6 of the top teaching schemes in the UK

Amy O'Neill

If you're thinking of getting into teaching, a four-year degree isn't your only option. There are a number of teacher training schemes available that will fast-track you to your Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and give you the opportunity to earn as you learn. 

To become a qualified teacher in the UK, you first need to enrol in Initial Teacher Training (ITT) or Initial Teacher Education (ITE). This training can be done as part of a teacher training programme (like those listed below) or through a post-graduate qualification such as a PGCE or PGDE. After you complete this training stage, you will be given Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in England and Wales, or Teaching Qualification (TQ) in Scotland. 

Here's a list of six of teaching schemes in the UK which offer this initial training up to Qualified Teacher Status that you can apply to right now, and start your new career in teaching. 


1. Teach First

Teach First is a UK-based charity which works to close education disparities by training teachers to work in low-income schools across England and Wales. Lasting a full two-years, the training is hands-on and will have you teaching in a classroom and earning a salary from day one. You can choose between primary or secondary education and will earn a fully-funded Postgraduate Diploma in Education and Leadership, leading to your QTS in England and Wales. 

To apply you'll need a 2:1 or above in any degree subject. Applications open in June for the following year's candidate uptake. Early application is recommended, especially for popular subjects such as English, History, or Art.

Salary: Starts at £20,282 min. (salary dependent on location)

Deadline: ASAP


2. Premier Pathways

Premier Pathways is a school-based teacher training programme for graduates seeking a salaried route into primary or secondary education. Like Teach First, the training last for two-years and emphasises real-time classroom experience and flexible learning. Trainees initially work as support staff in their first year and will earn their fully-accredited PGCE (plus 60 Masters credits) and QTS at the end of their second year. 

The course is accredited by the University of Buckingham and allows you to complete your training at a school of your choice with no high-intensity summer boot camps to stress over before you start. 

Salary: Starts at £15,000 min. (salary dependent on location)

Deadline: Applications open year-round


3. Future Teaching Scholars

The Future Teaching Scholars programme is the newest scheme on the list. Starting in 2017, it is focused towards A-level high school students who are looking to study maths or physics at university, with the hopes of ultimately becoming a teacher or a university lecturer. Their training is fully comprehensive and offers students six years of support and training, access to exclusive events, and help finding their first teaching job. 

Salary: £15,000 (grant)

Deadline: Unspecified 


4. NowTeach

NowTeach are a recruitment and support programme which re-trains experienced professionals for a career in teaching. They also focus on training up teachers for "shortage subjects" such as science, maths, IT and modern foreign languages, meaning candidates with a keen interest in these subjects will be prioritised. Once you are accepted to the programme, you will have the ability to train on the job in a secondary school, and will receive a bursary and work a compressed timetable of four days per week. 

Salary: £24,373 min., up to £30,480 (depending on location)

Deadline: Applications open year-round


5. Researchers in Schools

Researchers in Schools (RiS) is a school-based, salaried teacher training programme tailored towards those who have completed a Doctorate and are looking to get into teaching. The programme lasts for two-years and allows candidates to gain QTS and NQT status by the end of their training. RiS graduates are then free to return to work in a higher education institution or continue to teach in primary or secondary schools. 

RiS accept applications from university students who have completed, or are in the process of completing, PhDs in physics, maths, chemistry, engineering, computing, geography, English and modern foreign languages (French, German or Spanish). While the first deadline for autumn assessment centres is in September, you can still apply year-round for the next uptake.

Salary: £24,373 min., up to £30,480 (depending on location)

Deadline: September 


6. Transition to Teach

Transition to Teach (T2T) is a programme which offers support to those looking to transferring into teaching. T2T works alongside your chosen teacher training provider or employer to offer additional guidance and support in completing your first and second training, finding a salaried position, and successfully transitioning from one career to another. On the programme, you will be assigned a Guidance and Development Adviser to help you through every step of your training up to your QTS. 

Salary: Unspecified

Deadline: Applications open year-round


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