Secondary School Teacher (SCT) Careers

How to become Secondary School Teacher (SCT)

What does a Secondary School Teacher (SCT) do?

Secondary school teachers work in state and independent schools, teaching children aged from 11 to 16, or up to 19 in schools with sixth forms.

Secondary teachers usually specialise in one or two subjects and teach these to classes of different ages and abilities throughout the school. They prepare students for exams, including Standard Grades (S grades), Highers (H grades), SQA national certificate modules, GSVQs, and the Higher Still programme.

In addition to actual teaching, teachers spend a lot of time preparing lessons and teaching materials, marking and assessing work and mounting displays in the classroom. The work also involves liaising with other professionals, speaking to parents and carers (both informally and at parents' evenings), attending meetings and in-service training, and organising outings, social activities and sporting events.

What's the working environment like working as a Secondary School Teacher (SCT)?

Teachers in state schools in Scotland have a standard 35 hours a week and work 195 days a year. School hours vary between schools but are usually 9am to 3.30pm or 4pm. The amount of class contact time is gradually being reduced to 22.5 hours a week. Time outside class is spent preparing lessons, marking work and exams, and attending meetings.

Teachers spend most of their time indoors in classrooms, but also work in halls, gyms, laboratories or music rooms. Some of their time is spent outdoors, when supervising sports and games.

What does it take to become a Secondary School Teacher (SCT)?

To be a schoolteacher you should:

  • be interested in the education and welfare of pupils
  • have enthusiasm for the subjects you teach
  • be able to build up good relationships with a range of people - pupils, parents and carers, other teachers, classroom assistants, governors and psychologists
  • be committed to working with pupils of different backgrounds and different levels of ability
  • enjoy working in a team but be able to use your own initiative
  • be well organised
  • be able to manage classes well and deal with difficult behaviour
  • have excellent communication skills in English
  • be patient and have a good sense of humour.

Secondary School Teacher (SCT) Career Opportunities

Most secondary teachers in Scotland work in state schools, although some teach in independent schools. They vary from large city comprehensives with around 1,000 students to small single teacher schools in remote areas.

It is possible to progress to become a principal teacher or chartered teacher. Promotion is then to deputy headteacher and headteacher.

Some experienced teachers specialise in teaching pupils with special educational needs or in private tuition.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Secondary School Teacher (SCT) that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Scottish Executive, Education Department
Area 2A North
Victoria Quay
Tel: 0845 345 4745

General Teaching Council for Scotland
Clerwood House
96 Clermiston Road
EH12 6UT
Tel: 0131 314 6000

Student Awards Agency for Scotland
Gyleview House
3 Redheughs Rigg
EH12 9HH
Tel: 0845 111 1711

Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR)
New Barn Lane
GL52 3LZ
Tel: 0870 112 2205

Facts and Stats:

    60 per cent of people remember a good teacher, compared to 75 per cent who remember a bad teacher. Sting used to be a teacher (be still your beating hearts, girls). An actual answer from a GCSE question paper read: "The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them we wouldn't have history. The Greeks also had myths, A myth is a female moth."

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