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Career changers turn to teaching

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People seeking a more fulfilling career or a new challenge are being encouraged to find out more about a career in teaching by attending a ’Train to Teach’ event. 

New Year is traditionally a time when people re-evaluate their careers and last January the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) saw its busiest month of 2014 with over 11,000 calls to the ‘Teaching Line’ from aspiring teachers and almost half a million visits to the ‘Get into Teaching’ website. Teaching is often a popular choice among career changers and almost half (46%) of all people who registered an interest in teaching last year were career changers, with a significant proportion (38%) in their 30s. The Train to Teach roadshow is the most comprehensive event of its kind. It gives those considering a career in teaching the chance to discover more about the profession. The roadshow will be in:

– London (17/1)

– Bristol (24/1)

– Newcastle (31/1)

– Manchester (7/2)

– Birmingham (28/2)

– London (7/3)

The events provide an opportunity for aspiring teachers to learn more about how to get into the profession and the different training routes available, including School Direct. People can meet with representatives from local schools and universities who offer teacher training, as well as current teachers and teaching experts for practical tips and one-to-one advice.

A range of live online interactive eventswill also run in January and February 2015. Current teachers, who have made the change into the profession, and NCTL experts, will be on hand to answer questions and provide real-time advice and support for those interested in finding out more about the teaching profession. Participants will learn about routes into teaching for career changers, how to overcome potential obstacles when making the switch, funding the career change, and subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses.

NCTL provides a comprehensive programme of support to help people become teachers, providing guidance all the way through the application process. Charlie Taylor, Chief Executive of NCTL, said:  “We need excellent teachers in every classroom to prepare children for life in modern Britain, teaching them the core knowledge, skills and values they need to get a job and get on in life. Some of our best teachers entered the profession after pursuing careers in other fields, bringing with them a wealth of experience and expertise to inspire the next generation. “Our Train to Teach events, running across the country, will help those considering a career change to explore their options and get a better picture of what a career in teaching has to offer.”

 Ben Davies, age 31, a maths teacher in East London who used to work in the City, says:“I worked in the City in various roles in the financial marketsfor seven or eight years before turning to teaching. I missed the learning environment, and both my parents were passionate teachers, so I kept finding myself drawn to a career in teaching. The workload and pace are challenging, but no two days are the same and it’s fulfilling in a way none of my jobs have been before. When you have a lesson where everyone is progressing, enjoying the content and working well, that’s an awesome feeling and you think ‘Yes, that’s why I’m a teacher,’ and you go home feeling special, knowing that you’ve made a difference. I would urge anyone with an interest in teaching to take the next step toward a fulfilling and flexible career by finding out more about the training options, funding and support available. I made the change and, despite some challenging moments in the classroom, I haven’t regretted it once.”

Bursaries and scholarships worth up to £25,000 tax free are currently being offered to trainees who choose to teach priority subjects including maths, physics, chemistry, design and technology, languages and computing. Career changers can also apply for a place on a ‘subject knowledge enhancement’ course (SKE) to refresh their knowledge and build their confidence before applying for a teaching training positon. Applications for teacher training in 2015 are now open. Visit www.education.gov.uk/getintoteaching

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