What Qualifications Do you Need to be a Primary School Teacher?

What Qualifications Do you Need to be a Primary School Teacher?

Thinking of training to be a primary school teacher but don’t know what qualifications you need? There are more options and avenues to take to get the qualifications you need to become a primary school teacher than ever before. Free schools, academies and independent schools can employ you without qualifications if they wish, but you will need a qualified teacher status qualification to teach in state schools in England and Wales (including special needs schools).

What is the / a Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)?

The most common route to teaching is going to university to do a degree that leads to a QTS. Most university courses take 4 years to complete, and you will need to pass these requirements to achieve a QTS:

  • GCSE at grades A* to C (9 to 4) in English, Maths and Science
  • An undergraduate degree
  • Teaching experience
  • Passes in the professional skills tests
  • Previous experience in schools or working with young children
  • Pass all background checks

What are the Background Checks?

Background checks are mandatory for all people who want to work with children. These checks include: criminal record checking (including spent convictions, unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands- full check) and a police check to see if they have any information on you that is relevant to your role.

During training, these checks will be carried out as part of the training and will be working in different schools with children. Once you finish training, your new employer will be required to do their own background checks, and this will happen with every new school you’ll work in.

Other Courses for Qualifications for Primary School Teaching:

PGCE Course

Another common way to get the qualifications you need to become a primary school teacher is by doing a ‘fast track’ PGCE course. It takes up to a year to complete after you have a degree under your belt.


Apprenticeships are a great way to learn on the job and get all the experience you need to get all the qualifications for a primary teaching role. They take about 2 years to complete to achieve a QTS and a degree might be required to apply.

Once you achieve your QTS you are able to teach in maintained schools in the UK, but you will continue to train on the job.

Looking for Primary School Teaching Roles?

At Horizon Teachers, we have plenty of primary teaching roles available to those who are newly qualified or looking for a change in roles. As part of the registration process, you will be required to have a DBS Check carried out and all original relevant qualifications will need to be sighted and copied before any work placement. For all teaching roles, you will need to hold Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or equivalent.