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Considered teaching in Further Education?

by Tahira Majothi on May 7, 2010

logo_0Have you ever wondered about teaching opportunities open to you outside of Higher Education? Teaching at present is one of the most popular career destinations not only for graduates and postgraduates but career changers as well. 

If you are interested in working with post 16s or adult learners then you may wish to consider further education (FE). The opportunities vary from teaching academic or vocational subjects; work based learning or continuous professional development (CPD) courses. The qualifications range from basic entry level skills up to foundation degree level. The PGCE or Schools Direct pathways may be an option if you wish to teach an academic subject to A-Level standard. 

FE learning can take place in specialist colleges, sixth form schools, adult learning centres; work based learning centres or prisons.

Starting salaries range from £22,857 for unqualified lecturers up to £34,587 for senior lecturers and higher salaries for management roles. FE lecturers can work part-time or on a rota basis and can supplement their income with a ‘portfolio’ of jobs such as home tuition, marking exams, consultation work or writing publications and text books.

Career progression options range from becoming a senior lecturer, a head of department, admissions or management roles and pastoral support to name a few.The Prospects Occupations section has more information.

Increased competition for jobs means that a strong job application is crucial. You will need to demonstrate an understanding of the curriculum, have relevant FE classroom experience as well as evidence of key transferable skills such as:

  • Passion and enthusiasm for teaching
  • Sound knowledge of your subject
  • Time management and organisational skills
  • Creativity in planning lessons and materials
  • Ability to relate to and motivate learners of differing abilities
  • Resilience and patience

Aside from an FE PGCE qualification you can choose to train either as a ‘full’ or ‘associate’ teacher.

An associate teacher has fewer responsibilities with very little involvement in creating course content and is more likely to be delivering information or material produced by others. You will need to apply for the Certificate in teaching in the lifelong learning sector (CTLLS).

If you are interested in a full teaching role, with key responsibilities in organising course content and delivery you can apply for the Diploma in teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS). The diploma is equal to the PGCE/CertEd.

Newcomers to teaching are likely to be offered the Preparing to teach in the lifelong learning sector (PTLLS) course before choosing the certificate or diploma pathway.

Qualifications for teaching at any level are always subject to change and different college employers may accept different qualifications depending on their subject-specific recruitment needs. Keep up-to-date with qualifications on the FE Advice website. 

FE Advice has comprehensive information for people who want to work in further education as a teacher and you can find details of teacher training provision on the Talent website.

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Janet Richardson May 20, 2010 at 1:00 pm

I have 4 members of staff who would like to access the PTTLs course, I have been told by JIF that they will fund it. Please could you send me the course content and applications.

Many Thanks

Janet Richardso
Nurse Development Manager
Trafford Acute


Tahira Majothi May 26, 2010 at 10:57 am

Hi Janet,

Thank you for your comment. There are a number of Colleges based in the Northwest that offer the PTLLS qualification. The PTLLS is viewed as a threshold qualification rather then a stand alone qualification. There is no funding available if it is taken on its own, it really is seen as a way to get onto the Certificate (CTLLS) or Diploma (DTLLS) pathways and as a way to progress into teaching.

The most popular routes into teaching at post 16 levels are still the PGCE or the Diploma.

However if your staff are keen to start with the PTLLS because they are not sure about teaching as a career, have no or little prior teaching experience or are seeking to expand their current practice then they can apply to one of the following institutions offering the PTLLS.

Trafford College (PTLLS Course);

Contact Course Enquiries on 0161 886 7070

CTLLS Course at Trafford College; CTLLS course at Trafford College

The Manchester College (Course Enquiry Team 0800 068 8585)



Hopwood Hall College in Rochdale. Email for more information


Please note that each institution will have slight differences in fees, applications and course content, it is best to check with the College’s course enquiry team first.

Alternatively you can contact Lifelong Learning UK’s Information and Advice Service (IAS) on 0300 303 1877 or visit their website

Hope this information has been of use to you.


Abby September 16, 2010 at 11:31 am

I would like to do a primary PGCE, but have no idea where to start looking, I have many years of experience from abroad, and have a B.Sc in Biology from MMU. I am working full time and would like to do a Part-time course. Pls help.


Tahira Majothi September 16, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Hi Abby,

Thank you for your question, I would say that the Graduate Prospects website is a great place to start! They will explain the eligibility criteria and walk you through the application process

Places for Primary PGCEs are highly competative. You will usually need to have achieved a 2:1 in your degree, have GCSEs at grade C or above in your English, Maths and Science and have related work experience with the age range you wish to teach (usually 3 weeks in total).

You can search for Primary PGCE courses and then apply through the central applications system called the Graduate Teacher Training Registry

You will be able to search for courses the week commencing 20th September 2010 onwards.

The applications for primary places opens every year on the 1st September (in the year before you wish to study i.e. 2011) and closes on 1st December.

The Training and Development Agency will also provide an overview of teaching, the different routes available to you as well as information on bursaries

Finally you mentioned that you are a MMU Graduate, how long ago did you graduate? Did you know that you can still access careers support from the MMU Careers Service up to 3 years after you have graduated. Please visit their website or call them on (0161) 247 3483 for more information.

I hope this has been of some use to you and wish you all the best with your future plans.


Allyson Tetik October 6, 2010 at 10:51 am

Dear Sir or Madam
I completed the level 4 TESOL Intensive course in 2006 and went on to complete the C&G 7404 stages 1 and 2 in 2007. I have previously worked in the FE sector teaching ESOL and literacy to adult learners up until 2009, but due to unforeseen personal circumstances and redundancies in the Skills for Life department, I have not worked since then. I would now like to develop my professional teacher training and would like to enquire as a whether my next step is enrolling on a CertEd or PGCE course.
I look forward to your correspondence.

Yours faithfully

Mrs Allyson Tetik


Tahira Majothi October 13, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Hi Allyson,

Thank you for your question and I apologise for the delayed response. Essentially the only difference between the Cert Ed and PGCE seem to be the level, PGCE is at level 7 or postgraduate level. They can both help you get into teaching but it does depend on what you wish to teach and the age range you wish to teach.

Would you like to continue to teach ESOL, work with adult learners in FE (College) or adult education centres?

Alternatively would you prefer to teach a specific subject? In which case the PGCE would be the best option.

These options (Cert Ed, DTLLS, PGCE) would help you work towards your Qualified Teaching and Learning Skills (QTLS) status.

Competition for PGCE places however is competitive and so your work experience has to be recent (within the last year if possible) and with the relevant age group you wish to teach. You will need about 3 weeks worth of related experience; this does not have to be concurrent.

The Nextstep adult guidance service provides full details of the different entry routes into teaching, I have picked out teaching routes in further education as an example, but you can look over primary or secondary education and more.

You can also speak with a Careers Adviser by calling Nextstep on 0800 100 900. Alternatively contact Lifelong Learning UK.

Lifelong Learning UK is the Sector Skills Council for the professional development of anyone wishing to work in further education. They also provide details of accredited courses. You can call their information and advice line on 0300 303 1877 or visit their website

If you have been out of the workplace for a little while, it might be worth considering voluntary work. A lot of voluntary schemes offer comprehensive training and support and are a lot more flexible than paid opportunities.

These placements will help you enhance your CV but will also provide an opportunity to see if this is the career for you, allow you to build skills and gain awareness of the current learning needs of children and adults as well as increase your confidence levels and provide a new social network for you.

Try these organisations to help get you started Volunteering England or CSV

I hope this information has been of use to you and wish you all the best with your future plans.


veronica October 19, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Hi, I gained my Hon. Degree about 15 years ago and now would like to teach Chinese. Please advice.


Tahira Majothi October 22, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Hi Veronica,

Thank you for your question. The entry routes into teaching (open to you) will depend on whether you wish to teach in Schools/Colleges or Universities.

Your initial question has raised more questions actually! For instance, what was your first degree in? What related teaching experience do you have? Would you like to teach in the UK or abroad? In terms of teaching Chinese, what age range or level would you like to teach? Are you fluent in Chinese or was that your first degree?

I would suggest that you start your research by visiting the Prospects Occupations website to find out about routes into teaching at primary, secondary, further education or university level:

Bursaries are available in some cases in subject shortage areas such as sciences and modern languages. These may be subject to residency criteria if you are not a UK national or ordinarily resident in the UK, you will need to check eligibility.

You can also contact the Training and Development Agency which is responsible for the professional development of those who are interested in teaching.

Alternatively if you wish to speak to an Adviser at the TDA, you can call their Information line on 0845 6000 991

I’m sure you will have some follow up questions which I am happy to answer, alternatively you can contact the Careers Service at the University you attended to see if they can provide you with support. Information, advice and guidance is also provided by the Nextstep Careers Service or call them on 0800 100 900.

Best wishes



cecile May 5, 2011 at 10:30 am

Hi there, I have recently gained my Ba (Hons) Open (subjects spanish, international politics and sociology) and would like to enroll on a course to become a qualified teacher in higher and further eduction. Ultimately, I would like to teach in universities but am aware that a master and a PHD are usually required. I am also a french native speaker, and have already gained experience teaching french to adult learners and was wondering if I could enroll on a PGDE (or equivalent) taking French as my subject. In the best of cases, is there anyway to enroll choosing 2 subjects? (in my case French and spanish). And finally does Salford Uni offers such a course?
Thank you for your help.


Tahira Majothi May 6, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Hi Cecile,

Thank you for your question, I will try to answer it as best I can.

In terms of teaching at a University level, this can depend on a number of factors such as industry or vocational experience, subject shortage areas or relevant expertise in the area you wish to teach. You may also need to commit to further study. You will need to demonstrate an passion for teaching so it would be useful to try to accumulate some work experience in a University or College unless that is where you have taught adult learners already. In addition you may be asked to focus some of your time in researching your subject, writing publications and producing work for peer review. Please see this link from the Graduate Prospects website for full information on entry requirements to be a Higher Education Lecturer:

The PGDE is the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education and is offered in Scotland for those interested in teaching at a Primary or Secondary level, it is equivalent to the PGCE. Do you wish to teach in Scotland? If so, The General Teaching Council for Scotland has some useful information:

If you wish to teach two languages in the UK, this may be possible with one being the main and one a ‘subsidiary’, do you mean at a PGCE level though? If so, you can check with institutions or the Training and Development Agency There are likely to be bursaries still available for those that wish to teach Modern Languages. You can search and apply for PGCE Primary and Secondary courses via

The Graduate Prospects website also has some information on Teacher Training in general

I hope this information has been of use to you, please feel free to get back in touch if you have any other questions.

Best wishes



Andrew McDonald May 9, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Hi Tahira,
Great post. Is the Cert Ed offered at Salford University?


Tahira Majothi May 10, 2011 at 9:02 am

Hi Andrew,

Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately Salford does not offer the Cert Ed. We offer a MA/PGDip in Creative Education and TESOL courses.

The Cert Ed is offered at MMU:

You can also search for specific courses via or you can use the ‘Find a Course’ search facility on the Nextstep website:

I hope this helps.



Awa June 14, 2011 at 11:19 am

Dear Tahira,

I hold a degree in English and a TEFL certificate. I am a qualified IDTA Dance teacher and have been working in primary schools for 4 years. I was about to apply for a PGCE in Drama but when I auditioned for a job, the employer informed me that the company offered PGDip in Performing Arts, which sound more than perfect; but I am now confused. Though I love working in primary schools, would the PGDip allow me to also teach in secondary schools, college or even university? I am aware the PGCE only focusing on one subject, but I feel the PGCE is far much recognized and offer great teaching methods. That will be fantastic if you could help me see the light.

Best regards,


Tahira Majothi June 26, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Hi Awa,

My apologies for the delayed response to your query.

In reference to your question the PGDip in Performing Arts will further your professional training and may allow you to teachin adult education settings or vocational Colleges but you may find that you will still need to committ to some further teacher training.

May I suggest you ask the PGDip course provider about the destinations of previous graduates, and perhaps speak with some local Schools and Colleges about entry requirements.

There are separate PGCE pathways if you wish to teach in Primary School, or Secondary Schools and Colleges. A PGCE can come in useful if you wish to teach GCSEs or AS Levels or A Levels in Performing Arts. You will also learn more about the 14-19 curriculum and teaching methods and strategies as well as school placements.

Ultimately the choice is yours, but it might be worthwhile looking at course modules for the PGDip and researching what a PGCE is before you make a decision. These links are from the TDA website and the Graduate Prospects website:

Teaching is a very competitive career but very rewarding, I hope that I have been able to answer your question and wish you all the best with your plans.



Darren Claxton August 24, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I am starting my CTLLS in September, also the access to music- music educators course at level 3, will this enable me to teach music at post 16 level.
Many thanks


Tahira Majothi September 7, 2011 at 9:02 am

Hi Darren,

Apologies for the delay in getting back to you, I’ve just returned from annual leave.

To answer your question, the CTLLS which requires 30 hours of teaching time will be enough to enable you to work as a Associate Teacher which means that you can teach some classes or undertake one-to-one work but you will not have lead responsibility for students or preparing curriculum related work.

This qualification may help you to secure work in a FE College possibly supporting teachers delivering A-Level music courses or vocational music courses such as BTECs.

You can progress onto the Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS) which is equivalent to the PGCE or a CertEd, this is the full teaching qualification.

If you start work after the CTLLS you may wish to ask your employer whether they would support you to work towards the DTLLS as you may need this to register membership with the Institute for Learning (IfL) and to work towards your initial teacher training qualification (ITT). See this link for more info:

Although Lifelong Learning UK has now been disbanded and its responsibilities transferred over to LSIS, information is still available from their archives:

I hope this helps and wish you all the best with your future plans to teach music at post-16 level.

Kind regards



Isobel September 17, 2011 at 11:20 am

I did my degree in Management and Leisure and went on to do do a Post Graduate Diploma in Life Long Learning from Bolton University 2009 with the hope to teach in future education. I wanted to do life skills like budgeting and business however failed to get employment. When I apply for jobs they ask if I have a subject specialist like ESOL or literacy which I don’t.
My question is – is there any way of using the teaching qualification to teach in either secondary education or future education or did I waste my time doing the course! Do you have any suggestions as to what I could do with the qualifications ie top up course or a postgraduate/masters?


Tahira Majothi September 19, 2011 at 11:41 am

Hi Isobel,

To answer your question, I think you should be able to teach but it does depend on what you want to teach and the age range you wish to teach. Given your degree was in Management and Leisure, this may give you scope to teach vocational subjects at College rather than A-Levels e.g. perhaps a BTEC qualification?

The type of courses your qualifications compliment include business modules, Travel and Tourism or Sports Management courses, but these may depend on the weighting of the modules you studied in your degree.

You may also be able to teach in Adult Education Centres, check with the Education department via your local Council for details of centres. It may be that you will have to call the Centres to meet with course tutors for advice on progress routes t to gain some work experience.

If you are struggling to secure a job you may have to be more flexible and consider moving or taking on part-time work initially. There may also be scope for supply work or work as an classroom assistant or Leaning Mentor at a College/Adult Education Centre etc until a suitable position becomes available.

It seems in your case that you have been turned down for positions because Colleges are trying to meet the demand for ESOL and literacy tutors. If you cannot secure a position, you may wish to consider studying further laterally as an ESOL or a Literacy tutor or continue to work towards a Postgraduate level that is equivalent to a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) which will allow you to teach A-levels.

You will also need to register with The Institute for Learning (IfL), they may be able to advise you on your options, here are their contact details :

Here are some useful websites for you:
Further Education jobs

Have a look at this guide produced by Manchester Metropolitan University on finding teaching vacancies:

You can also look at the Further Education job profile on the Next Step website for details on entry routes:

I hope this helps to clarify your options a little.

Best wishes



Isobel September 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm

That is great thanks for all that information
I will look at the websites you have suggested


Aleesha December 17, 2011 at 10:20 pm


I did my degree in BA HONS Criminology. I went for an interview for my pgce but unfortunately I was unsuccessful. I really want to get onto my PGCE this year, as I missed the deadline last year. Are there any other routes to do the PGCE besides TeachFirst & GTP? & with the PGDE do you get the qualified teachers status?


Tahira January 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Hi Aleesha,

Sorry for the long delay in getting back to you. I am not able to provide a full answer as you have not mentioned the age range you wish to teach, any relevant work experience or why you were unsuccessful in your PGCE application.

There are a number of different routes into teaching, and new intitiaves being considered by the Government to get people thinking about teaching. As you rightly mention the PGCE and GTP and Teach First are just three schemes.

Other lesser known routes are School Centered Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) or a degree in Education or indeed working in schools in a support role such as a classroom assistant, learning mentor or teaching assistant and then working your way up to reapply for a PGCE.

I would suggest that you contact local schools to see if they have opportunities available in support roles if there are no GTP places, please be aware that it is best to approach local schools as they prefer to train people to retetain them as future staff. You can search for opportunities via your local Council website or by visiting

I would also suggest that you consider asking family or friends who have young children, to see if they are aware of any opportunities or have contacts in schools that you could speak to.

If at all possible, try to get in touch with your local Careers Service, they may still be able to advise you on your best options going forward and help you look for work expereince opportunities or help with mock interviews. You can search for details of University Careers Services here:!efele

Further advice may also be available via the Teaching Information Line 0800 389 2500 or by visiting the Teaching and Development Agency or one of their regional events:

The Graduate Prospects website also has useful information for anyone considering a teaching career:

I would like to wish you the very best with your future career plans, please feel free to get in touch if you have any follow up questions.

Kind regards



Natalie December 21, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I passed a Ba hons in retail and after working with children i have decided that i want to train to become a teacher. I would like to teach primary school key stage 2 (the age range that i have been working with). I am very confussed about what courses i would have to do will a preparing to teach in the lifelong learning sector (ptlls) be a good start to become a primary school teacher. please help i would like the quickest way to become qualified.


Rabia Raja February 8, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I am graduating this year with a Law LLB undergraduate degree and I wish to teach at law at a further education level. I have looked in to doing the DTLLS and also the PGCE. I am not quite sure what the best course will be for me. Please advise. Thankyou.


Tahira Majothi April 12, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Hi Rabia,

Apologies for the delay in answering your question, our blog has been undergoing some maintenance. You may have already received a response to your question, but if not, it really does depending on what age range you would like to teach. If you wish to teach at GCSE or A-Level grade, then the PGCE is probably the most appropriate route. It is by no means the only route, there are other schemes such as Teach First or the Graduate Teaching prorgramme, which places you in a School on a salary with training alongside your teaching committments. You can explore all options fully by visiting the new Teaching Agency website:

I hope that this link will be useful in helping you to explore your options and become familiar with all the routes into teaching. You will also need to remember deadlines for a PGCE and the importance of work experience with the age range you wish to teach. For full information on how to apply for a PGCE, see

Best wishes



Lee Coates February 13, 2012 at 6:33 pm


I have a CTLLS and I’m trying to work in the education sector but I don’t know where to start, please advise.

Thank you



Tahira Majothi April 12, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Hi Lee,

Apologies for the delay in getting back to you, our blog has undergone some maintenance. To answer your question, it really depends on what kind of job you would like within the Education sector. If you are interested in teaching, I would need to know a little about the age range and your background or teaching experience and what subject/s you would like to teach in order to best advise you.

If however you would like to continue to work in FE College levels, you may need the PGCE (mostly to teach academic subjects, although not exclusively) or progress onto the DTTLS Course, which is the next step up from the CTTLS and is equivalent to the PGCE. Here are some useful links for you:

Kind regards



Leighton July 3, 2013 at 5:55 pm

I’m currently a serving soldier in the British Army but looking at changing career. I have CTTLS from my Instructor role but I don’t exactly know what I can do with this qualification? Any help would be greatly appreciated..


Tahira Majothi July 5, 2013 at 3:12 pm


Thanks for getting in touch. In terms of next steps, I would advise you to take stock of your current knowledge, experience and skills. It might be worth undertaking a SWOT analysis or researching options and sectors to help clarify your ideas. Here are some resources to get you started:

Here is some guidance from the MOD on options upon leaving the Army:

You have a CTTLS qualification and that can help you to look for work in the lifelong learning sector, whereby you can become an instructor, trainer or tutor working in further education colleges or with adults in community education centres.

Teaching options will vary depending on your previous qualifications, teaching experience, the age range you wish to teach and what subject you would like to teach. The Teaching Agency has also launched an initiative to encourage ex army personnel into teaching, this is called ‘Troops into Teaching’:

If you would like to get a sense of career options across different sectors, you can start your research on the Prospects website or use some of our resources on the current Labour Market:

I hope that this has given you are starting point. If you have a university degree, it may be worthwhile contacting your university careers service to see if they can offer you any additional careers support, CV or job search advice or perhaps the University Alumni service may be of assistance. Here are details of University Careers Services across the UK:!efele

Alternatively you can contact an Adviser from the National Careers Service for further assistance:

I would like to wish you the very best with your future endeavours.

Kind regards



Eva August 13, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Dear Tahira,

I came across this blog and I find it very informative. I would be interested to hear your advice on my situation.
I have a Bc and MSc in Economics with focus on International Trade (I also did International Politics as my minor with focus on EU). I did both at University in Prague. After a relatively successful career in finance and climate change related business in London I have decided to have a career break and I am now considering a complete career change. I would be very much interested in teaching particularly in the FE sector. I also have a preference for a full teaching role rather than an assistant teaching role. Is the DTLLS the best way for me? And generally where do I start?

Kind regards


Tahira Majothi August 14, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Hi Eva,

As with much of the education sector, the Government has announced changes to the FE sector, including qualifications. The entry requirements to work in a FE College will probably differ depending on the College you choose to apply to, and whether you would like to teach academic subjects such as A-Levels or AS Levels or whether you would prefer to teach business and economics with a more vocational slant with BTECs, National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) or Foundation Degrees or Diplomas.

One of the benefits of pursuing a career in the FE Sector is that there greater flexibility in terms of the age range and backgrounds of students you could teach but also the value placed on your employment history, work experience and other professional qualifications.

An FE employer might be quite interested in your industry experience and commercial awareness and may offer you a job with a view to gaining teaching qualifications equivalent to, if not the actual Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

In terms of next steps for you, take a look at this website for details of the types of qualifications that will be available from September 2013 on wards for anyone wishing to teach in the FE sector:

The Government has also recently announced bursaries for graduates interested in teaching Maths, English or working with students with specific learning difficulties:

If you would like to teach A-Levels then you could consider a PGCE, applications will probably open online again in mid-October, you should probably try to gain some work experience by contacting your former College or a local College to see if you can get some relevant classroom based work experience:

You can also try to secure work experience with college age students by contacting local youth clubs or volunteering opportunities with an education or literacy/numeracy focus:

Hope these links give you some idea of the best route forward for you.

Good luck!



Annmarie Francis August 19, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Good afternoon Tahira

I am so glad I came across this site :)

I wonder if you could give me some advice please?

I have just finished a PTLLS course at Sutton College and am wondering what my options are in terms of what I can teach. I want to teach personal and social life skills in a post 16 adult learning centre such as CALAT but have no idea how to go about it or even if the PTLLS qualification will allow me to do so. I am a qualified freelance Social Worker and I use the skills and training I have doing voluntary work with parents and young people in my local community. I also did a L2 Introduction to counselling and a L2 Equality & Diversity course. Not sure how useful the last two are, if at all.

Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Kindest regards



Tahira Majothi August 20, 2013 at 10:41 am

Hi Annemarie,

You obviously have a lot of transferable work experience and a PTTLS qualification is a start in terms of demonstrating your desire to teach within the lifelong learning sector.

Did you gain any relevant work experience or classroom shadowing experience whilst undertaking the PTTLS course? As I mentioned in my response to the previous questions posted on this thread, there are changes to FE teaching qualifications, you can find more information here:

In terms of teaching opportunities, you may be able to work in FE Colleges with a vocational slant, adult education centres in the community, training and education providers working with job centres and the local Council to support unemployed young people and adults into work preparation schemes.

The employer you work for, may be willing to take you on as a trainer rather than full teacher with a view to you undertaking further professional teaching qualifications for instance a CertEd or PGCE.

In terms of what you can teach, that will depend on where you feel your strengths and interests lie, you may choose to deliver skills for life workshops for people with learning difficulties and disabilities or Health and Social Care courses? The counselling and equality and diversity courses will help if you decide to teach the above, as they may provide transferable knowledge for modules that may make up part of health and social care courses.

You can explore possible course choices by visiting the National Careers Service, and checking out courses using the drop-down menu on the right of the page ‘What kind of course?’

I would also suggest that you check out your local Council website’s Education pages to get details of Colleges and Adult Education providers and start making speculative applications for work shadowing experience or job opportunities, perhaps even consider being a classroom/ teaching assistant or a learning mentor?

You can also search for education related voluntary work experience opportunities here:

On a final note I would also advise you to contact the Careers Service at Sutton College to see if they can help you to further explore your options.

Best wishes,



Annmarie Francis August 23, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Apologies for the late response Tahira

Thank you so much for the wealth of information and advice you have given me.

I did not get any classroom/shadowing experience whilst doing PTLLS but have done work as a classroom assistant in a secondary school and as a self employed Learning Mentor with an AEP, delivering PSHE and one to one listening/talking sessions.

Your advice has given me the clarity I needed which is that I do not want to be a full teacher, I do not want to work in a college but do want to deliver workshops in an adult education/community centre in life skills. My passion lies in wanting to make a change through sharing my experiences. I guess my strengths lie in my ability to engage and motivate others or maybe that’s just my passion again!

I was not confident the PTLLS qualification would allow me to go down the Health and Social Care route but if I understand you correctly, can I use my transferable knowledge from courses I have done which would be relevant to Health & Social Care modules? That would be brilliant.

I will definitely check out some of the options you have provided and will have a go at doing my first ever speculative job application.

Many thanks again Tahira

Have a great bank holiday break :)



Tahira Majothi August 28, 2013 at 9:02 am

Hi Annmarie,

You may be interested in helping others to make positive changes in their life, you may wish to consider becoming a Life Coach, here are some more specific details on what this role involves and entry routes:

You may also be able to search for Life Coaches in the UK via this directory, might be useful if you would like to get some work shadowing experience or just talk to a couple of life coaches about their career path and training, see if it’s right for you:

Kind regards,



Annmarie Francis August 28, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Good afternoon Tahira

I hope you are well

Thank you so much for replying again and with yet more advice and information.

Your suggestion really resonated with me as it is definitely the type of work I want to do and feel my life and professional experiences could be used to help others.

Finding and talking to life coaches about their training and career paths is a great idea and will try and see if I can do that as soon possible.

As soon as I press send, I will be looking at the latest websites you have provided (excited now)!

Hopefully, you will be still be here in months to come, I would love to update you on how things go.

Many thanks again

Kindest regards



donna September 3, 2013 at 6:07 pm

hi i have just got a degree BA (Hons) visual arts and i would like to get into teaching in colleges what is the best and quickest way to go about it i have my level 2 english but not maths yet i have been told i can do my maths alongside a part time pgce , but i was wondering whats the difference between a pgce and ptlls, ctlls and dtlls i would love to gain my qualification while on the job i have looked into schools direct but they have nothing in a 50mile radius of me just not sure which route to take.

Kind Regards



Tahira Majothi September 4, 2013 at 10:52 am

Hi Donna,

The Postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) is probably the most familiar qualification to those considering teaching. It is usually one-year full-time, or two years part-time, and is usually offered by universities and includes placements depending on whether you wish to teach at a primary, secondary or post-16 level.

As I have mentioned in response to the more recent comments posted below,there have been a lot of changes to the education sector, including the further education sector, and new a qualifications framework has been introduced this September for those considering a teaching career within the FE sector:

Some FE Colleges may still accept the following qualifications: Preparing to teaching in the lifelong learning sector (PTTLS), Certificate to teaching in the lifelong learning sector (CTTLS) or Diploma to teach in the lifelong learning sector (DTTLS). The DTTLS qualification is the one seen as most closely aligned to the PGCE or CertEd and is seen as a full teaching qualification in the FE sector.

The PGCE may be a requirement set by certain Colleges if you wish to teach visual arts at an AS or A-Level standard, and the PGCE may also allow you to teach at a secondary or FE level which may open up more opportunities in terms of job search. However Colleges may have a little more autonomy when it comes to recruiting staff, compared to teaching posts at a primary or secondary level. This is usually down to the demand for the subject, your previous relevant work experience and academic qualifications. Some colleges may employ you with a view to you undertaking teaching qualifications further down the line.

I would suggest that you contact local colleges in your area, details of which may be listed on your local Council website and contact the Arts Department for some classroom shadowing experience. Also look out for job opportunities such as a learning mentor, classroom assistant or teaching assistant as these may help you get your foot in the door.

Here are some useful links for you to undertake further research: – search for colleges or 6th form collesges in the UK – FE Jobs database

Best wishes



Charlotte Arnold September 9, 2013 at 1:25 pm

I have just come across this blog and wonder if you could please help. I have recently applied to do the PTLLS at my local college. I would like to eventually teach English at post 16 level via the CTLLS/DTLLS route but the highest qualification I hold is a grade B in A’Level English Literature.
Do I need a degree or am I on the right track??

Many thanks


Tahira Majothi September 10, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Hi Charlotte,

Usually to teach traditionally academic subjects to an A Level or AS Level English Literature standard, at FE College level, you may be required to have a first degree and then progress on to the PGCE. This is because a degree will help to further your academic theoretical knowledge of the subject whilst a PGCE will focus on developing teaching skills and strategies as well as school/college placements.

However FE Colleges have more autonomy when it comes to recruitment so it may be a case of contacting local colleges in your area to enquire about teaching opportunities. Opportunities may vary depending on the subjects the FE College/s offers and what they are currently recruiting for. If you cannot find a teaching role, you may need to consider applying for the DTTLS and working as a teaching assistant or learning mentor, you will need to gain relevant work experience with the age range you wish to teach.

Work experience is crucial to see if this is the right role for you. Work experience will help you to get a better understanding of the curriculum and learning outcomes for the age range you wish to teach, to develop teaching methods and to work with mixed ability groups.

If you would like to teach English as a foreign language, the entry requirements by employers may differ yet again, some may require a degree or equivalent qualifications and relevant work experience as well as excellent written and oral communication skills:

I’d also suggest that you take a look at some of my earlier responses to questions on this post and the links I have provided to research FE Jobs and for details of local colleges.

Kind regards



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