The teaching landscape is changing, bringing new rewards and challenges. Top  graduates could have much to give – and also a great deal to gain

Kids want to learn,” says English teacher Paul Johnson. “They want good teachers who are passionate. Any subject can be fun – it just needs the right person to bring it to life.” That’s an exciting prospect, especially for those looking to join a fast-paced and rapidly evolving sector.

Good teachers are in demand, and you could receive a substantial taxfree bursary. For those looking to start teacher training in physics, chemistry or computer science, scholarships of £20,000 are available. The Institute of Physics has 100 scholarships, the Royal Society of Chemistry has 130 scholarships and it has recently been announced that BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT has 50 scholarships available to eligible trainees starting their teacher training in the 2013/2014 academic year.

While nothing is guaranteed, the latest data shows that nine out of 10 new teachers who want to teach found teaching jobs in the first 12 months. Advertised vacancies in the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) subjects for 2011/12 (maths, English, sciences, history, geography and languages) were the highest they had been since 2006/7.

There is a range of paths into the profession, including university-based options and practical school-based training. A new option, School Direct, is a great way to gain the skills you need to become a teacher. This path involves some of the country’s

best schools, and you could be specially selected by one of them with a job in mind just for you.

Once qualified, teachers earn on average a starting salary of £23,010. “If you are a high-achieving graduate, you are expected to advance and the opportunities are there to do so,” notes history teacher Anton Modica.

Applicants need to prepare in advance, practising their professional skills tests and gaining school experience to ensure they stand head and shoulders above the rest. “I can’t recommend enough that people considering teaching get stuck in with some volunteering,” advises Johnson. Modica agrees: “Experience will tell

you if you are right for this career as much as whether it is right for you.”

Teaching takes commitment and offers a unique working environment. “I could sit in an office all day” jokes Modica, “but I would miss that raw enthusiasm and energy.”

For new recruits, time is of the essence. Applications for conventional teacher training courses starting in 2013 have recently opened. From early November, you will also be able to apply to train to teach on the new School Direct programme. Some subjects are extremely popular so applying early can make all the difference in securing a training place.

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