Most schools are funded through local government or are grant maintained. There are currently over 470,000 teachers working in schools run by local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales. They teach around seven million pupils in approximately 27,500 secondary and primary schools. A teacher's main aim is to build a relationship with pupils that brings out the best in them and makes them receptive to ideas and knowledge.

Work Environment
Most teachers work in classrooms, but they may teach in workshops, laboratories, and gyms. They are on their feet all day and may have to move around the school to teach in different classrooms. Teachers may work outside or away from the school when involved in walks, games and playground duty, school trips, outings etc. There are different types of school of varying sizes, from large comprehensive to village schools.

Daily Activities
There will always be a need for good, committed teaching for it carries with it enormous responsibilities, both in its daily work and its implications for future generations. In addition to special subject knowledge, teaching calls particularly for the ability to motivate and harness the energies and ability of young people.

Broadly speaking, primary teaching covers the age range five to eleven and teachers in this field need to be good all-rounders. They generally have responsibility for one class and are expected to teach all aspects of the National Curriculum. Secondary school teachers are subject specialists and will teach this to different classes - probably across the age and ability range between 11 years and 16/18 years.  Teachers also have a pastoral or caring role, guiding pupils and advising them on personal problems. Year or form tutors have special responsibility for promoting pupil's spiritual and social development on such matters as drugs, bullying and truancy.

Skills & Interests
Teachers must like and respect young people, and want to help them realise their full potential. They must be able to build good relationships with a wide range of people, i.e. pupils, fellow teachers, parents, governors, etc. Teachers need detailed knowledge of and enthusiasm for their subjects. They also need to be excellent communicators, good listeners and patient. The work can often be demanding but very rewarding when pupils grasp new ideas and perform to their full potential. An ability to relate well with young people from different backgrounds and varying ability, and to gain their trust and respect are also essential to the effective teacher.

Entry Requirements
All state primary and secondary school teachers must have qualified teacher status (QTS) and have GCSE (grades A-C), or equivalent, in English and Maths. All entrants to courses for primary teaching born after 1 September 1979 must have a science subject at GCSE (grade A-C).  QTS can be gained by either a three or a four-year degree course such as the Bachelor of Education (BEd) or subject degree with QTS (BA or BSc with QTS. Minimum entry requirements are five GCSEs (grades A-C) including English and Maths or equivalent, plus two subjects at A-level or equivalent (eg a BTEC National Award, Advanced GNVQs or Access courses). BEd two-year courses in certain subjects at secondary level are available to mature applicants with appropriate technical or professional qualifications (eg BTEC HND) and relevant experience. Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) courses require a degree and GCSEs (grades A-B) in English language and maths, or equivalent.

Full-time courses last one year and can be completed in an institution/school partnership or through School Centred Initial Teaching Training (SCITT). There are some two-year, full-time PGCE conversion courses for graduates who wish to teach a secondary subject which is not the main subject of their first degree.

Future Prospects & Opportunities
Qualified teachers can apply to work anywhere in the UK. Promotion usually, but not always, requires moving to different schools. Teachers in maths, science, music, modern languages, design and technology and IT are in demand in secondary schools. In Wales the ability to speak the Welsh language is an advantage, and Welsh language teachers are in high demand.

Further Information & Services
All local education authorities.
Teacher Training & Education in Wales www.teachertrainingcymru.org
General Teaching Council for Wales www.gtcw.org.uk
Graduate Teacher Training Registry www.gttr.ac.uk
Education jobs www.eteach.com

You may find further information about this area of work through Careers Wales (www.careerswales.com/) or in your local library, careers office or school careers library.

Careers Wales have produced a Spotlight article on careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths): https://www.careerswales.com/en/spotlight-on-stem/  

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