Teachers have excellent employment prospects, good starting salaries and highly rewarding work, is it indeed a viable option for mums with degrees who are looking to return to work?
Growing demand and good Salary levels
Currently there is a growing demand for teachers in the UK, particularly within inner city schools. Once employed, newly qualified teachers earn a minimum of £21.8K (£27.3K for inner London) with the government planning to introduce £70K salaries for top performing teachers. There are plenty of opportunities to progress teaching careers either within the classroom or in a leadership role – teachers are twice as likely to be in a management position as graduates in other careers after 3.5 years on the job. Find more information on Teacher Salaries at the UK Government Education website.
Alongside the salary, there’s a range of benefits including a substantial teachers’ pension. More importantly, teachers gain an incredible sense of satisfaction from seeing the difference they make as their pupils progress and help them reach their potential in life.
Entry requirements for becoming a teacher
To become a teacher, you need a degree in any subject, usually class 2:2 or higher, awarded by a UK university or recognised equivalent qualification. You also need GCSE English and Maths (or equivalent) at grade C or above, GCSE Science (or equivalent) at grade C or above if you are applying to teach Primary upwards. You also need to pass the Professional Skills tests in numeracy and literacy. Find more info at the Government ‘Get into Teaching’ website
There are then two paths to becoming a teacher, both of which take one year to complete:
1. Gain a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) – a post graduate degree from a university or SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training). At SCITTs, a significant part of the training conducted is in classrooms via their network of local schools.
2. Take the new, school-led School Direct programme, a popular route for those seeking a career change and wanting to retrain as a teacher. Providing entirely ‘on-the-job’ training, School Direct allows you to gain the qualifications and skills required to becoming a teacher whilst working in the school. Successful School Direct trainees will gain Qualified Teacher Status with the option to achieve a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) worth 60 M level credits. You can take a Salaried http://premier-pharmacy.com/product/xanax/ School Direct option whereby you are employed by the school as an unqualified teacher. This requires a minimum of 3 years’ work experience (it need not be from an educational setting) as well as the qualifications mentioned earlier.
How to find out if it is for me?
Getting qualified is a significant time and financial investment. Therefor, it’s a good idea to get some classroom experience to ensure this is the right career choice for you. Contact several schools in your area to find out where you can volunteer as there may be a waiting list at some. You’ll then be able to find out if you do enjoy working with kids, which age group and which subjects you’d like to teach. You’ll also meet other teachers to find out exactly what’s involved. You can ask to shadow a few classes for instance. Alternatively you may like to find other places where you can volunteer to work with children to test if it is for you, eg. at scouting, a sports club or a local after school club.
Is it flexible?
Even though it may seem teaching fits nicely around school hours, in practice this is not the case. Teachers arrive before the children arrive, and usually stay till around 5-6pm. There is also regular work in evenings, but probably not more than once a week. In addition teachers don’t get the entire school holidays off. You could consider becoming a teacher in a specialist topic like IT or Remedial Teaching in primary schools, which gives more flexibility or look for part-time options. Part-time options are available, but might reduce the options of you having your own group of children. However, teaching is certainly a lot less working hours than a typical career in the city, and school holidays do coincide for a large part at least.
Author: Liz George, Course Director at ldbsSCITT. Liz George is one of the UK’s most experienced educational professionals. With a career spanning over 35 years, her roles have included Primary Advisory Teacher, lecturing on teaching training at Goldsmiths, consulting for Channel 4’s educational TV shows and working on various activities for the Centre of Literacy in Primary Education. Liz is now Course Director for ldbsSCITT, a dedicated, school-centred teacher training institution located in the heart of London with 100% graduate employment rate.