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Career Changers

Transition to Teach is a free service funded by the Department for Education. We can offer support to those who are facing redundancy or taking early retirement, in any sector or industry, helping you successfully transition into an exciting teaching opportunity. We can help you explore your options, support you through your application to UCAS, and offer continued support throughout your Initial Teacher Training year and your first year as a Newly Qualified teacher.


In order to be eligible for the Transition to Teach programme, you’ll need to:

  • Have left, or be in the process of leaving your employer, due to redundancy or early retirement.
  • Agree to a full Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
  • Have the right to work in the UK.
  • Have the required qualifications for the age range and subject you are looking to teach.
  • Provide original examination certificates. If you have misplaced these, you should be able to obtain them from the exam board.

Participants will receive:

  • Information and advice from education professionals about what it is like to teach.
  • Details about eligibility and qualification criteria for teaching. We will also advise you of alternative routes, or how to fill any gaps if necessary.
  • Guidance in choosing the training route which is most suitable for your needs.
  • Support with finding school experience days if required.
  • Help with completing the application process for initial teacher training, including advice and support with student finance, professional skills tests, etc.
  • Continuous help and support throughout training and into your first year of teaching, as you need it.
  • Practical and personalised advice from your dedicated Guidance and Development Adviser on your progress, milestones and the impacts of your career change.
  • One-on-one support and access to networking events such as regional workshops.
  • Career development planning throughout the programme – from tips on how to utilise skills from your previous career to considering future career development.
  • Support to find and apply for your first teaching post, including interview preparation.

Frequently Asked Questions

In order to be eligible for the Transition to Teach programme, individuals will be required to:

  • Be qualified to degree level.
  • Agree to a full disclosure and barring service (DBS) check.
  • Have the right to work in the UK.
  • Provide original examination certificates.

The following qualifications are also required:

Primary Teacher (Ages 3 to 11):

  • Honours Degree or equivalent.
  • Maths Grade C and above or equivalent.
  • English Grade C and above or equivalent.
  • Any Science Grade C and above or equivalent.

Secondary Teacher (Ages 11 to 18):

  • Honours Degree or equivalent.
  • Maths Grade C and above or equivalent.
  • English Grade C and above or equivalent.

Whilst you need a degree to teach, you don’t necessarily need a degree in the subject you want to teach. If you want more guidance, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Once you have been accepted on to your initial teacher training course, you may need to complete an SKE (Subject Knowledge Enhancement) course before you begin your training in September.

We can help you with the details. For many teachers – young and old – concern about subject knowledge is their greatest anxiety about starting to teach. Afterwards, almost all acknowledge the fears were misplaced. In some ways, it can be a bonus to feel a little rusty – it can help to remember what it felt like to be learning.

If you don’t have a degree, there may still be other career options open to you within the education sector. Get in touch and we’ll be happy to advise.

Yes, you are in the unique position of having experience from your previous career. This will be hugely beneficial in your teaching, as you will be able to relate theory to practice and bring reality into the classroom by equating the lessons being taught to your own real-life experiences.

Additionally, you will have already accumulated many other talents and skills which are all useful in a classroom and in the different aspects of school leadership and administrative roles. For example, you are likely to know how to plan and manage time effectively, which is not only useful for teaching but also for producing timetables, school events, exam schedules etc.

It is likely that you already have experience of working with a variety of personalities, listening, communicating, sharing and marketing ideas, working towards common goals or targets, supporting others to succeed, advocating on behalf of team members, leading a team etc. The list of relevant skills and talents that you acquire with experience is almost endless.

As you move into teaching, this will depend on your background and skills level, the subject you are teaching, and the position applied for. During your training, there are currently three types of funding available and you may be eligible for all three:

  • Tax-free bursaries or scholarships are available for some subject areas – you will need a first, 2.1. or 2.2 Honours Degree, a PhD or a Masters to be eligible for a bursary or scholarship.
  • Tuition Fee loan and Maintenance Loan.
  • Additional financial support if you are a parent or have a disability.

In addition, there is also a salaried route, which is available if you qualify for the Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship or School Direct Route.

Contact us for more information and to discuss your own personal circumstances or visit

Yes, it is a good idea to spend time at a school before you apply. The Department for Education have links with hundreds of schools across the country and can help you arrange school experience to give you a taste of the classroom. You can discover more at The team at Transition to Teach are also actively involved with partner schools and can assist you with finding school experience if needed.

Simply fill out our short form to express your interest and we will contact you. If you are not eligible for the Transition to Teach programme, then we will signpost you to the most relevant support for you.

DfE - The Department for Education

FE - Further Education

HOD - Head of Department

HT - Headteacher

HE - Higher Education

HEI - Higher Education Institute

ITT - Initial Teacher Training

KS - Key Stage

NARIC - National Academic Recognition Information Centre

NQT - Newly Qualified Teacher

OFSTED - The Office for Standards in Education

OTT - Overseas Trained Teacher

PGCE - Post Graduate Certificate in Education

QTLS - Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills

QTS - Qualified Teacher Status

SKE - Subject Knowledge Enhancement

SCITT - School Centred Initial Teacher Training

STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

SD - School Direct

SEND - Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

SENco - Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator

TA - Teaching Assistant

Interested in making a career change?

Register your interest with the Transition to Teach programme, and we will be in contact with further information for you.

To process your enquiry, we require some personal information about you. To find out more about how we use this information, see our privacy statement.


Am I eligible?

Interested in making a career change? Transition to Teach is a free service funded by the Department for Education. We can support career changers who meet our eligibility criteria.