Basic requirements to become a qualified teacher

A chemistry lesson
Getting good basic qualifications is the first step towards becoming a teacher. To achieve qualified teacher status (QTS), you'll need to consider these four requirements.

GCSEs

To start teacher training you'll need C-grade GCSEs (or standard equivalents) in:

  • English
  • maths
  • a science subject if you want to teach primary or key stages 2/3 (up to age 14)

If you don't have the necessary GCSEs in maths, English or science, you may be able to take a pre-entry test set by your teacher training provider. Some providers may also accept skills developed through other work experience. If in doubt, contact the school or the university that you would like to train with to find out what their requirements are.

If you have qualifications from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) will be able to advise you on whether these are equivalent to the minimum requirements set out above. They may also provide certification where appropriate. The EEA consists of all members of the European Community (EC), including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Degree

You need a degree to gain QTS . There are a number of postgraduate and undergraduate teacher training routes available, so it's possible to study for a degree and complete your teacher training course at the same time.

In some subjects, your degree class may also influence the amount of financial support available to you.

If you have a degree but don't think it's relevant to any subject on the curriculum, you can contact universities and schools that offer teacher training for advice.

School experience

It's important to spend as much time as possible in schools before you apply for teacher training; the insight you gain will be an invaluable part of your application.

The amount of school experience you'll need to successfully apply will vary from one school or university course to another. On most courses, you'll be expected to have at least 10 days' experience before you start your training. You should check exact requirements in schools' and universities' entry profiles when you search for courses on the UCAS website

If you're not sure how to go about arranging some time in a school, please visit our school experience section

Skills tests

If you are thinking of applying for a teacher training course, you will need to take the numeracy and literacy skills tests as part of the application process, and ensure you have passed them both before the start of the course.

The first attempt at taking your skills tests in each subject is provided free of charge. You can book up to two resits if required, but you will be expected to pay for these yourself.

When you take the tests, you will need to provide proof that you have applied for a teacher training course. The tests are held at a Pearson Professional Test Centre (which also delivers Driving Theory tests, so you may be familiar with them already).

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