Routes into teaching for graduates

There are several ways graduates can choose to get into teaching. These options differ depending on your skills, experience and how you’d prefer to learn.

Use the tabs below to learn about the different routes into teaching including information on:

  • School Direct
  • School Direct Salaried
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) courses

Teach Suffolk can also support you in gaining work experience to support your application for teacher training.

To make a successful application for teaching training you’ll need to have some experience of working in a school, and meet the minimum entry requirements to apply, published on UCAS.

Graduate internships in schools

Paid, one year internships are available across a range of Suffolk primary schools, designed to help you:

  • gain real classroom experience
  • apply for further professional training
  • find out whether working in a school is for you

Find out more about graduate internships in schools on the Rising High in Suffolk website.

Teacher's story: my route into teaching

"Go into the internship with an open mind but with an end goal in mind. Be ready to be out of your comfort zone and receive the reward for doing so. Use the time to gain as much experience on offer. You will develop transferable skills even if teaching is not for you."

Hear from Georgie Underwood, Graduate Intern, Year 6, Sidegate Primary School, Ipswich.


Contact a local school directly to see if you can get some unpaid work experience as a volunteer. You’ll need to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, and be able to offer a regular commitment during term time.

"Jason Wanner voluntarily worked at Deben High School (now Felixstowe Academy) teaching A level students. After a few months, Jason was given the opportunity of paid employment for 2 days-a-week at the school."

Hear from Jason Wanner, Director of Mathematics at Felixstowe Academy.

Other ways to gain experience

Find other ways to gain experience in schools, via schemes run by Ipswich Opportunity Area.

School Direct / Suffolk and Norfolk SCITT

School Direct courses result in Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and many award a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and Master’s level credits.

One year, school led, on the job training option

Published on YouTube by Get Into Teaching. 

Visit the Suffolk and Norfolk School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) website for more information.

School Direct lead schools in Suffolk

Suffolk’s School Direct lead schools work with partner schools to offer teacher training places to career changers and graduates.

Primary school

Secondary school

Barrow CECV Primary School, Bury St Edmunds Copleston High School, Ipswich
Exning Primary School, Newmarket County Upper, Bury St Edmunds
Fairfield Infants School, Felixstowe Farlingaye High School, Woodbridge
Springfield Junior School, Ipswich Samuel Ward Academy, Haverhill
St Helens Primary School, Ipswich Kesgrave High School, Ipswich
Stradbroke Primary School, Stradbroke  
Woodbridge Primary School, Woodbridge  

School Direct Salaried: for professionals with about 3 years work experience
(less for some secondary subjects)

Visit the Suffolk and Norfolk SCITT website for information about School Direct Salaried.

Teacher's story: my route into teaching

"I was introduced to the option of School Direct Salaried when a colleague who was a Teaching Assistant mentioned that they were undertaking this route. I went to an information evening run by the Suffolk and Norfolk SCITT and when they spoke about the School Direct Salaried.

The good thing about preparing for this interview is that I was already teaching and gaining experience, so I trialled my story sharing session with my Year 2 children before using it for my interview. It was really competitive and a lot of the candidates were very well rounded, but I was told that I had got a place at the school."

Hear from David Barrett, Assistant Headteacher, Barrow Church of England VC Primary School, Barrow, Suffolk.

Teach First

Recruit, train and support new teachers to work in primary and secondary schools serving low-income communities across England and Wales. This includes schools in more challenged economic areas of Suffolk including Ipswich and Lowestoft.

You can also apply for a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) qualification at a college or university through UCAS.

Visit UCAS for information about:

If you know you want to be a teacher before starting your degree you can apply for undergraduate teacher training on a BEd course or a degree course which includes Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Teacher's story: my route into teaching

"I always wanted to do a separate degree and then a teacher qualification, because as much as I knew I wanted a career in education, I didn’t know whether I was going to pursue the route of education in museums or teaching."

Hear from Lisa Tweed, Deputy Headteacher, Dale Hall Primary School, Ipswich.

If you’re already a competent teacher, with a degree but no teaching qualification, or have an overseas teaching qualification that isn’t recognised in the UK then Assessment Only may be an option for you.

You won’t need to undertake further training to achieve QTS. Instead, you’ll be assessed over 12 weeks in a school or educational setting.

To be considered for the Assessment Only route you must have:

  • been teaching in a school or other setting, for example, further education, for at least 2 years
  • taught in at least two schools
  • the support of a school or other education establishment for the duration of the assessment period
  • meet the qualification requirements

Assessment Only is delivered by Department for Education (DfE) approved providers which include Suffolk and Norfolk SCITT Training.

Visit the SCITT website for information about Assessment Only for teaching in primary schools or secondary schools.

My route into teaching

"I had been in a school environment for 9 years, so a lot of things were familiar to me."

Hear from Sue Ricketts, Acting Headteacher of New Cangle Primary School, Haverhill.

Contact us

Email with any questions about teaching in Suffolk.