How To Become a Primary School Teacher

1-2 minutes

If you're passionate about supporting children's academic, social and emotional development, then a career in primary school teaching could be just the thing for you. It's a career that abounds with rewards and challenges in equal measure, with no two days the same. But how do you get into teaching

In our latest insights piece, we delve into how to become a Primary School Teacher and the knowledge, skills and qualities required to be successful in the role. 

What do Primary School Teachers do?

A Primary School Teacher is a dedicated and knowledgeable teaching professional whose main responsibility is to educate and inspire young children. They play a pivotal role in shaping the future of their students, teaching a wide range of curriculum-wide subjects and crucial skills such as reading, writing, and basic maths. In addition, a Primary School Teacher is a source of knowledge and a role model, providing academic, social and emotional guidance. 

It's fair to say that no two days are the same as a Primary School Teacher. However, there are numerous core responsibilities that every teaching professional in a primary school setting will quickly become familiar with. These duties range from preparing lessons and supporting teaching assistants to execute lesson plans to marking students' work, attending assemblies and meetings, managing behaviours, and providing feedback to parents. 

With their positive attitude, energy and enthusiasm for learning, Primary School Teachers are essential to creating an engaging and vibrant learning environment where students can thrive. Of course, being a successful Primary School Teacher takes a special kind of person. However, those who embrace the challenge are destined to have a lifelong impact on their students' intellectual and emotional development. 

Knowledge, skills and qualities required to become a Primary School Teacher

Some of the knowledge, skills and qualities required to become a Primary School Teacher include: 

  • Excellent communication 
  • Organisational and interpersonal skills 
  • The ability to work in a team and inspire pupils 
  • Knowledge of effective teaching methods 
  • The ability to plan for and assess learning 
  • Knowledge of the curriculum
  • An understanding of child development
  • Creativity and adaptability
  • Critical thinking and reflective practice

Qualifications required for primary school teaching

To become a qualified Primary School Teacher in the UK, you'll need at least five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above. These should include English, maths and science. A minimum of two A-levels (or equivalent level 3 qualifications) will also be required. The most common route is to study for a Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree, which blends academic studies with hands-on teaching experience. 

The other option is to complete a degree in a national curriculum subject and then undertake a nine-month Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or a Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) if you're in Scotland. Then, you'll need to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which can be achieved by completing Initial Teacher Education or Training (ITET). 

QTS is required in most state schools in England and Wales and can be obtained in one of two ways; either with a school-based, salaried trainee scheme (like Teach First or School Direct) or via the university-based route, which is the PGCE as mentioned earlier. It's worth noting that many PGCE qualifications include QTS on completion of the course. However, not all PGCE courses guarantee QTS, so it's worth checking first. 

Gaining QTS also involves passing mandatory online literacy and numeracy skills tests. Plus, you must pass a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. All being well, you will then be considered a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) and can begin applying for classroom jobs. Once you have landed your first primary school teaching role, you must complete a supervised, CPD-focused induction year before you can finally call yourself a fully qualified Primary School Teacher.

Latest Teacher jobs at Spencer Clarke Group

If you’re searching for your next Teacher job, why not take a look at all the opportunities available with Spencer Clarke Group now? You might also be interested in when the best time to apply for teaching jobs are.  

Alternatively, why not speak with one of our specialist consultants who can discuss any upcoming opportunities or upload your CV. We work with hundreds of schools across the UK and can offer a range of opportunities including temporary, permanent and to temp-perm positions.  

Struggling to write your CV? Check out how to prepare your CV for a teacher job

Who is Spencer Clarke Group? 

Since 2017, we've been changing the face of recruitment. From our employees, to the way we do business, to the culture within our office, we're determined to make a difference and create a positive impact on everyone around us.

Recruitment to us isn't just about matching candidates and clients; we’re passionate about finding candidates the perfect job which has the ability to boost their salary and standard of living, better their work life balance and improve their mental health. 

Similarly, we understand the impact which an experienced and skilled employee can make to a business and we love seeing clients thrive through the hard work of candidates which we have placed with them. 

We operate in two sectors:

Private Sector

Public Sector 

In eleven specialisms:

Accountancy & Finance

Education & SEND

Construction, Trades & Labour

Healthcare, Social Care & Nursing


Corporate Functions & Business Support

HR & Workforce Development

IT & Digital

Property & Asset Management  

Planning, Development & Regeneration 

Highways, Infrastructure & Engineering

If you’re searching for a new role, why not visit our job page to take a look at the latest opportunities? Alternatively, upload your CV and one of our experienced consultants will contact you when a relevant opportunity becomes available. 

If you’re struggling to fill a role, why don’t you give us a call on 01772 954200 to see how we can help? One of our consultants will be happy to listen to the challenges which you are facing and advise on the best possible solution for you. 

© Spencer Clarke Group 2023
Site by Venn