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Primary school teacher

Alternative titles for this job include Junior school teacher

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

Average salary (a year)

£30,000 Starter

to

£47,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 45 term time

You could work

evenings attending events or appointments

Meet Toby

Toby is a key stage 1 primary school teacher.

A man in a suit and tie stood in front of a school building.
BBC Bitesize logo

He had not considered teaching as a career until he worked with children as a summer job.

Watch Toby’s story on BBC Bitesize Careers

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Primary school teacher

You can get into this job through:

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

University

Undergraduate degree

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

Postgraduate certificate

If you already have a bachelor's degree without qualified teacher status, you can complete a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE). This can be done at university or through a training programme based in a school.

More teacher training options

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

More Information

Apprenticeship

You can do a degree level teaching apprenticeship 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

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

You'll find it helpful to get some experience of working with children, though this is not essential. 

You could volunteer at a school, help at an after school club or work on a holiday scheme.

More Information

Registration

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 a Get Into Teaching event before you apply to get advice about teaching, funding and the different training routes available. 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.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

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
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could:

  • prepare teaching materials, set up the classroom and organise displays
  • plan and teach lessons and work with small groups of students
  • mark work and talk to parents and carers about their children's progress
  • manage the work of teaching assistants
  • follow safeguarding procedures and work with education psychologists and social workers
  • organise trips, after school clubs and sports events
  • work and attend meetings and training outside of usual working hours

Working environment

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

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience you could:

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Secondary School Maths Teacher

  • Wage: £20,598 a year Annually
  • Location: Stoke-On-Trent, Satffordshire

Apprentice Secondary School Humanities Teacher

  • Wage: £22,961 a year Annually
  • Location: Cheadle, Staffordshire

Courses In England

Access to HE Diploma (Teaching)

  • Provider: RIVERSIDE COLLEGE
  • Start date: 01 September 2024
  • Location: WIDNES

Access to HE Diploma in Primary Teaching

  • Provider: BROCKENHURST COLLEGE
  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: BROCKENHURST

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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