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The education system is fundamental to the learning and development of children, teenagers and adults alike and, currently, schooling is compulsory for children between the ages of 5 and 16.
Teachers are required at all levels in all sorts of institutions; nurseries, primary and secondary schools, sixth form colleges, universities and specialist organisations.
In broad terms, the education system is divided into four categories; state-funded, private, specialist and further education.
The vast majority - around 90% - of British schoolchildren attending state-funded schools and around 8% attending private (independent) schools. The remainder is taught either at home or in specialist institutions.
The further education sector includes staff involved in the delivery, support and management of education.
They work in general further education (FE) colleges, tertiary colleges, sixth form colleges and independent specialist colleges with young people above the age of 16.
Higher education includes universities and colleges of higher education and research.
There are many different job roles within the education industry relating to the different stages of learning: primary, secondary, further education and higher education.
Teachers specialising in different areas follow the guidelines set up through the National Curriculum.
This is used in all state-funded and most independent schools and encompasses twelve principal subjects; Maths, English, Sciences, Geography, History, Art and Design, Technology, Music, Physical Education, IT, Foreign Languages and Citizenship.
Many teaching opportunities exist outside of the UK system and out of the UK entirely.
Teaching English as a foreign language, either at home or abroad, is becoming increasingly popular amongst young people, particularly graduates, who which to gain experience, improve their CVs and experience working life in a completely different environment.
There are also a large number of roles available to those wishing to work in education but not teaching, including teaching administration, human resources and local council work.
For more in-depth information on the the different job paths within Education, please follow the below links:
Working in education requires good general academic knowledge. In the UK, teachers not only need good general qualifications including one in their particular subject of expertise but they are also required to complete a course in initial teacher training (ITT).
It is also possible for university graduates or people with other higher education qualifications to study for a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE), before qualifying as a teacher.
For more specialist areas of teaching, further qualifications and checks may be required.
Teaching is often regarded as one of the most rewarding careers. Furthermore, working as a teacher means enjoying numerous perks in addition to a competitive salary, including long holiday periods and a public-sector pension.