In association with the Teaching Agency

The youngest minds need the finest minds

How well children do at primary school is critical to how well they progress later on. Do you have the right skills to teach the next generation?

The best possible teachers with the best possible degrees are needed in primary schools. “Being a primary school teacher is incredibly rewarding and challenging,” says Matt Jones, a teacher at St Mark’s primary school in north London. “You need a certain drive to be a great teacher, balanced with strong organisation skills and a passion for what you do.”

Jones gained his 2:1 in primary education at Edge Hill University three years ago. “Teaching is a fulfilling and challenging career path and I absolutely love it,” he says.

Primary teaching is an opportunity to motivate hundreds of pupils every day, and help shape their futures.

Great teachers are in demand - nine out of 10 new teachers who want a career in teaching currently find work within 12 months of qualifying. They’re well rewarded for their talents too, with an average starting salary of £23,010. Primary teachers are on the same pay scale as secondary teachers.

You can get into teaching in a variety of ways, including conventional teacher training courses, where you could be selected by a top university and will spend time learning in a school. There is also a new training opportunity available called School Direct. This school-led route is based in 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.

It’s also a career for the ambitious.

Catherine Doherty is thirteen years into her primary teaching career and finds each day rewarding and challenging. “You’re working with young children with different needs and talents,” she says. “You learn so much about them. I know how they’re feeling just from the way they walk and the look on their face.”

Doherty gained her 2:1 degree in primary education with English at Liverpool Hope University and now works at St Catherine’s primary school in south Manchester. “There are lots of opportunities to progress,” she explains. “I’m training to be a special educational needs coordinator at the moment. I have to work hard for it – but I want to be successful and try new things.”

Jones has big ambitions too. “This year, I was made science core leader and PE co-ordinator. In the long term I want to be a headteacher – and I feel that’s achievable.”

“Primary teaching is everything I thought and hoped it would be,” Doherty concludes.

Applications to conventional primary courses starting in 2013/14 need to be made by 6 December 2012. Applications are also now open for School Direct. Apply early to ensure you’re considered by your first choice training provider or school.

Search ‘get into teaching’ or call 0800 389 2500

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