Work Experience

Is a career in education really for you?  Find out by doing some relevant work experience and discover what it’s really like.

Work experience is a key factor in the application process for any job.  It shows the employer that you are self-motivated and have experienced a real working environment.

If you want to be a teacher, read on for tips on about finding work experience in a school.  However, if an alternative career in education is for you, then this page also has more general advice about work experience to suit all education students.

Teaching Taster Schemes

There are a variety of government funded schemes run by the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) which are designed to help you decide whether to apply for an Initial Teacher Training course (ITT).

  A chance to experience a ‘day in the life of a teacher’.  You will observe
  lessons by experienced teachers and see how the school operates outside of
  the classroom.

  If you are thinking about teaching a secondary priority subject or come
  from an under-represented group in the teaching profession then this course
  is for you.

  It includes a one-day school placement.

  This scheme allows you to fit work experience around your studies and
  gives you an opportunity to earn up to £600.

  It consists of a training and induction programme, followed by fifteen days
  in a school or college working alongside experienced teachers and assisting
  them in classroom teaching.

  Read case studies from former student associates (pdf 759KB)

Volunteer Work

  • Student Volunteering UK works with Further and Higher Education sectors to promote volunteering.  There is a comprehensive list of organisations which offer volunteer work with young people.
  • Do-It Volunteering has up to 1,000,000 local volunteer opportunities including a variety of education and literacy placements.
  • V Inspired offers diverse volunteering opportunities to 16-24 year olds including options to work with children and young people.  
  • InsightPlus Mentoring are looking for mentors to guide sixth form students and provide them with information about Higher Education.

Paid Work Experience

Volunteering is not the only way to get relevant work experience.  Working at summer camps or local after-school clubs can also be a valuable way to gain experience in working with young people.

  • BUNAC offer a range of programmes abroad, including the popular Summer Camp USA, and other work / travel opportunities in Canada, the USA, Australia, and New Zealand.

     Read about the experiences of one education student

  • PGL organise residential activity holidays and educational courses for children.  They recruit for a variety of roles, including activity instructors, housekeeping assistants and administrators.