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Teaching personal statement examples
Find out what you'll need to include in your teaching personal statement to impress training providers and gain a place on a teaching course
What is a teaching personal statement?
Your personal statement is used to explain why you want to become a teacher and your suitability for the role. While your application form briefly outlines your qualifications, skills and work experience, your teaching personal statement is where your personality shines through.
Take your time with it; be prepared to receive constructive feedback and write a few drafts before you send it off.
It's important to:
- use examples based on your recent teaching experience
- tailor your personal statement according to the school/age group
- use good, clear, written English, using first person terms such as 'my' and 'I'
- be original and honest
- avoid clichés and general statements, such as 'I've always wanted to teach'
- demonstrate a passion for teaching.
While it's crucial to get it right, your teaching personal statement is only a small part of the application process. Find out how else you'll need to prepare to get a teaching job .
How to write a personal statement for teaching
The personal statement is split into two sections totalling 1,000 words and is an important part of your application. It's crucial that you don't copy and that the statement you provide is your own work .
Section one is around 600 words and is where you explain why you want to teach and what qualities you have that would make you a great teacher. Show that you know about the challenges and rewards of teaching, discuss any lessons you’ve observed and what you would do differently and explain why you want to teach a particular subject or age group.
Talk about any experience you have outside of the classroom and any thoughts you have on the education system and welfare of children.
For the second section you can write up to 400 words. If you want to do primary teacher training you’ll need to explain why you've chosen this age group and if you want to do secondary teacher training you'll use this section to show your subject knowledge. You could talk about your degree subject and the modules within it, any relevant skills or interests you have and your understanding of the national curriculum.
See personal statements for postgraduate applications for more guidance.
The nature of your personal statement will vary, depending on the type of teaching you'd like to pursue. Take a look at some of our example personal statements to get an idea of how they differ.
Personal statement for PGCE primary
As well as focusing on roles in which you've gained experience with primary-age children, a PGCE primary personal statement should demonstrate your well-rounded personality and any skills that could be useful for the range of extra-curricular activities primary schools provide (such as the ability to read music for recorder lessons, or drama experience to help with school plays).
Personal statement for PGCE secondary
Many good PGCE secondary personal statements acknowledge the challenges involved in teaching older pupils and provide examples of where the candidate has worked to overcome these problems. As secondary teaching roles are geared towards teaching a specific subject, training providers are looking for more evidence of your subject and degree knowledge.
Personal statement for School Direct
If you're applying for the salaried School Direct route, you should discuss the experience you've gained in the classroom prior to your application. One of your references will need to be from an employer, or someone who can comment on your work ethic and suitability for teaching. Don't worry if your degree is unrelated to the subject you'd like to teach - you may still be able to apply by completing a subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) course .
Find out more
- Discover how to structure a teaching CV .
- Find out what it's really like to be a primary or secondary school teacher .
- Search postgraduate courses in teaching .
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Writing a pgce personal statement.
If you’re applying to train as a teacher you’ll be required to write a personal statement as part of your application.
Take your time writing your personal statement. It’s your first chance to make a good impression so it's well worth investing time to develop a clear structure and style of writing.
It’s a good idea to proofread your statement thoroughly and get others to read through and check for typos, grammatical errors, style, and tone.
What's the personal statement for?
The personal statement is crucial to your PGCE application; it is used primarily to decide whether to invite you for an interview. A poorly written personal statement could end your teaching career before it has started!
This is your chance to demonstrate what you have to offer as a teacher. You should also explain why you want to teach a particular subject or age range, and how your skills and experience will help you become a great teacher. It’s your chance to show your motivation, commitment and teaching potential and an opportunity to show your enthusiasm for teaching a particular subject or age group.
Remember, you only get one opportunity to write a personal statement for both cycles of applications, so it’s important to keep in mind that you should avoid creating tailored personal statements for each university.
How to write and structure your personal statement
The personal statement is split into two sections totalling a maximum of 1,000 words. It’s important to make sure you do not repeat yourself and to take time to ensure that each section is organised coherently. Divide your writing into paragraphs, each dealing with a particular aspect of the question.
Section 1: Why do you want to teach?
(Up to 600 words).
This is the place to talk about why you think you would make a great teacher. You can include:
- what has led you to choose teacher training
- your understanding of the demands and rewards of the PGCE course and of the teaching profession
- the personal qualities that will make you a valuable asset to a school
- details of any paid or unpaid experience you have of working with young people and what you learnt
- details of any other experiences which you can bring to the teaching profession. Think about any ‘transferable skills’ or qualities which you have developed which may be relevant to teaching.
- If you are a career-changer, what have you been doing and what are your reasons for the switch to teaching?
- your thoughts on children’s wellbeing and the education system
Your personal statement should tell us why you want to teach, your skills and about any experience you might have of working with young people or in the education sector. If you are taking any exams or additional study before starting the course, particularly if this relates to your eligibility to join the course, we want to hear about it.
It should also show that you understand the education system, what challenges teachers face and that you’re engaged with issues around education.
If you’ve not taught before, think about any other things you’ve done that might demonstrate the skills you’ll need to be a teacher (your transferable skills).
Although it’s a good place to expand on your skills and experience, this shouldn’t be the main focus of your personal statement as the rest of the application will showcase this.
Section 2: Why are you suited to teach your subjects or age group?
Up to 400 words.
Remember to not repeat anything you have already said in section 1!
If you’re writing a personal statement for secondary teacher training, use this section to describe your knowledge and experience of the subjects you’ve chosen. Any work experience in the field will be of interest.
What universities are looking for
Universities want to see your passion for teaching and understand why you think teaching this subject or age group is the right career for you.
Your personal statement should be original and honest. Try and avoid clichés or writing what you think we want to hear. All we really want to hear are the real reasons you’re applying to study a PGCE and become a teacher.
If you’re writing a personal statement for primary teacher training, say why you’d like to teach this age group. If you are particularly interested in certain primary subjects or have relevant experience in them, you can talk about that here too.
You could talk about:
- any relevant work or unpaid experience
- your degree and degree modules
- your other relevant qualifications, such as A levels
- any relevant skills, interests or achievements
- your understanding of the national curriculum
Questions your personal statement should answer
- Why do you want to be a teacher?
- Why do you want to teach a particular subject, Key Stage or age group?
- What are your strengths?
- What experience do you have and how has this influenced your desire to teach?
- What skills do you have that would be useful for teaching
The finer details
Your personal statement should be:
- no more than 1000 words
- written in the first-person
- grammatically correct - we suggest writing in a document before adding to your application
- your own work, don’t copy from anywhere online
- structured correctly with a clear introduction, evidenced paragraphs and a conclusion
- proof-read before being submitted
And finally, be prepared to answer questions about what you’ve written in your personal statement at the interview stage!
Find out more about how to get into teaching .
Find out more about how to get into teaching .
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Checking your eligibility to study a pgce, how to prepare for your teacher training application, how to write a good personal statement for pgce application, what to expect at your pgce interview.
- How to write a teacher training personal statement
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- PGCE university-led teacher training in England
- School Direct (tuition fee) programmes in England
- School Direct (salaried) programmes in England
- Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship programmes in England
- Teach First Leadership Development Programme
- Assessment Only programmes in England
- Researchers in Schools, including Maths and Physics Chairs programme
- Postgraduate Early Years Initial Teacher Training in England
- Teacher training fees and funding in England
- Teacher training entry requirements in England
- Train to teach in Northern Ireland
- Explore your options in Scotland
- How to apply for teacher training in Scotland
- After you’ve sent your application
- Fees and funding
- Returning to teaching
- Find teacher training programmes
- Decisions and replies
- Know your rights!
- Preparing for interviews
- Preparing for teacher training
Tips for your teacher training application
Tips for your teaching training application.
If you're looking for programmes in England , use the DfE's 'Apply for teacher training' service . If you're looking for programmes in Wales or Scotland, use UCAS' search tool .
You can only complete one personal statement You can’t change it or create different ones for university or school-based choices. The providers you’re applying to understand this, so they won’t be expecting you to say specific things about them or their programmes. However, if you’re applying for programmes in a particular subject or age group, it would be helpful to explain why you have chosen them, and the skills and attributes you have that make them appropriate for you.
I read hundreds of UCAS applications for teacher training every year, and I cannot stress how important the personal statement is. Claire Harnden, Director of Initial Teacher Training at Surrey South Farnham SCITT
What to include
You do need to think carefully about the things that all your chosen providers will want to know about you. You’ll probably want to include things like:
- your reason(s) for wanting to teach
- evidence that you understand the rewards and challenges of teaching
- details of your previous education and how you have benefitted from it
- any other work with young people, such as helping with a youth club, working at a summer camp or running a sports team
- the range of relevant abilities and skills you can bring to teaching, for example, practical experience, managing people, working with or leading a team, and communication skills
- any reasons why there may be restrictions on your geographical mobility
- why you want to study in the UK, if you don’t currently live here
- whether you have any previous classroom experience, either independently or had a taste of school life via the Get School Experience service .
These are the things all training providers want to know – whether they’re School Direct, a university or a SCITT – so there’s no need to worry that you can’t write different personal statements. Read what SCITT director, Claire Harnden, looks for in a teacher training personal statement .
In addition to the details you give in the school and work experience section, you can also expand on your experience of teaching, such as visits to schools, classroom observations or working as a teaching assistant. To help, read Chris Chivers' tips for completing your teacher training application .
Whatever the route, the process will have similar elements, which are worth considering, so that the appliation has the greatest chance of making an impression. Chris Chivers, experienced ITT tutor and mentor
How to write it
You can use up to 47 lines of text (4,000 characters) in your personal statement. Some word processing packages calculate line counts differently from the UCAS Teacher Training system, so you might need to redraft your statement if there’s a discrepancy between the counts.
- Write in English (or Welsh if you’re applying to Welsh providers) and avoid italics, bold or underlining.
- Get the grammar and punctuation right and redraft your statement until you’re happy with it.
- It’s a good idea to write your personal statement in a word processor first, then copy and paste it into your application.
Don’t copy anyone else’s personal statement or from statements posted on the internet. Make sure your personal statement is all your own work.
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You might also like to read, ucas teacher training: after you send your application, sponsored articles, teacher training: three things to consider before you apply, five reasons to sign up to the ucas newsletter, how to prepare for your teacher training interview.
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PGCE Personal Statement Examples for Aspiring Educators
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A PGCE is a Postgraduate Certificate in Education that may or may not require Master's credits. It can be offered in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. The program is a course that spans one year and enables the holder to train to be a teacher.
PGCE Personal Statements
Applications for the PGCE can be made between September and June in order to begin coursework in September. Most applicants should file their application with the Graduate Teaching Training Registry.
One part of the application process involves creating a personal statement . The personal statement is fairly brief, covering no more than 47 lines. The personal statement should include:
- Reasons for wanting to teach
- Significance of previous experience
- Relevance of previous education
- Work experience with the group with whom the applicant would like to teach
Some examples of statements that could be part of your PGCE personal statement include:
- I have really enjoyed working with primary level students through my experience as a teaching assistant.
- My undergraduate work in English has helped me to build the skills necessary to effectively teach writing to youth.
- I have a passion for education and believe it to be the foundation of any civilized society. As such, I want to be a part of transforming the lives of youth to prepare them for university and careers.
- My experience as a psychology major has helped me to understand child development and has caused me to want to be a part of helping young children to build foundational skills for learning.
- As a dance student for many years, my love of physical education and my natural aptitude for it make me a highly qualified candidate to teach physical education to primary level children.
- My coursework in the field of literature and extensive knowledge of the topic uniquely qualify me to teach primary level English courses.
- I am motivated and passionate about being a part of the educational system in order to affect positive change in society.
- My experience as a daycare provider has built the experience with youth that has prepared me to be an effective teacher of primary level students.
- As a youth group coordinator of teenage children, I have the experience to effectively teach and reach this population in the classroom.
- I have had the opportunity to build my interpersonal and communication skills in a variety of jobs which makes me a candidate who will be effective in working with other faculty, communicating with parents, and being a highly effective teacher.
- In my previous work and education experience, I have formed the time management skills that are crucial to success in the classroom as an educator.
- My successful completion of my science and math coursework in my undergraduate level education has helped me to build the problem solving skills that are imperative for success in the classroom.
- My undergraduate mathematical work has prepared me for teaching secondary math.
- My own artwork and art coursework exemplifies my creativity and success in art, and reflects my potential for success as a teacher of art at the primary level.
Hopefully these examples will help inspire you to prepare your own personal statement for your application.
PGCE Personal Statement Sample
Learning is natural, necessary and nurtured aspect of life. Being a teacher will allow me to become an important figure in this process, where I endeavour to impart knowledge, expand perceptions and provide life tools during a critical stage in development. Work experience, interpersonal skills and a solid grounding in childhood, family and education studies, make me an ideal candidate to embark on a PGCE Primary, the next step in my career to become a successful teacher.
To further explore the teaching role and environment, I have undertaken a variety of placements in different year groups. Completing a full school year placement as a reception class assistant at Birchfield Community Primary School, I was responsible for a range of in-class activities, such as reading, creative play and one-to-one mentoring. Here I developed my communication skills with children who were just entering education. The reception age group presented a wide range of personalities, levels of structure, obedience and social skills. This highlighted my ability to effectively communicate with children from diverse backgrounds, encouraging positive social skills, and showing reward for achievement required for the next year of learning. Being patient and understanding, was essential to providing effective guidance through tasks children were finding difficult. This long term placement allowed me to evaluate the pupil’s and class progress over a long period of time. Completing this placement confirmed my passion for teaching, feeling a sense of achievement in my role.
Contrasting to reception age, I volunteered for four weeks in year five. This age group presented a myriad of challenges which required alternative communication and creative skills. This experience allowed me to immerse myself in a classroom containing a range of behaviours, levels of intellect and underlying issues which contributed to the learning environment. English as a second language also presented another learning dynamic which reflected the cultural diverse country we live in. I was fortunate enough to observe lesson plans, which requires a high level of understanding of the age group and creativity to best present new ideas and concepts in an interesting way. This experience developed my interpersonal skills, broadened my teaching styles and class management.
During these experiences, I developed and enhanced skills which are important for becoming an effective teacher. My genuine enthusiasm throughout my experience was reflected in my teaching style, where I feel pupils are more likely to learn from those who have a passion for what they are imparting. I have also honed my communication skills with pupils, co-workers and parents, all important figures in the child’s development. Creativity, initiative and organisation are skills which I believe are critical to successful management groups of children. I believe these are core skills to help children develop their confidence and ability, both academically and socially. I thoroughly enjoyed these placements, providing great insight and reinforced my desire to teach.
Studying BA (Hons) Childhood and Family Studies and Education Studies, I have gained a deeper understanding of child development and psychology, which has supported my communication skills with challenging classroom behaviours. My knowledge of families, communities and culture allows me to explore different approaches to learning, where I will be able to adapt teaching styles to suit the class learning process. Group projects and presentations have highlighted my teamwork and leadership skills, as well as presenting information in a clear and articulate manner.
I enjoy regular exercise, such as football and running, teaching me that a healthy mind and body is essential to managing stress, being the best I can be as a teacher and role model. My experience has shown I have the dedication, creativity, resourcefulness and passion to become an inspirational teacher.
This PGCE Personal Statement sample will hopefully aid you in your quest to gaining the education that you so desire.
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Teacher Training Personal Statement Examples
Our teacher training personal statements below, and top rated example personal statements , will inspire you to write your own unique statement, and help you understand how students have successfully applied for a PGCE course in the past.
Teacher training interview questions.
Find out more
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A Level Results Day
What is a teacher training personal statement?
The teacher training personal statement is your opportunity to let training providers know about your qualities, skills and expertise, and why you want to teach.
While your application form briefly outlines your qualifications, skills and work experience, your teaching personal statement is where your personality shines through.
Take your time with it, be prepared to receive constructive feedback and write a few drafts before you send it off.
How do I write a good teacher training personal statement?
To help you write a successful teacher training personal statement, we recommend you include:
- use examples to back everything up, based on your teaching experience so far
- tailor your personal statement according to the age group you wish to teach
- write using concise English, using first person terms such as 'my' and 'I'
- be original and honest - don't embellish the truth or lie outright
- avoid clichés and general statements, such as 'since a young age' or 'I've always wanted to be a teacher'
- demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm for teaching.
You have up to 4,000 characters to write a memorable opening, middle and conclusion.
Don't waste your valuable space on writing about things that are already on your UCAS form elsewhere, such as your qualifications.
What should I include in my teacher training personal statement?
When planning out your personal statement, ask yourself what it is your training providers are looking for. Make sure your statement answers the following questions:
- Why do I want to teach? - show that you know about the challenges and rewards of teaching, and remember that everything has its ups and downs. Maybe talk about any lessons you have observed/taught, what went well and how you would have improved on them. Discuss teaching styles used and the use of technology in the classroom.
- Why do I want to teach this age group/at this level? - what appeals to you, and what experience do you have teaching these students/children?
- What are my strengths? - include the relevance of your degree and subject knowledge.
- What experience do I have? - include any experience you have of volunteering with children, such as teaching a sports team, youth work or working at a summer camp? Give examples of how this helpd develop your teaching skills.
- What personal skills/abilities do I have? - these might include research, creativity, time management, IT skills, problem solving, managing people, organisational skills, listening skills, leading or working in a team. To strengthen your application, make sure you back everything up with examples.
- Are there are any location restrictions? - if you don't currently live in the UK, why do you want to study here? Are you willing to move away from your current home town/city for your degree?
You only have up to 47 lines (4,000 characters including spaces) in which to persuade your chosen initial teacher training (ITT) providers to offer you an interview. The statement must be concise, enthusiastic and sell your potential to be a successful teacher.
For more help and advice on what to write in your teacher training personal statement, please see:
- Personal Statement Editing Services
- Personal Statement Tips From A Teacher
- Analysis Of A Personal Statement
- The 15th January UCAS Deadline: 4 Ways To Avoid Missing It
- Personal Statement FAQs
- Personal Statement Timeline
- 10 Top Personal Statement Writing Tips
- What To Do If You Miss The 15th January UCAS Deadline.
What is a teacher training degree?
Teacher training degrees combine the study of curriculum subjects with learning teaching techniques and putting these into practice during hands-on school placements. The course leads to QTS (qualified teacher status) to enable you to teach in a school or college.
How long is a teacher training course?
To teach in England and Wales you need to gain QTS. You will obtain this on an ITT programme, which could be school or university-based and takes approximately one year to complete.
How do I become a teacher with a degree?
To teach as a qualified teacher in England, you'll need qualified teacher status (QTS). If you already have a degree, you can complete a postgraduate teacher training course to achieve this. Additionally, you'll need to have a GCSE at grade C/4 in maths and English, as well as science if you want to teach primary.
Can I train to be a teacher without a degree?
Unfortunately no - you cannot become a teacher without a degree.
But if you are an undergraduate or have a degree in a different subject than what you want to teach, there are options to help you get into a teaching career.
Will I get paid for teacher training?
There are three types of funding available for teacher training - depending on your circumstances, you could receive all three:
- Tax-free bursary or scholarship.
- Tuition Fee Loan and Maintenance Loan.
- Extra financial support if you're a parent, have an adult dependant or a disability.
For more tips and advice on teacher training personal statements, please see:
- The Complete University Guide
PGCE Personal Statement
Updated November 24, 2021
A PGCE personal statement is written as part of the application process for teacher training and gives candidates an opportunity to showcase their skills and attributes.
PGCE candidates will only write one personal statement, which is used to apply for all of their preferred choices. Students upload their personal statement to the UCAS Teacher Training system, and it is submitted for all choices in both phases of the application process (‘Apply 1’ and ‘Apply 2’). No changes can be made once it is submitted.
The personal statement is often used as the deciding factor for choosing whom to invite to interview . This piece of writing should explain the experience you have and how this translates into your abilities in the classroom.
It should also present what you might be like as a teacher – how will your personality and interests help engage students and get them enthused about the subject?
A lot is riding on your personal statement and writing it can be a daunting task. This guide will outline what your PGCE personal statement should contain and how to structure it for the best chance of success.
What to Include in Your PGCE Personal Statement
The admissions team will want to know about the skills, experience and personal qualities you have that would make you perfect for a teaching career. They need to see you have the dedication and passion to complete your PGCE and have a successful future.
Simply saying, “I would be good at this role and am well suited to it” isn’t enough. The PGCE provider needs to read real examples that demonstrate your skills and abilities and meet their requirements.
Here are some details you may want to include in your personal statement:
1. About You
A teacher’s personality and personal experience will be highly influential, therefore your own experiences are relevant to your application.
Before you start writing, it’s a good idea to spend a few minutes jotting down some key facts that are relevant to teaching. These might include:
- Your interests
- What motivates you
- Your upbringing
- Relevant skills
Remember to include examples in your list. Coaching a sports team in your spare time suggests you are experienced in motivating young people and getting the best out of them. Maybe you play an instrument and use music in class. Including qualities like these will make your application stand out.
2. Why You Want to Teach
A key element of your application is explaining why you have chosen teaching as your future career. Show an awareness of how teachers can inspire individuals and also the benefits you might see in yourself.
Try to broaden your answer further than simply saying you are passionate about teaching or children. Every applicant will say they are passionate.
Give details of experiences that moved you towards this career or, perhaps, even the moment you realised this was what you were born to do. By using genuine examples, your passion and excitement will shine through.
3. Why You Are the Best Candidate
Try not to pull out a cliché like “I am passionate, dedicated and reliable” – make your application stand out by using a paragraph that the provider won’t see in any other application that day.
Think about what makes you different from any other candidate. Other applicants may say they can take charge of a class and have experience dealing with challenging children, but will they sing an entire lesson just to get the pupils to engage with them, like you did in your work experience? Or will they bring in a structure made out of Lego to demonstrate osmosis, like you did on your degree placement? Think of what makes you, you.
4. Why a PGCE?
Include details of why you have chosen to go down the route of a PGCE rather than doing a full teaching degree. Perhaps you dipped your toe into teaching while travelling after your degree and realised how much you love it, or maybe you are passionate about biology and wanted to decide at a later date whether to go into teaching or industry.
Show that you have done your research and understand the structure of the PGCE and what will be required.
5. Teaching-Related Experience
Include details of any experience you have gained working in schools or with children in another environment. This might include:
- Work experience
- Visits to schools
- Teaching assistant roles
- Voluntary teaching/supervision roles (like helping out at a scout hut, etc.)
- Experience via the Get School Experience service
- Classroom observations
With every experience you discuss, note the skills you gained and how they will benefit you as a teacher and how they have improved your understanding of the education system.
6. Other Professional Experience
Teaching demands a range of different skills – it’s not simply a case of delivering information.
Talk about past positions you have held:
- Did you manage people?
- Did you work within a team?
- Did you negotiate?
- Have you trained or coached others?
- When have you communicated information to different audiences?
The skills you have gained throughout your education, work and personal life can be highly relevant to your application. Be sure to include details of why these skills will make you excel as a teacher.
7. What You Learnt During Your Degree
Whether your degree was in the subject you intend to teach or not, it’s important to talk about the skills you developed throughout your learning and how they will benefit you as a teacher.
If you’re struggling to find transferable skills , here are some ideas:
- Think about how you communicated (presentations, critiquing the work of your peers, etc.)
- Give examples of how you organised yourself
- Describe times you helped others with their learning
Remember to talk about the benefits your initial degree will bring when studying for your PGCE and how your interest in it has inspired your desire to teach.
8. Your Knowledge of What Training to Be/Being a Teacher Entails
It’s important to stress your commitment to your training. To do this, you should demonstrate that you have done your research and are fully aware of what is to come.
Although teaching is a highly rewarding career, no one applying for teacher training will do so without being aware of the challenging nature of the profession.
There is no need to ignore these challenges in your application; actually, it will work in your favour if you show that you have thought about these challenges and are sufficiently prepared.
Talk about the positives and negatives that you expect to experience in your training and within your career, and how your core strengths will help you deal with them.
9. Your Future Plans
Discuss your plans beyond the PGCE:
- Do you have the ambition to be a headteacher?
- Do you plan to take on pastoral responsibilities?
Show a keenness to immerse yourself in the school system and be open to opportunities that come your way.
10. Extenuating Circumstances
Your personal statement is the place to openly discuss any extenuating circumstances, such as low grades or large gaps in employment/education. Make sure you show how you have overcome these challenges and what you learnt from them.
How Your PGCE Personal Statement Should Be Structured
Write your personal statement in Word (or equivalent) and make sure you are happy with it before copying and pasting it into your application on the UCAS system.
You need to keep your personal statement to no more than 4,000 characters across a maximum of 47 lines of text . The UCAS Teacher Training system may differ slightly to your word processor, so be prepared to amend slightly once you have copied it into the UCAS page.
To keep to the character limit and cover all the suggested material above, you will need to be succinct. Make sure you only talk about topics that are relevant and delete any waffle.
Your opening statement should be strong and memorable – a good idea is to state why you have decided to get into teaching. Back up all details with examples and be sure to say what you learned from the experience or how you can bring the skills you developed into the classroom.
Split your statement into three sections:
- Introduction – Introduce yourself and talk about why you want to do a PGCE
- Middle – Use the notes above to cover the key details
- Conclusion – Tell the reader why you are the best person for the place they are offering
Avoid using bold, underlining or italics, and write in English (or Welsh if applying for Welsh PGCEs). The UCAS system will strip all special formatting out of the personal statement (except paragraph breaks) so ensure you keep it simple.
When you are happy with the content, make sure you ask someone to check your work . Spelling and grammar in personal statements should be accurate. Make sure you have not copied anyone else’s work at all – UCAS screens all applications for plagiarism.
Example Personal Statement
Below is an example personal statement which covers all of the key points you should include in this piece of writing:
A teacher at my secondary school single-handedly transformed my passion and ability for maths; I was predicted an ‘F’ at GCSE and in a matter of months, she helped me achieve a ‘B’ and start to enjoy the subject. I can’t think of a more satisfying job than one in which you can inspire young people in the way my teacher inspired me. After achieving a ‘B’ in maths at A-Level, I went on to study the subject at University College London and graduated in 2018 with a 2.1. It was in the final year of my degree that I had my first taste of teaching the subject, as several of the modules involved presenting topics to large groups of first-year students. I was thrilled when students asked to see me afterwards to share their observations of what I had been discussing – it was clear my enthusiasm had rubbed off on them and they were excited by maths, which is exactly why I want to teach. I currently work as a teaching assistant at St Andrew’s School, where I have been for six months. This position has given me a great insight into the skills needed to be a fantastic teacher; the school has several SEN pupils and I have been exposed to the more challenging side of the profession. Being trusted to run activities with the entire class has helped me build confidence and learn how important it is to adapt lesson plans to engage students who have different abilities. I have gained valuable skills in implementing strategies such as gentle competitiveness between pupils, and tactical seating plans to get the best out of each student. Before working at St Andrew’s, I completed a work experience placement at Bell Lane Academy where I shadowed teachers working across the five different year groups. This experience helped hone my skills in addressing different age groups in different ways. My ability to get the best out of students is further strengthened by the experience I am currently gaining in the position of assistant coach at my local netball team. Having worked with the girls for the last 18 months, I have developed different ways of motivating individuals, helping push them outside of their comfort zones and encouraging them to take on new challenges. In my spare time, I enjoy playing netball and rugby and would be keen to take on extra responsibilities at a school in the form of after school clubs or teams. I also have a keen interest in management styles and personality types. The knowledge I gain from books on these topics helps me understand pupils and their differing learning styles – what works for them and what doesn’t. It also helps me look inwardly, analysing my own leadership style and methods of teaching. I have chosen to do a PGCE because I am passionate about maths, and I wanted to spend three years of a degree course exploring the subject further, rather than embarking on teacher training straight from school. My degree course has helped me with my confidence and my ability to speak in front of large groups of people. Teaching first-year students during my degree course helped me think about how to deliver the subject in an exciting and creative way. The experience I have had so far has clearly shown that teaching is an extremely challenging profession, but one which I believe is undeniably my calling in life. I adore maths and I want to bring the subject alive, helping children learn in an exciting, rewarding environment. A few weeks ago, I took it upon myself to ask the headteacher for permission to get the whole year group involved in a human percentages exercise – the children loved it. I believe I should be offered a place on your PGCE programme because I can commit to dedicating myself to a role in which I will strive to inspire and excite every pupil I teach.
The personal statement is your one opportunity to capture the attention of the PGCE provider and set yourself apart from other candidates. Teaching is about bringing your personality into the classroom and inspiring students, so avoid a formulaic application and speak from the heart, giving a full picture of who you are.
Your answers should convey enthusiasm for inspiring young people, a passion for teaching, creativity, excellent organisational skills and energy.
Demonstrate an awareness of this challenging profession but conclude with excitement and enthusiasm for your chosen career path.
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