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Teacher Training

Teaching: Making a difference

Most teachers would cite job satisfaction as the most rewarding aspect of a career in teaching. In addition, teachers get more day’s holiday than many other professions and have access to the Teachers' pension scheme.

The government recognises that teaching is a demanding profession. In addition to the numerous financial incentives available for new trainees, teachers now also earn competitive salaries.

Most early career teachers are paid a starting salary of £25,714 up to £32,157, depending where you teach but this will increase as you get more experienced. For more information on established and senior teacher salaries and headteacher salary ranges please see the salary and benefits pages of the Get into Teaching website.

Some early career teachers can also be eligible for Early-career payments and Levelling up premium payments - these payments are dependent on the subject you are teaching, the type of school you are teaching in and when you completed your training. The government is also currently running a scheme where teachers of eligible subjects who are teaching in specific local authority areas can apply to claim back student loan repayments.

Teaching as a career

The University of Exeter has a strong reputation for excellence and our PGCE trainees are highly sought-after – a distinct advantage in finding employment. Many trainees gain posts in partnership schools thanks to the excellent reputation of our trainees with local headteachers. We also work hard to support you in navigating the process of seeking employment as a teacher, and draw on links with local and national schools and recruitment agencies to support you in finding the right school for you. The University Careers Zone will help to ensure you are given the best possible opportunity to secure your first teaching post.

Our Primary trainees benefit from excellent curriculum knowledge across the board and many are appointed to posts due to their potential for subject leadership. Similarly, our Secondary trainees are valued in the job market thanks to their quality subject-specific pedagogic knowledge developed via the Exeter Model partnership between University and School.

Are you:

  • articulate and imaginative?
  • an effective group worker?
  • a good listener?

Do you:

  • manage your work effectively?
  • work well with others?

Can you:

  • think on your feet?
  • provide leadership?
  • deal with stressful situations?

If so, and with our guidance and training, you could make a great teacher.

The University of Exeter offers several routes into teaching.

Each of our routes leads to QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) and to a Masters-level Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) (not to be confused with the Professional Graduate Certificate in Education- also often referred to as PGCE: the Professional Certificate does not carry Master level credits and is one level lower on the National Qualifications Framework than is our Postgraduate Certificate).

Which route is right for you?

The table below sets out the key differences between the routes we offer.

To identify the most suitable route for you, we suggest that you decide your priorities in relation to the following questions:

  1. How important is it that I choose my subject and phase (primary / secondary)?
  2. Would I prefer to be a trainee teacher with a professional teacher always available to provide support of necessary, OR an employee - largely responsible for the classes I teach?
  3. How will I best learn to be an outstanding teacher - by easing yourself into the school environment gradually and starting your learning at the university first, or going straight into learning in a school-based environment?
  4. How much do I want to learn among a group of peers studying the same subject, and how much through individual, distance learning?
  5. Would I prefer extended placements in two contrasting schools, or to spend most of my placement time in a single school?
  6. Am I open to training and teaching in most types of school, or am I committed to a particular sector?
  7. How much does it matter to me whether I have a loan and tax free bursary/scholarship, or a taxed salary?
  8. Would I prefer to have my Early Career Teacher (ECT) post in a school chosen for me, or would I prefer to choose which schools I apply to be employed in?

Some trainees prefer a mix of campus-based and school-based experience whilst others prefer to learn primarily in school with the M-level elements of the course access via distance learning. The University of Exeter offers courses that are suitable for both preferences. All our routes use the Exeter Model of Initial Teacher Education to scaffold your development as appropriate to the context in which you are learning.  
If your preference is for a blend of campus based and school-based learning, look at our campus-based routes offered in both Primary and Secondary. In these, you begin with 4 weeks of school experience and 10 weeks of campus experience in term 1, developing your knowledge and understanding of the subjects you are teaching and how to teach them, before taking this knowledge into school placements in two long blocks in terms 2 and 3. If your preference is to be placed in school consistently throughout the course, look at our School Direct courses.

The University of Exeter has a strong reputation for excellence and our PGCE trainees are highly sought after. Our partnership with over 250 schools and a very active and supportive Careers and Employment Service will help to ensure you are given the best possible opportunity to secure your first teaching post. 

Creating links with employers

We have links with local and national schools and teacher recruitment agencies across the country.  We offer opportunities for you to meet with recruiters through either online or face to face recruitment events. Details of vacancies are also made available online.