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Education and Training

What Qualifications Do I Need to be a Teacher?


Lead Academy

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Becoming a teacher is one of the most prestigious and dignified jobs. Those who aspire to be a part of this noble profession, they should earn the required qualifications to be able to teach. There are certain requirements and qualities of teachers you should be aware of.

If you are searching on the internet, typing “What Qualifications Do I Need to be a Teacher?” this blog can be your saviour to guide you through this journey.

What qualifications do I need to be a teacher?

It is a major responsibility to educate children or young adults whom you would refer to as students. So, you cannot just get into teaching without preparing yourself first. In order to be a teacher in the UK, you need to have certain qualifications which are mentioned below-

A friendly teacher walking among school children and explaining the lesson.

  • Eligibility to become a Teacher:

If you are planning to be a primary school teacher, you need to have GCSE grade 4 (C) or above in Mathematics, Science and English. In some cases, teacher training providers might accept an equivalency test or other qualification.

Some Initial Teacher Training (ITT) providers prefer you to have a degree in a national curriculum subject for primary teaching. For secondary teaching, you must have a degree in the subject you are willing to teach.

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To teach in the state schools of England and Wales in the primary, secondary and special schools, you need to obtain the QTS certificate (Qualified Teacher Status) by following a programme of ITT (Initial Teacher Training). Though some private schools accept teachers without QTS, it is best to have this qualification.

You can further read How to Become a Primary School Teacher – Step by Step Guide if your aim is to teach at the primary level.

  • Teacher Qualifications:

There are different routes to earn qualifications for becoming a teacher. For instance, those who want to be a primary school teacher, they should earn a Bachelors of Education (BEd) degree. A BEd is a three-year degree for teaching primary level children that includes Key Stages 1 and 2.

On the other hand, nursery teachers can get a job without a bachelor’s degree however; they should be certified to work with young children.

  • Read more about How to Become a Nursery Teacher?

Secondary teacher requirements include having a bachelor’s degree in the relevant subject field. For example, if anyone wants to teach science, they should consider earning a degree in biology.

Those who have a Bachelor’s degree can earn a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) afterwards. The PGCE certification allows teachers to teach at all levels in the subject they have completed their Bachelors in. It usually takes a year to obtain a PGCE credential.

Also, those who do not have any prior experience of teaching, can obtain a Level 3 teaching qualification. This qualification is an introductory qualification to the adult education sector. Likewise, a Level 5 diploma in education and training extends your teaching skills as a teacher of students aged above 16. You can consider obtaining these two qualifications if you are interested in teaching young adults.

  • Teacher Skills:

The prospective teachers should meet the required standards of literacy and numeracy skills which is ensured by the ITT providers. Each provider is supposed to assess the applicants during the selection process or when they are on the training programme. If trainees remain unable to meet the required level of literacy and numeracy skills, they will not obtain QTS.

A nursery school teacher sitting on the floor, doing fun activities with his students inside the classroom

Besides literacy and numeracy skills, teachers are expected to have the ability to programme and code computers. As reported by BBC, Prof Donaldson recommended computer programming and IT to become central to classroom teaching as literacy and numeracy and this recommendation has been accepted by the government. Teachers need to weave those into every lesson so they should hold a strong knowledge of computer science.

Good communication, organisation and leadership are the three other important skills of a good teacher. Being a teacher, it’s extremely important for you to have a good communication skill to convey lessons, provide feedback and discuss progress of students with their parents,

A good organisation skill helps teachers to keep track of students’ records of exams and assessments. Likewise, good leadership skills can help teachers in controlling the classroom environment, advising and monitoring extracurricular activities.

Most importantly, a teacher should have the enthusiasm to teach and possess the persuasive skill to grab students’ attention in the class. A classroom environment becomes spontaneous when the teacher teaches willingly rather than considering it as a job.


How to become a teacher?

Consider the following steps to be a teacher-

  • Earn a bachelor’s degree
  • Earn a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
  • Earn a Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
  • Gain the necessary teacher skills
  • Be prepared for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Can you be a teacher without a degree?

It is possible to teach without a degree as some private schools and further education (FE) colleges do not require any. However, it is always recommended to earn a degree that includes QTS.

How to become a teaching assistant with no experience?

There are certain assistant teacher requirements that might vary according to the institutions. However, you can still be a teaching assistant without any experience. You can opt for volunteering in schools, apply to be a substitute teacher, complete a certification course or diploma in teaching if you do not have any teaching assistant experience.

What do you need to be a teacher?

To qualify as a teacher in England and Wales, you need to have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). If you opt to teach in primary schools, you may not require any degree but to be a secondary level teacher you should have a degree that is relevant to the subject you want to teach.

How to get a teaching certificate?

The aspiring teachers need to have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) which proves that they are eligible to teach in England or Wales. According to the GOV. UK, you can earn QTS by-

  • applying for QTS certificate online
  • applying for assessment only QTS
  • applying for teacher training in England
  • applying to train for international qualified teacher status (iQTS)

What degree do you need to be a teacher?

You can apply to be a teacher if you have a bachelor’s degree. Your degree does not necessarily have to be in teaching; you can have a bachelor’s degree in any subject.

How long does it take to become a teacher?

It actually varies from person to person. It can take up to four years to become a teacher when you earn a bachelor’s degree and pass certification exams. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, it would take less time to be a teacher.

How to become a teaching assistant?

To become a teaching assistant, you need to earn a Level 2 or Level 3 teaching assistant qualification. Besides, you can apply for apprenticeship or volunteer in schools to gain experience and work as a teaching assistant.


Being a teacher is extremely rewarding however; it is challenging as well. Along with the subject knowledge, you should meet the state requirements to be a teacher and also gain the necessary skills. So, it is advisable to earn the qualifications first if you want to be a teacher.

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