Getting into Teaching

The Graduate Teacher Programme

How do I choose the right route into teaching?

For routes into teaching visit the Getting into Teaching section of the Training and Development Agency Website (external link). Alternatively, contact their teaching information line on tel: 0845 6000 991 to speak to an advisor.

I want to be a teacher and I work in a school as a Teaching Assistant, where should I start?

If you work as a Teaching Assistant in a maintained school within the Royal Borough please speak to your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) leader in school. If you have GCSEs grade C or above in Maths, English and Science as well as a first degree you could consider the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) route. You will find more FAQs about the GTP at the bottom of this page and general information on the Graduate Teaching Programme Section of the Training and Development Agency Website (external link) 

If you have the relevant GCSEs but do not have a degree you could consider a 2 year foundation degree. You'll find out more about foundation degrees by visiting the Qualifications Section of the Direct Gov Website (external link).

Additionally, the CPD service holds career development surgeries twice a year at the Isaac Newton Professional Development Centre.  These are run by the Council’s Advanced Skills Teacher for Support Staff, Maddy Luxon. To book a place on this session please contact the CPD service:

If you are working in another borough, please contact your Local Authority’s School Workforce Adviser.

I am a graduate from a non EU country. Am I eligible for funding for a PGCE programme or an employment-based route?

Student Finance is the name for the administration of higher education student loans, grants and Disabled Students Allowances.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Student Finance Team will no longer be administering student finance for any student from 11 March 2011.

After this date, Student Finance England in Darlington will be administering applications and answering correspondence and queries from both new and continuing students.

All enquiries should be made directly to Student Finance England, by telephoning 0845 300 5090. For details of the arrangements, the online application facility and other finance related information, visit the Student Finance section of the Direct Gov website (external link).

How do I find the best teacher training provider?

To aid you in finding a teacher training placement that meets your requirements go to the Trainee Teacher section of the Training and Development Agency website (external link)  Here you’ll be able to compare providers and select the best for you based on wide ranging criteria from location to subject.

Questions you may like to ask before applying to a particular institution are:

  • will you be able to offer me places in schools close to my home for my school experience?
  • are childcare facilities available?

What dates could I start on a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course?

PGCE courses usually run from September and last for a year; contact the relevant Higher Education Institution to confirm this.

If I am on a low income while training to be a teacher, will I be eligible for support with childcare in Kensington and Chelsea?

You may be eligible for a Learning Support Grant from a Higher Education Institution (HEI). You may want to ask about support for childcare before making your application.

I live and work in Kensington and Chelsea and would like to find out what funding may be available to me whilst studying for QTS?

Our professional development service does not hold funds for anybody studying for Qualified Teacher Status. For information about the types of bursaries and grants available to trainee teachers visit the PGCE section of the Training and Development Agency Website (external link)

I only want to teach early years, why do I need GCSE Maths?

Mathematical development for children in the foundation stage (3 to 5 years old) needs to be planned as carefully as other aspects of their development. Teachers need to be confident about their own mathematical understanding.

I would like to line up for volunteer work in a primary school so that I can learn more and prepare for a PGCE course. How would I go about doing this?

The Local authority does not hold a central list of opportunities for voluntary work in our schools. You will need to contact our headteachers directly to explain your interest in doing voluntary work. Write a letter stating:

  • how long you would like to volunteer
  • the contribution you could make to the school and the skills and experience you have to offer
  • if you have already obtained an enhanced CRB check
  • also include a brief CV

For contact details for all of our schools please visit our list of schools. If you investigate the school websites you may find relevant information to use in your request.

If you have not been assessed by the Criminal records bureau visit the Home Office's Criminal Records Bureau Website (external link) to find out how to apply for an assessment.

I am interested in applying for a teaching vacancy following the Graduate Teacher Programme route in a secondary school. Where should I start?

As schools are responsible for recruiting their own teachers, the Local Authority will not be able to help you directly in finding a job.  Secondary schools usually advertise vacant posts in the Times Educational Supplement and do not necessarily notify the Local Authority when they have vacancies.  However, if you know where you eventually want to work then it is worth identifying the secondary schools in the area and checking the school’s own websites for vacancies.  You might also try:

  • sending your CV and letting them know that you are interested in the GTP route
  • registering with the Schools Recruitment Service and search for jobs in Kensington and Chelsea as well as other boroughs across the United Kingdom Schools Recruitment Service Website (external link) 

Where can I study for the qualifications I need to become a teacher?

To teach in a school in the state-maintained sector, you must have Qualified Teacher Status.  The requirements for this are given on the website for the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) 

The route from being a teaching assistant, nursery officer or learning mentor to becoming a teacher depends on the qualifications that you already have. The information site of learndirect shows the different routes.  The following table provides you with local information about training routes.Currently,there is very little funding available and the cost of fees are constantly changing so it is very important you get absolute clarity about costs from individual providers.

Career Progress for Support Staff in Schools Leaflet [PDF] (file size 120Kb)

How do I get on the Graduate Teacher programme in this Borough?

Many teachers have gained QTS through the GT programme in RBKC schools. For primary GTPs, our advice is to ensure you have the support of a primary school in the local authority at the outset. If you currently do not have a school to support your GTP application you will need to contact them directly.

The Designated Recommended Body (DRB) for the Royal Borough is London South Bank University, you can contact them at:

To find out more visit the GTP section of the London South Bank University Website (external link)

Alternatively you could apply to the Institute of Education (external link) or E-Qualitas (external link).

If I do complete the GTP in a primary school, will I be able to teach in a secondary school?

Yes. If you have qualified teacher status (QTS), this qualifies you to teach in the primary or secondary sector.

What dates could I start on an employment route such as the Graduate Teacher Programme?

If you gain a place at LSBU, there are two starting dates for the year long course – September or January.