Department for Education

Department for Education

The National College for Teaching and Leadership is part of the Department for Education (DfE). We are responsible for initial teacher training (ITT) in England. We can advise you on the different routes into teaching and which one is best for you and also provide a comprehensive programme of support and guidance all the way through the application process.

The DfE is responsible for education and children’s services in England. We work to achieve a highly educated society in which opportunity is equal for children and young people, no matter what their background or family circumstances.

We are responsible for:

  • teaching and learning for children in the early years and in primary schools
  • teaching and learning for young people under the age of 19 years in secondary schools and in further education
  • supporting professionals who work with children and young people
  • helping disadvantaged children and young people to achieve more
  • making sure that local services protect and support children

Teaching is a rewarding profession in more ways than one, offering high starting salaries, fantastic career prospects, development opportunities and competitive financial benefits.

Case Studies

  • Name: Sarah Fisher
  • Role: NQT to Head of Biology in just two years

Two years after qualifying as a teacher, Sarah progressed to Head of Biology – and since then, she has continued to climb the career ladder. Here, she tells us how she got to where she is today, and offers advice to others looking to progress quickly in teaching.

"From an early age, I knew a teaching career was for me. I could not imagine working a typical nine to five desk job. Every day in teaching brings a new challenge and new situations, which is what makes the job so exciting. Undeniably, teaching is hard work – but the knowledge that you have helped to motivate young people and helped shape their future brings more satisfaction than any other job I can think of."

"The best part of teaching is being in front of my 32 students and seeing how my passion for the subject I teach rubs off on them. When they have those 'light bulb' moments, hearing the sudden 'So that's how it works!' and seeing your pupils take your subject into A-level and beyond makes the job so worthwhile."

"For anyone looking to make swift career progression in the teaching profession, I would recommend hard work, maintaining your love for the job, and a want to bring about positive change to young people's lives"

"I am extremely proud of my teaching achievements and career progression so far. After gaining newly qualified teacher (NQT) status, I was quickly promoted to Head of Biology after two years of teaching. The encouragement and support from my Head of Faculty really helped; they saw the potential in me and I'm so grateful for that opportunity."

"With my leadership skills, my department has gone from strength to strength. We have managed to increase uptake of students from a class of 20 A-level students to 50. This was a great achievement, and I could not have done this without the support of my colleagues and the leadership courses I attended."

"I also act as Teaching and Learning Mentor, which allows me to work with staff from all departments to enhance and develop their teaching and learning. I love being able to work with teachers of all backgrounds, experienced to newly qualified, sharing good practice and developing whole-school strategies. I am currently facilitating an NQT leadership programme for teachers across the borough, which I am thoroughly enjoying."

"For anyone looking to make swift progression in the teaching profession, I would recommend hard work, maintaining your love for the job, and a want to bring about positive change to young peoples' lives."

Training & Profiles

It’s not surprising that more and more top graduates are choosing teaching as a career. The starting salaries in teaching are high compared to other graduate starting salaries, and teachers are twice as likely to be in management positions 3.5 years into their career, compared to fellow graduates.

As a graduate you have several different routes to choose from to become a qualified teacher:

School-led training

  • School Direct Training Programme
  • School Direct Salaried Training Programme
  • School Centered Initial Teacher Training (SCITT)

University-led training

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

Most school-led and all postgraduate university-led courses include a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE), a professional qualification you can gain while training towards qualified teacher status.

Trainee physics, maths, chemistry, biology, computing, languages and geography teachers are in high demand at the moment and can benefit from our exclusive Premier Plus service offering one to one support and advice from a named adviser. As a top graduate you could receive up to £30k tax-free bursary or scholarship to train, but only if you apply to start your training in 2016.

Applications are now open for courses starting in September and to guarantee that your first choice of course provider will consider you, you need to apply as early as possible.

Financial support for trainee teachers has never been better. You could get a £30,000 tax-free while you train

Schools receive many applications for their training courses, and many aim to finalise their recruitment as early as possible in the academic year – apply early.

Experienced primary and secondary teachers, achieving the appropriate standards, can earn up to £65,978 (in inner London) and up to £58,677 (in other parts of England and Wales).

Teachers’ pay is now linked to performance and not length of service; meaning it is possible for teachers to increase their salary more quickly than ever before.