Frequently Asked Questions

What qualifications do I need to apply for teacher training in the UK? 

The basic requirements for GCSE grades if you want to train to teach are: 

  • a GCSE grade C (or equivalent) in maths and English to teach at secondary level
  • a GCSE grade C (or equivalent) in maths, English and science to teach at primary level

If you do not have GCSEs then you could consider a part-time GCSE or Open Access course at your local further education college to help you to your route to teaching. You’ll need to cover the cost of any such course yourself. 

You need a degree to gain qualified teacher status (QTS). We are looking for candidates with a degree of 2:2 or above. 

Your degree classification may help to determine the level of funding you could receive during your training – find out about funding for teacher training. 

If you have overseas equivalent qualifications, you should will need to contact NARIC to check its equivalency 

Apart from qualifications, what is the Portsmouth Teaching School looking for? 

Teachers work with young people so we are looking for candidates who have relevant experience working with young people in the age group they wish to teach. This could be in a voluntary capacity and might involve work outside a school context, such as with a youth group, Scouts etc. Ideally candidates should have recent experience in a classroom, working in the age range they wish to teach. Many of our successful candidates are already working in schools in support roles such as a Teaching or Classroom Assistants . 

Do I need to visit schools before I apply? 

The amount of experience you will have gained in schools will vary depending on your circumstances. Fundamentally, the more experience you have working/volunteering in schools the better. However, we recognise that this isn’t always possible, especially if you are considering a career change into teaching. We recommend that you have had at least a few days experience in schools before applying and then indicate that you have arranged further experience in the future. Without going into schools how would you know it is really for you? 

What’s the difference between the School Direct salaried and non-salaried routes? 

The School Direct salaried route means that you are employed for the maximum of a year by one of our partnership schools. You are paid on point 1 of the unqualified teacher pay spine (approximately £16,000 p.a.) There is the expectation that trainees will be more work ready and therefore undertake a teaching commitment within the first few weeks of the programme. You do not have to pay any fees for your training. On successful completion you will gain a PGCE with 60 Masters credits and QTS status. 

This route is designed for candidates who have had at least three years’ experience in the workplace, ideally with some experience related to working with young people. 

The School Direct non-salaried route means that you pay your course fees which are currently £9250.The programme is similar to the salaried route but the expectation to teach early, is not so high. On successful completion you will gain a PGCE with 60 Masters credits and QTS status. 

I have qualifications from overseas – how do I find out if they are equivalent to UK qualifications? 

You can contact NARIC via their website. They will provide you with documentation to say that your qualifications are equivalent to ones in the UK. You need to do this in order to apply for teacher training. 

I have a teaching qualification from abroad. Do I need to do a teaching course to be able to teach in the UK? 

You do not have to do a full teacher training course in the UK. You will need to complete an Overseas Teacher Training Programme (OTTP). TSTSA does not currently offer this qualification. 

What’s the difference between QTS and a PGCE? 

QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) means that you have met the statutory requirements (The Teachers’ Standards 2012) for teaching in the UK. You need QTS to be able to teach in maintained schools in the UK. 

A PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate of Education) is an additional academic qualification which includes QTS. The Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance PGCE has 60 Masters credits embedded. 

Which is the best route into teaching? 

There is no ‘best route’ into teaching. Our School Direct offer means you are in school for the majority of your training whilst receiving training from the Teaching School and HEI. 

The question is which is the best route into teaching for you and this may depend on your own personal situation. 

How much does it cost to train to be a teacher? 

It does not cost anything to train on the School Direct (salaried) course. Instead, you are employed by the school. 

The cost of the School Direct (non-salaried) is £9250. There are bursaries available for many Secondary subjects. The amount will depend on the subject you wish to train in and your class of degree LINK TO BURSARY PAGE ON GET INTO TEACHING 

What will my teacher training course be like? 

Teacher training courses vary depending on the provider. The Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance School Direct route offers training that is predominately delivered in schools by school. This is complimented by training through our alliance and HEI academic studies.  

Teaching is one of the most rewarding careers one can have. Embarking on a training should not be underestimated. Some people have seen teaching as an easy option – ‘those who can do, those who can’t, teach’. The reality of teaching could not be further from the truth. Learning to teach is very hard work and you will need determination, resilience and be prepared to work long hours, both in the evenings and at weekends. For those people who choose to do it, it is one of the most rewarding ways of spending your working life, and well worth the effort. 

How to Apply

All applicants must apply through UCAS.