Education

Primary school teacher

Primary school teachers look after the educational, social, physical and emotional development of children from ages 5 to 11.

Annual Salary

£22,917 to £67,305

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

Working hours

37

4%
Future employment

There will be 4% more Primary school teacher jobs in 2023.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Most teaching jobs are in state schools and academies, but you could also work in independent schools, pupil referral units and hospitals. You could also register with an agency to provide supply cover for other teachers.

You'll teach subjects in the primary national curriculum at key stage 1 (ages 5 to 7) and key stage 2 (ages 7 to 11). Subjects include English, maths, science, music and art.

With experience you could develop a specialism in a particular subject like computing or art and design.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • planning lessons and preparing teaching materials
  • marking and assessing children's work
  • providing a safe and healthy environment
  • keeping records
  • discussing children's progress with parents and carers
  • working with other professionals like education psychologists and social workers
  • attending meetings and training
  • organising outings, social activities and sports events

You may also work with under 5s in a children's centre or a reception class in a primary school.

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.

You'll usually need:

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

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.

You'll usually need:

  • GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including maths, English and science
  • a degree

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 experience

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

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.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

Get Into Teaching has more information on the support available, including £26,000 tax-free bursaries if you teach at secondary level.

£22,917 to £67,305

Starter salary: £22,917 to £33,824, increasing to £39,006 in inner London

Experienced salary: £35,927 to £38,633, increasing to £47,298 in inner London

Your salary will depend on many factors including location, responsibilities, seniority and class size. Get Into Teaching offers more details about salaries.

These figures are a guide.

37

You'll usually work 37 hours a week for 39 weeks a year, split over 3 school terms. You'll spend additional time planning lessons, marking work and taking part in activities like parents' evenings and outings.

You could specialise in teaching pupils with special educational needs or move into pastoral care. With experience, you could become a specialist leader of education (SLE) supporting teachers in other schools.

You could also progress to curriculum leader, deputy head and head teacher, or become a private tutor.

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