Childcare

Primary school teacher

Primary school teachers are responsible for the educational, social and emotional development of children from age 5 to 11.

Annual Salary

£24,373 to £40,490

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40 term time

You could work: evenings; attending events or appointments

6%
Future employment

There will be 6% more Primary school teacher jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Day to day tasks

You will:

  • plan lessons and prepare teaching materials
  • set up the classroom, organise displays and resources
  • teach whole class lessons, work with small groups and do practical activities
  • direct the work of learning support and teaching assistants
  • mark and assess children's work
  • provide a safe and healthy environment and follow safeguarding procedures
  • update records
  • talk to parents and carers about their children's progress
  • work with other professionals like education psychologists and social workers
  • attend meetings and training
  • organise outings, after school clubs, school social activities and sports events

Working environment

You could work at a school or at a pupil referral unit.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
University

You can do an undergraduate degree that leads to qualified teacher status (QTS), for example:

  • Bachelor of Education (BEd)
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) with QTS
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc) with QTS

You can also complete a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE), if you have a first degree without QTS. This is a common choice and can be done at university or on a school-based training programme.

There are more training options if you want to change career or specialise in teaching certain subjects.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
For more information
Apprenticeship

You can get into this career through one of a small number of postgraduate teaching apprenticeships, if you have a degree and want to teach 5 to 11 year olds.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths
  • GCSE science at grade 9 to 4 (A* to C) for primary school teaching
  • a degree for a teaching apprenticeship
For more information
Work

You could start as a teaching assistant and do a part-time degree. You could then move onto a postgraduate teaching course to qualify as a teacher.

Volunteering and work experience

You'll find it helpful to get some experience of working with children though this is not essential. You can do this through paid work or by volunteering at a school, helping at an after school club or working on a holiday scheme.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Career tips

You can do a subject knowledge enhancement course to improve your understanding of the subject you want to teach.

You can also attend teacher training events before you apply to get advice about the profession, the different training routes and funding. You can attend events in person and online.

Further information

You can discover more about how to become a teacher from Get Into Teaching.

You can also search for jobs through the Teaching Vacancies service.

You could teach pupils with special educational needs or move into pastoral care.

With experience, you could become a specialist leader of education, supporting teachers in other schools.

You could be a curriculum leader, deputy head and headteacher, or move into private tuition.

There are also opportunities to teach overseas in international schools.

You can discover more about how to become a teacher from Get Into Teaching.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to create the best conditions for learning or teaching new things
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • knowledge of English language
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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