Primary school teachers teach the primary curriculum to students between 4 and 11. Secondary school teachers can teach specific subjects to 11 to 18 year olds.
Who can I work for?
You can work in schools in the state or private sectors.
Where and when can I work?
Hours depend on the timetable of the school, but are usually 40-hour weeks. Most schools have around 195 teaching days, possibly with additional training days.
What can I earn?
As a recently qualified teacher you could earn from £22,000 to £31,000 a year. You can earn significantly more as a special needs teacher or with leadership responsibilities. Salaries are higher around London.
What are the benefits?
You will be entitled to a teacher's pension, and also possibly teaching and learning responsibility (TLR) payments if you undertake other responsibilities. The school year also allows for very long holidays, and many teachers decide to use this time for work.
Are there chances of promotion?
Career progression can lead to leadership or headship pay scales. Again, these vary around the London area.
What will I be responsible for?
As a teacher you will be responsible for the overall progression of the students. This involves making lesson plans, conducting classes evaluating and encouraging the progression of the individual pupils. You should also be expected to maintain a certain level of discipline in the classroom. Teachers can also be involved in running extra curricular activities.
What qualifications do I need?
The essential qualifications for teaching range across the UK, and depend on what you teach and who you teach to. To teach in England and Wales you will need a Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) through taking some kind of Initial Teacher's Training (iTT). In addition, you will need a clearance from the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB). In Scotland you will need to do a kind of initial teacher education (ITE) including BEd degree or a Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE). Teachers in Northern Ireland should have and ITE or a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).
Do I need any experience?
Some kind of experience with students of the relevant age, whether voluntary or paid, is usually helpful.
What attributes are needed?
A good teacher should be enthusiastic, focused and show fairness. Having the creativity to make interesting lesson plans also makes a difference.