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Training to be a teacher

There are several providers of initial teacher training (ITT) in Wales where you can train as a primary or secondary teacher on undergraduate or PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate of Education) courses. There are also short courses to help prepare people for ITT or to help former teachers return to the classroom.

You can find up to date and full information about courses and routes into teaching on the Teacher Training and Education in Wales website.

What is initial teacher training?

To become a qualified teacher and enter the teaching profession, you need to undertake a period of education and training, known as initial teacher training.

The professional status gained after successfully completing an initial teacher training course is Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). You must gain QTS in order to teach in a local education authority maintained school in England and Wales. QTS achieved in Wales is recognised as equivalent to QTS gained in England.

How can I gain Qualified Teacher status?
Postgraduate Courses
You can follow a one-year, full-time PGCE if:
  • you already have an undergraduate degree and would like to teach at primary level
  • you already have an undergraduate degree wholly or primarily in the secondary subject you want to teach
Undergraduate courses
If you do not already have an undergraduate degree, you can combine studying for a degree
with your initial teacher training.
  • If you would like to teach at primary level, you can follow a three-year full-time bachelor of arts (BA) degree with QTS.
  • There are secondary level BA or bachelor of science (BSc) degrees with QTS.  Some are three-year full-time courses but most are two-year courses which can be suitable if:
    • you have successfully completed at least one year of study in higher education; or
    • you want to teach in a subject that is significantly different to that in which you are qualified.
Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP)

The Graduate Teacher Programme, run by the Welsh Government, allows you to gain QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) while earning a salary working as a teacher in a school.

  • If you have a first degree or equivalent, you can apply for the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP). Training takes three months to one school year, depending on your previous experience.

You will need to find a school that will employ you as an unqualified teacher before applying for the programme.

For more information or an application form, contact the Welsh Government on 029 2082 6749 or teachingenquiries@wales.gsi.gov.uk.

Becoming a Welsh medium teacher

ITT courses in Wales can help prepare you if you want to teach in a Welsh-medium school. This can include doing all or part of your course through the medium of Welsh or undertaking your school experience in a Welsh-medium school. What is available may vary between providers.

Additional money is available for trainees on Welsh-medium secondary PGCE courses. It provides financial and linguistic support to students who need additional confidence and competence training to help them teach their secondary subject through the medium of Welsh. Information on eligibility is available from teacher training providers.

Teaching Welsh

There are modules available for trainee teachers on undergraduate primary courses to help them learn Welsh and to teach the language in English medium primary schools.

Those training to teach Welsh at secondary school level can become either ‘first’ or ‘second language’ teachers.

Performance information on ITT

We update, annually, data about the make-up of the ITT student population at each ITT provider. The data includes, for example, numbers of students on the various courses, entry and exit qualifications, numbers of Welsh medium students, and numbers going into teaching posts after completing their ITT.

Estyn (the Office of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector in Wales) inspects ITT provision in Wales to ensure its quality and compliance with the requirements for ITT. You can find copies of inspection reports on the Estyn website.

Financial support

There is a variety of sources of funding and support available to you as a trainee teacher while you complete your course.

Further information:

Teacher Training and Education in Wales 

Student Finance Wales

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