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Train to Teach, Where do I Start?

By: Lucy Debenham BA (hons) - Updated: 16 Oct 2015 | comments*Discuss
Tutor College Qualification Employment


I am a City and Guilds qualified sheet metal worker as well as a welder (mostly Tig). I would like to train for a position in a college teaching welding or fabricating. Daytimes, full-time, part-time I don't mind. How do I find a course that would gain me entry into Further Education?

(Mr B.E., 18 December 2008)


Luckily, there are a few ways to gain entry into further education for this type of role. You may not necessarily need to get yourself on a course in order to teach within a college. You might be surprised to learn that not all college tutors or teachers actually have formal teaching qualifications, although obviously it can and does help. This may be partly because colleges in particular like to focus on the more practical aspects of training, by running courses such as NVQs, and so welcome tutors from all backgrounds, whether commercial, cultural, professional or academic. One common factor you may find is that many colleges prefer their candidates to have good IT Skills.

Your Local College

You may wish to contact your local college to find out what they look for when employing a teacher to find out what type of level of qualifications they prefer. Experience does count for an awful lot – many colleges will accept extensive experience over academic qualifications, especially in ‘hands on’ courses, such as welding or fabricating. You can always contact colleges that are hiring, or other local colleges just on the off-chance that they’ll be interested in taking on a new tutor, for an informal discussion.

Colleges don’t tend to follow a national curriculum as such, so the tutoring requirements may vary from college to college. This is why it’s important to ascertain the employment preferences of each college. Some colleges will be happy to take on tutors with no previous teaching experience. However, others will be more stringent and be looking for a Qualified Teacher in Further Education (QTFE) qualification. A PGCE that specialises in post-compulsory (over 16) education is another relevant qualification that can be obtained.

City and Guilds also offer teaching qualifications that you can undertake on a part-time basis. Your local college will have more information on the teaching courses available, as again this can vary depending on your locality and college resources.

Training and Developing Agency

The Government’s Training and Development Agency (TDA) also offers lots of advice on How To Become A Teacher, if this is a route you would consider. There are many different routes to becoming a teacher, depending on your current qualifications and the age group you wish to teach.

The TDA website has a quick questionnaire to help you find the right training towards an ITT (Initial Teacher Training). However, you should bear in mind that ITT and becoming an NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher) is only a requirement to teach in state-maintained schools across England and Wales.

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