We appreciate that the process of getting into the profession can seem daunting; there are a variety of routes and navigating the options can be confusing.  We have a dedicated team who are here to help you through every step on the journey, from deciding if this is the right career for you through to registering with ‘Apply’ and helping you prepare for your first day.

Becoming a teacher is often a desire that many people have at some point during their studies or careers; some suppress it while others act on it and change not only their life, but the lives of others around them.  Regardless of your background and experience, it is never too late to teach – every year, thousands make the jump and train to teach. 

Most popular reasons that people want to join the teaching profession in the UK

  • Enjoyment from working with children and young people
  • Being able to directly make a difference and change lives; shape lives and have a real impact on the next generation
  • The variety that every day brings
  • They were inspired by their own teacher when they were at school
  • Being able to share their genuine passion for their subject
  • The fun that the profession brings!
  • The longer holidays
  • Other family members already work in education and have a positive influence
  • They may have had a poor experience when they were at school
  • They want a career that fits with having a family
  • The desire to work in a profession that truly values continual professional development
  • Opportunity to build a career in a professional role that has meaning and value way beyond mere profits and shareholders

So, where should you start?

Unsurprisingly, the first important decision you need to make is whether teaching is the career for you.  We speak to a variety of people on a daily basis who are at varying stages; it may just be that they are enquiring into the process, while others may already be certain that they want to become a teacher.  The reasons for getting into teaching are unique to you – see how they match up with how others view the profession.


Furthermore, there are a number of characteristics that we see in our most successful teachers which we look for in prospective trainees.  Read our key attributes below and see if you have what it takes!  We’d expect you to identify positively with the majority of the statements, but please be mindful that this is only a guide.

Characteristics of successful Trainee Teachers

  • I am seeking a career that promotes creative thinking
  • I enjoy working with children/young adults and have a passion to improve their lives and my community
  • I would describe myself as patient
  • I have the ability to multi-task even when in an environment with multiple distractions
  • I am open-minded
  • I strive to find solutions when faced with a problem
  • I am a confident public speaker with a variety of audiences
  • People would describe me as attentive and compassionate
  • I have an interest and genuine passion for my subject area
  • I have excellent time management and organisational skills

What does Leigh Academies Trust offer?

Whilst we offer PGCE University students the opportunity to complete placements with us, our main remit is to offer School Direct Teacher Training in partnership with Kent & Medway Training.


Key benefits of School Direct courses

  • more practical, hands-on preparation overseen by experienced teachers
  • more leeway for schools to appoint a trainee of their choice; schools shortlist, conduct interviews and assess the experience and skills of candidates in relation to the needs of the school
  • immediate immersion in school life
  • active members of the community from the off
  • build lasting relationships with students and colleagues
  • this route suits those who have the confidence to jump in at the deep end and/or experience of working schools
  • for those who don’t want to do another year with a university after just having completed a three year undergraduate degree. For some, the opportunity to work on the job is an attractive option

All training courses that we offer lead to QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) and all come with a top-up option for PGCE and 60 Masters credits accredited by Leeds Beckett University (delivered as an online course).  We can help you decide which is the best option for you.

What’s the difference between QTS and PGCE?

  • QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) means that you have met the statutory requirements (Teachers’ Standards) 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. Some PGCE courses count as part of a Masters in Education course.
  • Be mindful that you can have a long, happy and prosperous career without PGCE.  As long as you have QTS, you have all the career options available to you.