The personal statement is your opportunity to let training providers know about your qualities, skills and expertise, and why you want to teach.
You can only complete one personal statement for all the choices you make in both Apply 1 and Apply 2. 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’ve taken part in the School Experience Programme (SEP) organised by the National College of School Leadership (formerly the Teaching Agency)
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 4,000 characters or 47 lines of text (including spaces) – whichever comes first. Some word processing packages calculate character and 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.
We screen all personal statements across our Copycatch similarity detection system. If we find any similarity, your application will be flagged – you and all your choices will receive an email alert and this could have serious consequences for your application.
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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.