Teach in the UK• 3 Min read

10th December 2020

Primary School Teaching: What You Need To Know About This Career Path

Teaching is a consistently stable, rewarding career. Every day is different and there are a huge number of options for career progression and development across the Education sector. For anyone looking for a fulfilling career that will enable them to continue learning themselves whilst inspiring the next generation, teaching is an obvious choice!

So, what are the routes to becoming a Primary school teacher? Whether you want to teach at home or abroad, there is a set path towards becoming a Primary teacher in the UK or Ireland. We’ll cover the main routes to teaching in this article.

Higher Education


The start of your journey to teaching begins with gaining a relevant degree at Undergraduate level. You can choose to take a bachelor’s degree in Education or to complete a non-education focussed degree course and then take the Professional Master Of Education qualification.  Find out more about the PME here.

Training To Teach


You could also complete a university-led Teacher Training Programme in the UK. Qualification for Teacher Training Programmes can vary depending on the applicant’s experience but usually would require a Level 8 degree and Irish Leaving Certificate.  

The Engage Teacher Training programme may be an option for individuals looking to take this route. It’s a two-year, salaried pathway to teaching for graduates in the UK and Ireland who are looking to teach in the UK. You’ll gain valuable classroom experience alongside support from our University partner, leading to a Postgraduate Certificate Of Education. Find out more about our unique programme here.

Gain Qualified Teacher Status

If you complete your training in Ireland…

You’ll be required to register with the Irish Teaching Council. The Irish Teaching Council will register you with ‘conditions’ that you have 3 years to complete from the date of your registration. You can complete these conditions in the UK. Find out more about the Teaching Council and the post-qualification conditions in our detailed article here. It’s best practice to register with the Irish Teaching Council as soon as you complete your qualification. Registration takes around 6 weeks and involves a reference and vetting process. Once completed, you’ll be able to teach in schools across Ireland, the UK and internationally. 

Fully registered teachers with the Irish Teaching Council can apply for QTS (Qualified Teachers Status) in the UK. Teachers with QTS will be paid according to the main pay scale in the UK. Qualified teachers from Ireland can teach in the UK without QTS for up to 4 years, as long as they have full registration with the Irish Teaching Council. After that, you’ll need to apply for Qualified Teacher Status from the Department Of Education. 

If you have trained in Ireland, and are yet to complete your conditions set by the teaching council, you cannot apply for QTS until such time as you have full registration with the Irish Teaching Council. 

If You Complete Your Training In The UK…

If you gain Qualified Teacher Status in the UK through a designated Teacher Training Programme, you’ll only need to register with the Irish Teaching Council upon your return to Ireland to teach. There’s further information for those who qualify to teach overseas and want to return to Ireland here.

How Can I Develop My Teaching Career Further?

Once you have gained Qualified Teacher Status you’ll need to continue your professional development through training and CPD. The DfE’s Standard for Teachers’ Professional Development states ‘effective professional development for teachers is a core part of securing effective teaching.’ Your training and learning will continue throughout your career, whether you stay as a Primary school teacher or look to specialise, in SEND education, a specialist subject or move into a leadership role.

We hope this has given you an overview of the possible routes you might take to becoming a qualified Primary School teacher. Don’t forget to follow our social channels for the very latest vacancies, news and updates from the Education sector.

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