The education sector is split into five areas with a range of careers in each area:
- teaching in schools
- lecturing in higher and further education
- special educational needs
- teaching in international schools
- alternative careers in education
Read each section below for links to publications and websites that provide further information.
Covering both primary and secondary school teaching, this section lists useful sources of information on career paths, the main agencies for the sector, routes into teaching and qualifications required, and sources of work experience.
Routes into teaching
There are different routes to becoming a qualified school teacher: university-based training (Postgraduate certificate in education or undergraduate ITT courses), school-based training, and routes for experienced teacher. The route you choose will be specific to the age group and subject you want to take and your background. Information about the different routes can be found on the Department for Education website.
For all routes into teaching other than Teach First, you need to apply through the UCAS Portal which opens from mid-October of the year before you want to start; you initially have three choices though Apply One. If you don’t receive the offers you want, you can go via Apply Two. For more information visit the UCAS website. For Teach First, you need to apply via their website.
You can also find out more about the Independent Schools Council (ISC) Initial Teacher Training programme to find out more about gaining QTS while working at an independent school. The ISC represents over 1,200 schools educating over 500,000 children in the UK.
Download your copy of the Routes into teaching leaflet produced by careers advisers and pick up a copy of the TARGETpostgrad Teaching from our offices.The Association of Church College Trusts (ACCT) offers grants for those undertaking a PGCE secondary RE. The fund for the grants is managed by the Keswick Hall Trust, so you can apply on their website. Applications are welcome from any trainee, regardless of religion or belief, undertaking training at any UK based institution.
The University of Nottingham work experience opportunities
The University of Nottingham Widening Participation team - allows students to work in local educational settings through a variety of schemes:
- Learning Leaders: primary school volunteers participating in projects including Number Partners, Latin Clubs, and others.
- Students in Classrooms Mentors: offering guidance, support and personal direction to pupils from the ages of 13-17 who have the potential to progress on to university, primarily on a one-to-one basis with pupils.
- IntoUniversity Volunteering: working with children and young people aged 7 to 18, primarily as an academic support volunteer tutor, or as a mentor.
- Student Ambassadors: supporting a wide range of activities and events, for school pupils, parents, families, and mature students, including open days, campus tours, and classroom support.
- Students in Classrooms Associates: working alongside an established teacher to offer support in a primary school, secondary school, or college, to support whole-class or one-to-one activities.
- Summer School Ambassadors: supporting residential academic summer schools for potential university applicants
Nottingham Advantage Award
Would you like your teaching work experience or volunteering to be accredited? There are a number of modules through the Nottingham Advantage Award that may interest you.
- Students in Classrooms module - Students may complete this module by participating in one or more of the Widening Participation schemes mentioned above.
- Literacy Volunteers module- the School of English students have the option of taking this module - you will be assigned a school placement to provide literacy support to a classroom. You will develop a range of skills including classroom management and lesson planning, as well as communication, mentoring and interpersonal skills.
- Part time jobs, Vacation jobs and Volunteering module - Sourcing your own work experience or volunteering opportunities can also be accredited. You can accredit 40 hours of work experience or volunteering and reflect upon the skills gained and considering future employment opportunities.
Other work experience and training
Get into teaching - run by the Department for Education, provides school experience programmes including:
- School Experience Programme (SEP) - for final year students and graduates interested in gaining experience in the classroom and considering teaching mathematics, physics, chemistry, languages, computing or design and technology at secondary level. Placements are of 1-10 days duration, with participants receiving a small payment for each day in excess of five
- Premier Plus - for those interested in teaching shortage subjects (maths, physics, chemistry, languages, computing or design and technology) and who hold or are predicted at least a 2:2 degree. It offers personalised advice from a named adviser, access to the schools experience programme, invites to exclusive events and subject knowledge enhancement courses among other benefits
TryTeaching Graduate Teaching Internship Scheme - gives you the opportunity to gain paid work experience for one term in an English school. Interns received £1200 (outside London) during the placement.
Resources for other areas of teaching
Lecturing in higher and further education
Lecturing posts in the post-16 and tertiary sector can vary greatly regarding the experience and qualifications required, whether subject-related or regarding teaching skills.
- The Association of Colleges - this website offers useful information for the further, sixth-form and specialist education sector
- The Excellence Gateway - for information on further education teaching and learning standards and qualifications
- FE Advice - gives a summary of all you need to know about becoming a teacher in further education, including the nature of FE, the qualifications, the law, subject specialisms and financial support
- Institute for Learning (IFL) - professional body for teachers in the FE and skills sector
- Jobs.ac.uk - the main academic and research recruitment website and allows you to set regular job alerts
- New2Teaching - website of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers - has comprehensive job-hunting information
- Talent.ac.uk - this website for those working in the lifelong learning sector provides a search tool for FE teaching courses in the country
- Times Higher Education - includes latest news and job vacancies within the higher education sector. Published on Thursdays
Special educational needs
- Patoss - professional association for teachers specialising in specific learning difficulties, providing information about training, events and vacancies
- SEN Teachers - for special educational needs teachers, providing an online job-searching forum and an overview of working in this area
Teaching in international schools
- Teacher Horizons - provides comprehensive information on teaching in international schools abroad, including a useful FAQ section and a list of links to useful networks and professional organisations. It also offers a vacancy database covering various subjects and positions at all levels. Candidates need to register to access the vacancies, but the process is free of charge.
- Working Abroad - provides country-specific information and sources of vacancies as a starting point for those wishing to work in standard schools abroad
Alternative careers in education
Education-related roles also include teaching in a wide range of non-school settings from community centres to museums and other organisations, as well as very diverse support roles including delivering training, counselling, or offering information, advice and guidance. Find more information on the Alternative careers in education
Resources for all areas
Use the resources below in conjunction with those specific to career paths you are interested in for a comprehensive overview of the education sector including vacancies, advice, and latest news.