Visit a School

Many people haven’t been in a school for a long time, so spending time in a secondary school is key to ensuring that you understand what it’s like to work as a teacher.

Register and our Career Change Specialists will advise on how to arrange a visit.

6/28/2022 3:00:12 PM
Edwige Nlassa Outside Lower

Visiting schools is vital.

Many career changers say that spending time in schools was the most important step as they changed career. School visits helped them decide that teaching was right for them and made their applications even stronger.

We can’t tell you is what it’s like to be in a school. There are the quiet early mornings as staff arrive and loud lunchtimes as hundreds of young people let off steam. Schools are unique places to work.

You'll need to find out what they are like yourself to make sure teaching is right for you and to hear from other career changers.

We recommend aspiring career changers organise a visit to a local school.

Contact local schools

Schools are busy places but many teachers are willing to share their experiences with you. If you have links locally, ask a nearby school if you can arrange a visit.

You can also find schools in your area using the Schools Web Directory.

We can help

Our Career Change Specialists can advise on how to make the most of your visit and might be able to recommend one of our partner schools. You'll probably need to take annual leave from work to see a school environment during the day - and we would highly recommend it.

Speak to a Career Change Specialist by registering with Now Teach

Get Into Teaching

The Department for Education’s Get Into Teaching service provides a school experience service. You register for free and they pair you with local schools.

We also suggest you visit more than one school because they can be very different; this experience will make sure you are aware of this diversity and make your application stronger.

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post qualification remain teaching one year on
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national average in England
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What to do during your visit

There are a number of things that Now Teachers say helped them during their in school experience:

  • Observing at least one entire lesson in your chosen subject area
  • Speaking to a newly qualified or trainee teacher
  • Talking to students in different year groups
  • Touring the school
  • Meeting staff working in your areas of particular interest, such as your subject, special needs or careers advice
  • Reading the school’s Ofsted report before you visit
  • Attend the morning staff briefing, if possible

If you have registered with Now Teach, tell your Career Change Specialist which school you are visiting, and we can see if there’s a Now Teacher there who can give you the inside story.

Highly recommended reading

Before you arrange your school visit, you can do some desk research too. Dive right in...

Everything you need to know about teaching

This is a really helpful and concise introduction to the English school system from academies to qualifications by the education world’s weekly newspaper, TES.

A Working Life: The Secondary School Teacher

Insightful view into the ups and downs of a day in a science classroom full of teenagers.

The School Day

Now Teachers describe their busy day around the school as career-change trainees.

Clips from BBC documentary ‘School’

Now Teachers were full of praise for this. The full series is not available right now but clips from each episode give a good introduction.

Educating Essex, Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and the East End

Very different from ‘School’ in tone, while still giving a full picture of school life and working with teenagers across England.