Package of support for people looking to make a change for the better

The New Year tradition of pledging to make big life changes following the festive break shows no signs of slowing, according to new figures released today by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL).

Switching to a more fulfilling career in teaching looks set to remain a popular choice for people looking for a new challenge and to make a real difference through their work.

Google Trends data shows searches for ‘career change’ were higher than any other point in the year in early January. January was also the second busiest time of the year for related online searches such as ‘change life’ and ‘new job’. Searches for terms relating to moving into teaching show a similar pattern with January 2015 the busiest point for searches of ‘be a teacher’ and the second busiest time for ‘start teaching’.

Notebooks and pencil (PD)

Figures from NCTL echo this. Hits to NCTL’s ‘Get into Teaching’ website reached about half a million in January 2015 – the second highest monthly volume of traffic of the whole year. January was also one of the busiest months of the year for registrations of interest in teaching, with over 10,000 registrations logged with NCTL – almost half (49%) of these were from potential teachers currently working in another field. In total, registrations from those considering changing career into teaching topped 50,000 in 2014/15 – the highest number in three years.

Martin Stephens, a 42 year old primary school teacher trainee at Fairfield Primary Academy, Nottingham, said:

"I made both a lifestyle choice and career change when I left my job of 16 years at Press Association Images, and started my primary school teacher training, four months ago. I'd always been interested in teaching, but it was never the right moment. Finally this year I decided to just be brave and go for it – I haven't looked back since. The great thing about changing career is that I've been able to bring skills from my previous job, like time management and organisation, into my new role – as well as my own life experiences.

"Every day I get to witness those special 'eureka' moments when children work out a tricky sum or spelling and overcome obstacles. It's the most rewarding career anyone could ask for, while being incredibly interesting and challenging too. Teaching has also enabled me to spend more time with my young family. I'd recommend anyone interested in teaching to find out more – there's a wealth of information and support on offer.

To support the latest generation of New Year career changers, NCTL is hosting six online events this month which are specifically designed to show what teaching can offer, the routes into the profession and the financial support packages on offer for those making the change from established careers:

  • Monday 11 January, 6.30-8pm: Routes into teaching and subject knowledge enhancement
  • Wednesday 13 January, 6.30-8pm: Funding your teacher training
  • Monday 18 January, 6.30-8pm: Managing a career change into teaching: shared experiences
  • Wednesday 20 January, 6.30-8pm: Gaining school experience as a career changer
  • Monday 25  January, 6.30-8pm: Professional skills tests
  • Wednesday 27 January, 6.30-8pm: Support with your application

Tax free bursaries and prestigious scholarships are being offered to top graduates who choose to teach key subjects that help children reach their full potential.
People with a degree and three or more years of work experience in any field can earn a salary while they train to teach on a School Direct programme.

NCTL provides a comprehensive programme of support to help people become teachers, providing guidance all the way through the application process.

Roger Pope, Chair of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, said:

As a new year begins, we know that a lot of people will be thinking about their careers and whether there’s something else out there for them. One way of shaking off the January blues is to start a new rewarding career this year by taking your skills and experience into the classroom.

“Every year, we see an influx of people who change career into teaching, bringing a wealth of experience to help inspire the next generation. For those considering finding out more about teaching, our online events are an easily accessible way of deciding on the next step. This year you could begin changing hundreds of futures for the better – starting with your own.

For those considering a career in teaching, there is also a Train to Teach roadshow,  the most comprehensive event of its kind. It gives those considering a career in teaching the chance to discover more about the profession. January’s face-to-face events comprise:

  • Saturday 16 January, 10am: Luton
  • Saturday 23 January, 9.30am – 4pm: Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Monday 25 January, 5.30pm: Derby
  • Tuesday 26 January, 4.30pm: Cambridge
  • Wednesday 27 January, 5pm: Taunton
  • Wednesday 27 January, 5pm: Hastings
  • Thursday 28 January, 4.30pm: Hereford
  • Saturday 30 January, 9.30-4pm: Bristol
  • Saturday 6 Feb, 9.30am – 4pm: London

The events provide an opportunity for aspiring teachers to learn more about how to get into the profession and the different training routes available. People can meet with representatives from local schools and universities who offer teacher training, as well as current teachers and teaching experts for practical tips and one-to-one advice.

Applications for teacher training in 2016 are now open. Visit or call the Teaching Line on 0800 389 2500.

To find out more about the live, interactive events, and to sign up, go to:

To find out more about the Train to Teach roadshow, and to register, go to:

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