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Teaching secondary

Secondary teachers work with children between the ages of 11 and 18. They specialise in teaching one or two subjects from the national curriculum.

Your degree should be relevant to the subject you want to train to teach. Examples of the way that degree subjects can relate to the curriculum are listed in this table:

National curriculum subjects Degree discipline
design and technology (D&T) food science, engineering, electronics, home economics, product design, textiles, jewellery and metalwork
information and communication technology (ICT) computer science, ICT
maths economics, maths, statistics, accountancy and engineering
languages French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Biblical Hebrew and other European languages
music performance studies
science subjects biology, marine biology, sports science, environmental science, chemistry, physics and chemical engineering
religious education (RE) anthropology, citizenship, cultural studies, philosophy, theology, Jewish studies

It is useful for potential teachers of modern languages to have skills in two languages. These can include community languages, like Mandarin or Hindi, as well as European languages such as French or Spanish

The national curriculum for all key stages can be viewed on the Department's website. If you have any doubts about the relevance of your degree subject(s) then please approach individual initial teacher training (ITT) providers for advice, or contact the Teaching Line on 0800 389 2500.

Booster programmes

Subject enhancement programmes are available for graduates who need to develop their subject knowledge to teach secondary pupils maths, physics, chemistry, languages, computing or design and technology (D&T). Find out more about subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) programmes

Teaching English Baccalaureate subjects

The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) is a performance measure that was introduced in 2010. It recognises where pupils have achieved a grade C or better in the core EBacc subjects of maths, English, physics, biology, chemistry, geography, history and languages.

As a result, the teachers of EBacc subjects are more in demand than ever before. Employment opportunities for teachers of these subjects in the academic year 2011/12 were at their highest since 2006/07

Latest figures from a report for the Department (PDF, 1MB) reveal that 49 per cent of year 9 pupils have chosen to study the set of key subjects from September 2012. This compares with data which shows that fewer than a quarter (22 per cent) of GCSE pupils were entered for the EBacc in 2010.

If you train to teach certain EBacc subjects, you may be eligible for a tax-free training bursary. Conditions apply; find out more on our funding for teacher training pages

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