How To Get Into Teaching

So now you’ve decided to train to become a Food teacher, the Food Teachers Centre can help you get there.

Teacher Training

To become a Food teacher in a secondary school you will need to train to be a teacher in Design and Technology. This National Curriculum subject includes teaching food and nutrition. 

There are various routes into teaching, these are the most common:

Common Routes into teaching

These routes mainly apply to England. You can find links to details about Wales and Scotland below. Click here to download this information as a PDF.

To qualify to train to be a teacher, you will need the following or equivalent qualifications (followed by further study):

  • a degree or the equivalent such as a graduate certificate, graduate diploma, level 6 award, level 6 certificate, level 6 diploma, level 6 NVQ in a Design and Technology with specialist material such as a food or a related area e.g. dietician, food science etc.


  • grade 4 (C) or above in English and Maths GCSEs

If your qualifications are from outside the UK, you may be asked to formally recognise any overseas qualifications through UK ENIC – The UK National Information Centre for the recognition and evaluation of international qualifications and skills is the designated United Kingdom national agency for the recognition and comparison of international qualifications and skills. It performs this official function on behalf of the UK Government.

Then, to qualify as a teacher, you will typically need:

  • Postgraduate or Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) which offers credits towards a Masters degree


  • Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) which offers no credits towards a Masters degree but qualifies you to teach in England and Wales.

Both courses take one academic year to complete, i.e. September to June. You can then start teaching from 1st July in the academic year you have trained in.

You will then complete an additional two years training in a teaching post in which you will be referred to as an Early Careers Teacher (ECT). You will have a lighter timetable and have a mentor to support you throughout your first two years in a school.  Once this is successfully completed you are then a fully qualified teacher.

Training Courses

In England, you can gain a PGCE or a QTS qualifications in two ways: 

  • School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programmes are run across the country with different providers and are school based. Most of your training time will be in school working in the classroom, with training days run by the programme provider


  • University led programmes which are run from Universities across the country and provide experience in 2 schools for 24 weeks over the year of training. Click here to search for university teacher training programmes.

Gaining a place on a training course: The interview

Once you have been successful in applying for a course, you will be asked to attend an interview with the course provider. (Each training provider is responsible for its own recruitment and admissions policy.)

You will need to:

  • provide evidence that you can apply the fundamental skills in English and Maths that are needed to be a teacher. This will be checked at the interview, via either the interview questions or a written test which shows the course provider that you are able to use Maths and English skills in the context of education, e.g. writing reports and documents and working with data, calculating percentages etc.
  • confirm you have the health and physical capacity to start training
  • Show that you are passionate about training to teach
  • Show that you are committed to the workload that is demanded whilst training
  • Illustrate that you have the necessary practical skills to teach food as well as some elements of the design and technology.


You can update knowledge and skills through a skills enhancement course (SKE) which is undertaken prior to your teaching course. This will depend on whether your course provider thinks you require further main subject skills. There is funding for this course which is triggered through your course provider via UCAS.

If you are in Scotland:

All teacher training is university led and the qualifications below apply: 

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Education and leadership (PGDE)– completed after a UK degree course
  • Teaching Qualification (TQ) – awarded after a 4-year undergraduate course.

Click here for more information.  

If you are in Wales:

Click here for more information.

Other routes into teaching

  • Teach First Leadership Development Plan – often referred to as ‘Teach First’, this programme involves intensive, 5-week training over the summer that prepares you for immediate work in a school. You will need a 2.1 degree to qualify for this route. You gain a Post Graduate Diploma in Education and leadership (PGDE) and credits for a Masters degree. Click here for more information.
  • Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeships – these offer a combination of classroom teaching, practical learning and a salary. The final assessment for QTS Status is at the end of the training year in term 4.
  • Assessment only route – this route to QTS allows teachers to demonstrate that they already meet all the QTSstandards, without the need for any further training. Teachers need to present detailed evidence and their teaching is assessed in a school by an accredited and approved provider. Click here for more information.


There are four types of funding available. Depending on your circumstances, you could receive more than one of the possibilities:

There is extra financial support if you’re a parent, have an adult dependant or a disability

  • You can receive an unqualified teacher’s salary. This is where a school pays for your training and in return you have a teaching commitment.

Further information

For information on how to train to be a teacher, where to train, on what course, and how to fund the training, please contact The Food Teachers Centre OR check out the Department of Education website.

For advice and guidance on the best route into teaching if you are changing careers, support is available via the transition to teach programme – T2T

Teacher Training Advisor Service – Register here for advice to guide you through the application process. This is currently via UCAS Teacher Training or by direct contact with the training provider.

Teacher training providers – The Now Teach Department for Education supported web site will help you find these.

Face to face recruitment events with training providers allow you to meet with training providers and recruit potential students on to training courses. No job offers are involved. These events take place across the country throughout the year, click here.

Food Teacher job vacancies:

Now it’s over to you to decide the route to choose, what organisation to study with and how to fund your training! Remember the Food Teachers Centre is always there to help you.

Good Luck!

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