Advanced search

Do you need to be a qualified teacher to teach in a private school?

(49 Posts)
purplefeet Fri 17-Jun-11 09:03:43

I'm thinking of changing career and becoming a teacher, haven't worked out exactly how to do this yet, but someone told me that you don't have to have any teaching qualifications to teach in a private school. Is this correct?


c0rn51lk Fri 17-Jun-11 09:05:02


Adair Fri 17-Jun-11 09:07:31

You don't have to but I think most decent private schools would expect you to prove you can actually teach (so with a qualification or experience etc). You can also work in state schools as an instructor or cover supervisor without teaching qualifications (significantly lower pay though).

IndigoBell Fri 17-Jun-11 09:37:17

I think you don't need to be a teacher to teach in a college........

Just 'industry experience'......

CarrotsAreNotTheOnlyVegetables Fri 17-Jun-11 11:42:17

Though you do not need a teaching qualification to teach in a college, you would be hard pressed to get taken on unless your industry experience is particularly specialised and hard to come by.

A few years back I decided to try teaching my specialist skills (prof quals, over 20 years experience) at FE colleges. I got quite a few interviews but in every case the candidate with previous teaching experience got the job. I gave up as I seemed to be caught in a Catch 22 situation - all jobs required experience but couldn't get taken on to get any experience! The colleges were not open about this though and always insisted that teaching experience was not necessary in the advertisements.

I have friends who are working towards a teaching qualification while working as TAs at private schools. I don't think there is any way to avoid studying for a teaching qualification if you want to teach but you may be able to get taken on as a TA and study on the job.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Fri 17-Jun-11 12:15:30

Whilst the answer is technically yes - I think these days with the focus on academic acheivement you will not get a teaching role in a good private school as someone new to the teaching profession without a teaching qualification. At my son's prep all the teachers have a degree and the vast majority have a BEd or PGCE and a couple have QTS.

diabolo Fri 17-Jun-11 19:09:38

I think any private school worth its money will ensure that all the teachers are fully qualified.

DS's prep school teachers are all BEd, lots are MEd and a few others are PGCE. They are happy to take on NQT's but put them in a class with another teacher for a year to begin with.

I get annoyed when people find out where my son goes to school and say "you do know the staff might not be qualified don't you?"

My answer "They are ALL qualified. Do you think I'd spend £10K a year on his education without doing my homework?"

MmeBlueberry Fri 17-Jun-11 19:11:03

I don't think many private schools hire teachers without formal qualifications nowadays.

cuckooclock Fri 17-Jun-11 21:50:33

In Scotland all private schools insist on you being registered with the GTC (teaching council) or eligible for registration, ie have qualifications.

EndoplasmicReticulum Fri 17-Jun-11 23:24:35

I don't think you'd find an independent school who wanted to hire an unqualified science teacher, sorry (reading your other thread as well!)

Health and Safety, and all that.

astronut Sat 18-Jun-11 20:40:13

You don't necessarily need QTS to get a private school science teaching job; I'm currently writing up my PhD, and both myself and another guy in my year start teaching jobs next year at (academicaly well regarded) private schools. I guess in both of our cases though we were aided by the fact we (hopefully!) will have doctorates and we have both taught undergraduates and undertaken a significant amount of outreach work, both with the general public and school groups.

The impression I got from my school (based in University town, hence are quite experienced at taking in academic types at least!) is that they look for someone who can engage with the kids and is passionate about their subject, who can then be taught to teach in the way the school prefers.

fridayschild Sat 18-Jun-11 21:32:47

I know someone who teaches at one of the best public schools without a teaching qualification (assuming TEFL doesn't count). However, he has TEFL, and had spent all his years out teaching or working in schools, so he could clearly show an interest in and commitment to education. The school was specifically looking for someone who had worked outside the education system when they hired him.

All the teachers at my children's much more normal prep school have degrees and teaching qualifications.

basingstoke Sat 18-Jun-11 21:35:25

You don't need to be a qualified teacher to teach in a state school. But you'd be paid less. And less likely to get a job.

MmeBlueberry Sat 18-Jun-11 22:18:19

I have six children in three different independent schools and I would not be impressed if they were not taught by qualified teachers.

Having been to school does not qualify you to teach. It's not exactly a hardship to invest in your career and spend 9 months doing a PGCE.

c0rn55ilk Sat 18-Jun-11 22:20:58

But if you've worked in industry e.g ICT plus a degree, you will probably have greater knowledge of your subject than a qualified teacher.

basingstoke Sat 18-Jun-11 22:24:19

Knowing your subject isn't enough. Any teacher who teaches their own subject knows more than their students will need to learn. A PGCE is about learning to teach. But then again I work with some excellent unqualified teachers.

MmeBlueberry Sat 18-Jun-11 22:25:26

But where is the pedagogy?

There is a lot more to teaching than knowing your subject. I would say that for ICT, subject knowledge accounts for 10 - 20% of the job.

Knowing your subject is vitally important, but so is knowing how to teach.

Iteotwawki Sat 18-Jun-11 22:26:28

My friend teaches in an extremely good private school with no qualifications (bar A levels) but a wealth of industry experience.

His students mostly achieve an A at A level, the ones who pick the subject as an easy option get a sharp wake up and do less well.

c0rn55ilk Sat 18-Jun-11 22:28:27

I agree (I have a PGCE) but I do think that someone who has a real knowledge of how their subject can be used in the working world would be really useful - many teachers just do not have this experience.

IndigoBell Sun 19-Jun-11 12:08:23

How can subject knowledge only account for 20% of the job? That is outrageous.........

And that is why studying ICT at school is a waste of time, because they don't teach anything useful or relevant......

Far too much emphasis is placed on kids having fun and passing their exams. And not enough emphasis on kids actually learning the subject.........

MmeBlueberry Sun 19-Jun-11 13:01:21

Regurgitating facts is only part of a teacher's job.

PrincessJenga Sun 19-Jun-11 13:54:59

I think you could teach in any school (state or private) without formal teaching qualifications, but to be honest, I can't imagine why any school would employ an unqualified teacher when there are plenty of qualified ones around! (Actually, I can imagine why they would - so that they could pay you less!)

If you're serious about changing careers you'd be better off spending some time in schools to check it's the career for you and then applying for a PGCE or GTP. If you have a lot of industry experience and you're already quite confident with the idea of teaching (which you must be if you'd consider doing it unqualified!) then the GTP might be the more appropriate route - you get 'stuck in' quicker and get paid for it - but if you want more support with learning teaching theory etc then the PGCE is a better bet.

Hulababy Sun 19-Jun-11 13:59:34

You do not have to have a teaching qulification to teach in any school. State schools and private schools alike can employ none "(teacher based) qualified teachers. There is usually a different pay scale available.

However it is very unusual in state schools and increasingly unusual in private schools to have unqualified teachers, other than in specialist areas - such as sport, music, etc. where experience often counts for a lot too.

At DD's pre school ALL of the class teachers have teaching qualifications and almost all the additional teachers. They do have some music and sports specialists who come in too, plus the woodwork teacher I believe, who may not have qualified teacher status, but they have relelevent specialist qualifications and experience, and a proven record for teaching children in other forms.

MmeBlueberry Sun 19-Jun-11 14:09:32

I was half-listening to a debate on R5 this morning about academies and free schools, with them being accused of hiring unqualified teachers.

The opposing viewpoint was that there are no PGCE courses for smaller subjects, such as Latin. This means, practically speaking, that certain subjects are limited to independent (private and free) schools.

The reality for a mainstream, non-shortage, subject is that no school will touch you without teaching qualifications.

It is hard to enter the profession doing A-level only. Schools are protective of their A-level classes and will wean you in over several years. I don't think I have seen a 6th form college job welcoming NQTs.

missmiss Sun 19-Jun-11 14:31:51

I don't have QTS. I do have a first from Oxford in the subject that I teach and three years' teaching experience. However, I teach a fairly niche subject that is only generally offered in the independent sector, which I think makes a difference; I'd be less employable if there were a glut of teachers in my subject.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: