3) in your subject (or sometimes a degree), GCSE (or equivalent ) English, Maths and ICT to apply for Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) and to complete teaching qualifications which are recognised by Lifelong Learning UK. Higher Education lecturers normally need a first or upper second first degree and a postgraduate qualification, usually a PhD, related to the subject they wish to teach.
Experience of working with children (either paid or voluntary) in the relevant age group will be an advantage. This could be through volunteering at a local school or youth group or working as a classroom assistant.
You would teach for 39 weeks a year usually from 9am - 3.30pm or 4pm plus additional hours preparing lessons, marking and attending meetings and parents’ evenings. In Scotland you will have a standard 35 hour week and work 195 days a year. In colleges, you would work up to 37 hours a week, with around 25 hours teaching.
Teachers earn around £21,102 - £30,842 (£21,438 - £34,200 - in Scotland, £26,000 - £35,568 in inner London). With experience this could rise to around £35,929 (£41,925 in Scotland, £43,692 in inner London). Head teachers earn from £42,228 to £82,542. Qualified FE teachers in colleges can earn from £22,000 - £33,000 and up to £80,000 in leadership and management jobs. HE lecturers will earn anything from £30,500 - £40,000+ or £48,000 at senior level.
Most jobs are in state schools. You could also work in independent schools, sixth-form colleges, community colleges, pupil referral units, hospitals, young offenders’ institutions or secure units. You could progress to curriculum leader, head of department, deputy head and headteacher.
Graduate profile: Sam Rawlings from Ofsted
1. What subject(s) did you graduate in and from where?
BSC Applied Social Science (Information Studies) University of North London (Now London Metropolitan)
2. What is your current job role? Please provide a brief description of your duties
I currently work in the Organisational Development team for Ofsted as an OD Programme Manager. It’s a wide and varied role, I look at the skills, capabilities and behaviours that we need as an organisation and manage interventions such as training programmes, events and communications to help support and build these. I’m currently looking at how we can be a more effective, high performing organisation through developing our use of the Investors in People framework and increasing employee engagement.
3. What skills, knowledge and qualities does your job require?
It requires a good understanding of the business, its objectives and purpose. I do a lot of work with different people within the organisation so strong people skills are really important to help me build relationships. It’s really important to be creative in my job as I often have to find different ways of doing things, as there is no point in doing the same old things and expecting a different result. Doing new and different things also means that sometimes results don’t always go they way you would hope or expect, I need to be able to take those moments on the chin, learn from them and move on.
4. What are the benefits of the degree/qualification(s) you studied for?
The main benefit was not actually the subject, but developing an analytical mind that studying for a degree gives you. It has helped me not to always take everything for face value, to question information and always dig a little deeper. The research skills have been really valuable as whenever I come across something new or different I am confident enough to investigate further into it and find the information and knowledge that I need.
The social science aspect of my degree helped my to understand people a little better, in particular what motivates and influences them. This has been really useful in my job in making sure that I design the right interventions.
5. Are there any additional activities or work experience that helped you?
It is often recognised in the learning and development field that often people are promoted because of their technical expertise or knowledge and not often because of their management abilities. I started my career in retail management which gave me a really good grounding in general management skills.
6. Is there any other advice you would give to someone interested in working in a similar field?
Take every opportunity to get as much experience as you can this is useful for evidencing your abilities in application forms and giving examples in interviews. Build your network of contacts as it is always helpful to phone a friend and keep up to date.
7. How did you find your current job and what was the application process like?
I found the job through the Civil Service website. I had to complete a competency based application form and then was invited for a competency based interview. The interview was with three people, which is always a challenge when you are trying to make good eye-contact!
8. What do you think are the main keys to success in your field?
You have to be credible in that you need a good knowledge of the business and you should be the perceived expert in your area. You also need to have a good understanding of how your work supports the business and be able articulate this in order to influence others in the organisation. Not everyone will understand the work you do!
9. What are your future career options?
I want to head up my own Learning and Development or Organisational Development team. At the moment I’m picking up some great skills to be able to do this.
10. How has being lesbian, gay or bisexual impacted your career, if at all?
I never really ‘come out’ at work, I just work on the assumption that everyone knows. I think this has helped me personally as at work I like to be defined by results and achievements rather than my sexuality.
11. How important was it that your university provided specific services/advice for you as an LGB student?
My University was very supportive of LGB students. I think this is crucial as it is around the time that people can start to be themselves and you need that support network around you. For me I went from feeling like the only gay in the village to accepting who I am.