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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I am one of ten, so you may see why I would like to work with children. I wasn't always sure as to what profession I would like to join but for the past couple of years it has became apparent that I want to work with children. This was mainly influenced by a new addition to my family, my nephew. For the past year I have helped develop his skills and encouraged him to learn new things. I truly value the sense of achievement gained in teaching new skills to children and I wish to continue to do so, and this is therefore one of the main reasons for wanting to join a teaching course for key stages 1 and 2.
Discovering my love for helping and supporting others I chose to broaden my knowledge of the teaching experience by completing two work experience placements within a primary school environment. For two weeks I shadowed various teaching staff, observing their teaching techniques and the ways in which they support the children. I found each day a new challenge as new faces, new personalities were emerging which brought various obstacles my way as different methods of teaching were needed. The most enjoyable aspect of this work environment is that no day is ever the same. -New lessons, new people. It was exciting to know I had the opportunity to assist in someone's learning, gaining satisfaction from seeing the new skill acquired.
This particular experience, working within a primary school environment, allowed me to acquire a number of skills and also help enhance my weaker ones. I have always acknowledged the fact that I can be a very good listener and a good communicator which is an important quality needed. I found that my communication ability improved as I got to know students which encouraged my confidence to escalate. I am able to work well independently and can also work very well as part as a team, which became obvious to me during my stay at my placement. I have also demonstrated this throughout the majority of my school experience, for example, when playing team sports, such as Netball, Rounders, Badminton, Athletics, etc.
During my school experience I have embarked on a number of activities which exhibit my more positive qualities that I have thoroughly developed within the past few years. Such activities include helping out at events such as Open Days, Parents' Evenings, Welcome Club, etc. In doing so, I have shown I am a polite, mature, organized and committed young adult.
I am currently a School Prefect and buddy, working closely with the years 7, 8 and 9 students. My role is to represent the school in a positive and professional manner. I believe I do this well as I portray an enthusiastic, responsible and reliable image. In order for me to have been considered to be a Prefect or a buddy I needed to have the essential qualities for that particular role. Such qualities needed are congruence, resilience and assertiveness. These specific qualities, I believe, have been made evident to my teaching staff as a result of the community work in school I have taken part in. I have accomplished my British Red Cross basic First Aid certificate which I completed at school. I have also achieved my Food Hygiene, Business Dynamics and Junior Sports Leadership Certificates.
I am very much looking forward to expanding my practical and theoretical knowledge by attending university. In pursuing a degree in teaching, I seek to advance my knowledge of educational studies and improve my personal skills. I ask you to give me the opportunity to further my education as I know I have the commitment, the patience and the persistence to succeed.