Secondary school teacher
Average UK salary range
Currently employed in Scotland
Career outlookJobs in Scotland
UK employment status
You’d inspire and motivate young people to study and learn. You’d help them get the knowledge, skills and attributes they’ll need for a successful and positive life when they leave school.
You would teach young people from 11 to 18 years old, in state and independent schools. You might also work in a college or learning centre.
You would specialise in one or two subjects and teach these to students of different ages and abilities. You’d prepare young people to take the National Qualifications and Highers in your subjects.
There is national guidance for Curriculum for Excellence and National Qualifications, which you would use when planning your teaching.
- Prepare lessons and teaching materials
- Assess students’ progress and mark their work
- Manage classroom behaviour
- Discuss students' progress with parents and carers
- Organise study trips, social activities and sports events
You’d encourage the students to take pride in their achievements inside and outside school. You’d support them to build good relationships with other students and teachers and play a positive part in the life of the school and the local community.
Sometimes you would need to deal with challenging behaviour. It may be difficult to get some teenagers to study so you’d need to be imaginative and enthusiastic to keep them interested.
You’d need to attend meetings and training courses. You’d work closely with colleagues to plan the school’s timetables, and work with other professionals, such as education psychologists and social workers.
- Patience and a good sense of humour
- Enthusiaism for the subjects you teach
- A commitment to children’s development and equal opportunities
Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.
You will need either a Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree (SCQF level 9/10) in the subject or subjects you wish to teach or you can apply with any relevant degree to a PGDE - Professional Graduate Diploma in Education - (SCQF level 11).
To enter a degree (SCQF level 9/10) usually requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of three Highers or a relevant HNC/HND.
If you are applying to a PGDE (SCQF level 11) you will need good academic grades and a degree.
To enter this job you must have completed degree level study or above gaining at least 80 SCQF credit points in the subject you wish to teach. There is a lot of competition for places in courses.
Further details on specific requirements for core secondary subjects are available from General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC Scotland).
Most courses require Higher English (SCQF level 6) and National 5 maths (SCQF level 5).
Subjects related to the topic you wish to teach and social studies subjects such as psychology will also be of value.
To be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland.
Once you are qualified and want to teach in local council schools you must complete a probationary period to demonstrate that you meet the Standard for Full Registration of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC Scotland).
Qualifications and experience that show:
- the ability to work with children or young people
- communication skills
- experience related to the subject or subjects you wish to teach
You will be expected to support literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing alongside the subject or subjects you apply to teach.