How to Become a Maths Teacher

Have you got a flair for numbers and a passion for Pythagoras’ theorem that you want to share with the world? Maybe you’re a graduate who studied maths or a related degree in physics, chemistry or engineering, just beginning your career. Or maybe you’ve been working in STEM industries for a few years and are looking to change careers. Maths teachers join the profession for lots of reasons, but the path to becoming a maths teacher is accessible and the result is highly rewarding.


Gaining Your Teaching Qualification


There are a few different routes to obtaining a teaching qualification but, for many, completing a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is often the first step towards becoming a Maths teacher. This year-long course is a unique graduate qualification that combines professional studies, school placements, and a grounding in the latest knowledge of your chosen subject and age group. While there are structural similarities across PGCE degree courses, programmes of study differentiate between Primary or Secondary teaching, subject specialisms, early years and special educational needs. Before enrolling in the course, prospective PGCE students will need to have these specialisms in mind.


With regards to funding your degree, there has never been a better time to study a PGCE to become a maths teacher as the best graduates are eligible for up to £30,000 in bursaries. With your first-class honours degree, 2:1, 2:2, Master’s or PhD, you could qualify for a £20,000 tax-free bursary during your training year and further payments totalling £10,000 as you begin your career. Alternatively, you may wish to compete for a £22,000 scholarship from the Institute of Mathematics and its Application (IMA). Even without bursaries or scholarships, tuition and maintenance loans make the course affordable.



Getting Your First Teaching Job


Finding your first job after completing your PGCE qualification can seem like a daunting task. However, 95% of newly qualified teachers (NQTs) are employed within six months of completing training, and there are many resources available to graduates looking for their first teaching position.


For many, specialist jobs websites are the first port of call when searching for UK teaching jobs. The Times Education Supplement (TES) website is a great place to start with your job search, with thousands of jobs being advertised by schools, colleges, and education providers from across the UK and beyond. Local Authority jobs boards may also serve as a good resource for newly qualified maths teachers as they often advertise vacancies for LEA schools, colleges and regional academy trusts. Independent and grammar schools may also advertise here or directly via their own websites.


Those wishing to work abroad may be interested to know that teaching candidates with UK PGCEs are in demand across the globe, with many private international schools seeking those with qualifications from British universities. Teaching jobs aboard are advertised though TES and specialist recruitment agencies.



Life as an NQT


After landing your first teaching job, you will earn a salary of at least £22,917, or £28,660 in inner London, as you settle into your Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) year. This is a statutory induction period over your first three school terms which serves to support you as you enter the profession, giving you opportunities for personal development and dialogue. Monitoring over the first three terms of teaching will help you track your performance and make improvements. At the end of the year, after successfully completing regular assessments, you will obtain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) to work as a maths teacher in the UK.


Your Career as a Maths Teacher


A career as a maths teacher offers plenty of benefits and good pay. Qualified Teacher salaries can range from £22k up to £38K, with Headteachers earning up to £116,738 in inner London. Additionally, teachers in secondary and primary schools enjoy up to 13 weeks holiday per year, good pensions and clear paths for progression.


In a profession which allows you to work with young minds, access school resources, shape your own lessons and become a vital part of your community, there are plenty of other rewards to be gained. Mathematics is a fundamental base for a range of further study, from sciences to computing so you can feel confident that you’re helping the next generation to develop skills they’ll use for the rest of their lives.


Still Have Questions?


If you still have questions about how you can become a maths teacher, then the University of Exeter PGCE admissions office will be happy to assist. You can find full contact details for them here.

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