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About Now Teach:

Our candidates have decades of experience as leaders in a variety of sectors. We place them with training providers and/or partner schools, support them through recruitment and initial teacher training; connect them to a professional network; and provide a programme of support and development. All this is designed to amplify their impact and accelerate their progress as second career teachers.  

Schools throughout the UK are being challenged to enhance the quality of education that they provide and address educational inequality while simultaneously facing a shortage of teachers.

At the same time, with working lives growing longer, many experienced and highly skilled professionals are looking for new and rewarding challenges for their later careers.

Of the small numbers of people that choose to train to teach after a successful career, a lower proportion succeed (historically) than their younger peers. 

Now Teach addresses these issues by recruiting experienced professionals to become teachers in shortage subjects and providing a tailor-made support programme including facilitating a professional network to amplify their impact and accelerate progress.

We want to establish the idea of changing career later in life as a normal, unexceptional step. We want people to bring skills and insights into the teaching environment and, over time, we believe those people will contribute to wider improvements in education.

About the Programme:

Now Teach is the only programme designed for experienced career changers. We match participants with a school and/or training provider which will welcome the different perspectives and experience that a previous working life can bring.

We work alongside schools and training providers to accelerate Now Teachers development and amplify their impact. The majority of our teachers are on a four-day-week compressed training programme, allowing them the time and freedom to pursue other commitments or interests.

Participants will be connected with other experienced professionals who have all decided to make the transition into teaching, giving them a ready-made professional network.

Now Teach supports participants through a two-year training programme, from recruitment to qualification after one year and covers the first year as a qualified teacher. After that, participants remain part of the Now Teach movement and, we hope, contribute not just to their school but to changing the way education works in the UK.

We will welcome you to the Now Teach conference in July. This will be an opportunity for you to meet colleagues, understand more about your transition and get set up for the start of your initial teacher training. Your teacher training course will start in September, with some providers having some initial training over the summer. This will be outlined clearly during selection and placement. 

The majority of our trainees are on a schools-based training route. That means they have a principal school placement where they spend the majority of their time during the year. We carefully select schools to partner with which welcome the different perspectives that previous work lives can bring and share our high standards in training provision. 

Unlike many other organisations, we aim to place Now Teachers in a school that will keep the commute from home to 45 minutes or under. Although we have a range of partner schools currently, we are always looking to expand our network to ensure convenient and high quality  placements. If candidates are successful at assessment, they will be matched to a school and will  spend at least a day gaining some school experience. Matching is dependent on school and subject availability and may take some time. 

Usually your professional training, which will lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), will be delivered in partnership between the school and an established Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Provider. Most training providers also enable participants to achieve the complementary academic qualification of a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education). 

Now Teach works with schools and training providers that share our high standards in training provision.As part of the professional training, Now Teachers will have at least one tutor from the training provider who will visit the school and observe them throughout the year and a trained in-school mentor who will support their development and help them settle within their school.

By the end of the year you will be required to demonstrate your proficiency against the Teachers Standards and will have a number of formal lesson observations and complete some assignments to support this. The specific programme requirements will be determined by your training provider. 


The Now Teach support programme is designed to enable you to quickly establish a professional network as well as providing access to bespoke support to accelerate your progress. We provide a range of events, drop ins and coaching opportunities – including wellbeing coaching. We seek to place participants in groups of 2 or more to facilitate strong in-school peer support.

At the end of the training year, Now Teachers will gain QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) which will allow them to teach in any state school in England. Most training providers enable you to opt-in to a PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) which can count towards a Masters. In addition to being a fully qualified teacher, our employment rates are strong and our trainees that want to teach part time secure part time positions. You will also have a strong professional network to help you establish yourself as a second career teacher. 

It is in yours and your schools’ interests to remain in the same school if there is an employment vacancy. By remaining, you will be able to further refine the craft of teaching without also having to adapt to and learn new systems and processes associated with changing school. Although this is the ideal, there is no contractual obligation on either side for Now Teachers to stay at the same school in their NQT year. Now Teachers are free to apply to any secondary school once they have gained their QTS. 

There is a real need for teachers in the UK, particularly in the shortage subjects Now Teach looks to recruit in. In our first cohort all trainees that gained QTS were employed the following September on a basis that suited their needs and lifestyle. We are seeing similar success with later cohorts. We will provide support in finding an NQT position if one is not available at your training school. We can never guarantee a position but have an excellent record to date. 

Now Teach works in secondary schools in London, Hastings, East Anglia (focused in Norwich, Cambridge & Ipswich) and the West Midlands. We are expanding further so please fill out our expression of interest if you would like to be kept up to date on where and when we are in your area. Our expansion plans are influenced by where potential participants want to teach.


To be eligible for the Now Teach programme candidates will need to be a professional who have already had a career and want to become a teacher.

Candidates are required to have:

  • a C grade minimum for Maths and English language GCSE or equivalent
  • an undergraduate honours degree or equivalent in a related subject to the subject they want to teach
  • the right to work in the UK
  • agree to a full DBS check

Candidates should have an A level (grade B or higher for our training providers) or related degree/career to the subject they wish to teach.

We are unable to accept applications from those who do not meet our criteria as this is in accordance with government standards.

We can’t accept applications from people who already have or are working towards QTS (qualified teacher status), unless it was in Primary. Those trained in Primary are not able to teach at Secondary and so would be eligible for the programme. If a candidate holds QTLS (Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills) they are also eligible to join our programme if they feel that they would like extra training in KS3/4. However, some schools may be happy to take candidates without attaining QTS.

Unfortunately to be eligible for the Now Teach programme candidates must have completed an undergraduate honours degree.  Please check Get Into Teaching to see if there are other routes into teaching that are eligible.

The only exceptions are if candidates studied abroad and NARIC are able to verify that their degree is at honours level. Although they may be eligible to teach, they may not be eligible for a bursary.

If a candidate feels that there are extenuating circumstances which did not allow them to gain an honours degree, they should please get in touch with us.

Yes! We can only accept GCSE English as evidence of English ability, and communications, both verbal and written, will be assessed.

For any exams taken abroad candidates will need to contact NARIC to get equivalency documents. 
(For English exams taken abroad, the NARIC certificate must support that they have not been studied as a foreign language). 

If NARIC cannot verify that candidates have an equivalent to maths or English GCSE, they will need to sit an equivalency test in these subjects.

However, there are some exceptions which do apply. For full details, it is best to submit the expression of interest and discuss it at the initial screening phase.

Even if candidates completed their higher education in the UK, they will need to show an equivalence of an English GCSE. 

We accept applications from non-UK citizens.  If candidates are from within the EEA, they are able to apply if they have permission to work in the UK.  For non-EEA citizens, they can apply as long as they are eligible to work in the UK for the duration of the programme. If they have not lived within the EEA for the last three years they may not be eligible for the bursary.

We aim to recruit a wide range of people and don’t wish to exclude those who have a criminal record, but candidates must inform us if this is the case. They will be prompted to give this information at the appropriate stage of the application process. Now Teach, in partnership with its partner training providers and schools, will need to consider each case individually.

Candidates will need their original certificates. It is not unheard of that some candidates will not have kept a certificate they received some 30+ years ago, so if they have lost them it is worth getting in touch with their schools/exam boards to find these as soon as possible so we can match them with schools.

To become a teacher it is a requirement to have a maths and English C grade GCSE or equivalent. If you do not have this you can take a GCSE equivalency exam. There are lots of different providers offering this, an exam may cost around £150. A provider we recommend is Equivalency Testing.

Fees & Funding:

Our trainees will not receive a salary whilst training but may be eligible for a bursary depending on what subject they wish to teach. This is tax-free and is paid in monthly instalments over the training year. More information around salaries can be found on the Get In To Teaching website.

To be eligible for a bursary in certain subjects candidates must: 

  • Have at least a 2:2 at undergraduate degree level, or have a Masters/PhD. 
  • Have been living in the UK or other EEA country for at least three years prior to starting their teacher training. 

The training provider is ultimately responsible for deciding whether candidates are eligible for a bursary.

In the training year, Now Teachers will have to pay for their training fees which will be between £6000-£9250. Participants may be eligible for a student loan to help with this.

In the first year as a newly qualified teacher (NQT), Now Teachers will earn a starting salary upwards of £22,000 (£28,000 for inner London) with many opportunities for this to rapidly increase. Leading Practitioners can earn over £60,000.


We recruit on a rolling basis, so recommend candidates apply early to avoid disappointment. Applications are open for a September 2020 start from September 2019. The initial application form can be filled in online. Once this has been screened, we will contact candidates to let them know if they have been successful. If so, we will invite them to an Assessment Centre.

Assessments Centre days take place throughout the year, in central locations across all four of our regions (London, Hastings, West Midlands and East Anglia).

We assess candidates based on five competency areas:

  • Learning, self-awareness, and self-development 
  • Resilience and adaptability 
  • Organisational skills and time management 
  • Communications 
  • Motivation for teaching 

The assessment will include an interview, a lesson that will need to be prepared, and a subject knowledge audit.

Our aim is to place all our candidates who are successful at assessment. However, factors such as location, time of year and availability of training places mean that we can never guarantee we can match candidates with a school.

We are unable to provide individual feedback at the application stage, but we do give everybody feedback following their assessment.

Whilst candidates who have successfully applied in previous years will not have to go through the full application and assessment process, our application process can change from year to year, therefore some steps will need to be taken to confirm candidate suitability and commitment.

Assessment Centres take place throughout the year in all our regions and we aim to be as flexible as possible (assessments via Skype are an option for those unable to attend in person). However, all training providers require participants to spend some time in their school in the summer term before their September start, and others require attendance at summer school before September.

Yes, but an applicant will need to complete the full online application. We then need to understand why the offer was rejected and get a sense of the candidate’s commitment to the programme. This might involve asking them to come to assessment again, or to complete a subject knowledge enhancement course.

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions on more than four million people every year. Teachers are required to undergo an enhanced with barred lists check.

Click here for more information.

Now Teach recruiters are trained in Safer Recruitment to ensure best safeguarding practice. More details on Safer Recruitment are available on the NSPCC website.

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