Retrain as a Teacher and Reap the Rewards with University of Brighton

There’s no such thing as a typical day because no two days are the same – you’re unlikely to ever be bored by a lack of variety and there aren’t many jobs where you can say that.

As a Services leaver, you can bring your invaluable and unique skills and experiences to inspire in the classroom by training to teach. So how do you retrain as a teacher?

The Troops to teachers programme

Introduced in 2012, the Troops to Teachers programme offers non-graduate Service leavers who are within five years of their discharge date a fast-track opportunity to becoming an outstanding teacher. The programme operates across England and matches trainees with a delivery school in their home location for two years of employment-based training supported by dedicated study days and intensive study periods. It leads to an honours degree from the University of Brighton with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) which enables graduates to teach in maintained schools in England and Wales.

Earn a salary while you train

As a Troops to Teachers trainee you’d be employed by the delivery school as an unqualified teacher at a minimum of 80 per cent of the starting salary for unqualified teachers (currently £13,168.80 with additional allowances for London and London fringes). There are no course fees associated with the programme which makes it a very attractive proposition compared to other routes into teaching.

During the two years of training you would spend Monday through to Thursday undertaking a range of employment-based activities in school. On ‘Study Fridays’ you‘d engage in degree-level scheduled learning activities from home and periodically participate in intensive residential study periods. The programme draws on advanced distance learning technology combined with face to face teaching and includes learning in large and small groups as well as online, self-directed learning. Throughout the programme you would be professionally supported by school-based mentors and university-based course managers and tutors.

Subject areas

For the next cycle the Troops to Teachers non-graduate programme is offering specialist pathways for those wishing to teach mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, computing or modern foreign languages in secondary schools. Schools are always looking for great teachers in these priority subject areas.

A rewarding career

There are many great reasons to pursue a career in teaching. Teaching offers a competitive starting salary with excellent opportunities for pay rises linked to performance rather than length of service, and you can earn additional enhancements for taking on greater responsibilities. Teaching offers a great work-life balance with opportunities to work flexibly and a generous holiday allowance of up to 13 weeks – something you won’t find with other careers. Teaching also has the second largest public sector pension scheme in the country.

Enviable job security is another benefit that comes with teaching. Nine out of ten newly qualified teachers are employed within six months of completing their training and 70 per cent of them are still in the profession five years later. As Troops to Teachers aims to give schools the opportunity to recruit and select the trainees that best meet their needs, there is every possibility that those teachers will go on to work in the school or group of schools in which they trained.

But perhaps more importantly the job satisfaction that comes with teaching is hard to beat. You’ll get the chance to inspire young people on a daily basis and use your skills to help them fulfil their potential. Plus you can indulge your hobbies and interests as part of your work by getting involved in after-school clubs, trips or sport.


The programme is led by the University of Brighton but operates across the whole of England with support from partner universities.

The employment-based training element is provided by a delivery school; as part of the application process applicants are matched with prospective schools in their home location. The delivery school essentially becomes your employer where you’ll remain for the duration of your training but with an additional teaching experience gained at another school.

Entry requirements

The Troops to Teachers non-graduate programme is open to Service leavers who are eligible for resettlement support which usually means at least four years’ service. Applications can be accepted within five years of the applicant’s discharge date. The programme is only open to those who do not hold a degree but applicants will need to demonstrate the equivalent of a minimum of one year full-time study in higher education.

GCSEs at grade C or above in English language and mathematics are compulsory but equivalency tests are possible if you do not meet this requirement. As with all Initial Teacher Training courses you must also pass the Professional Skills Tests in numeracy and literacy before commencing the course.

Recent work experience with children in a school setting, or in teaching, instructing or mentoring during military service would be a distinct advantage in being accepted on the programme. Full entry requirements can be found at

To date the programme has attracted a mixture of male and female trainees who have been located throughout the country. They have come from all ranks and skill sets and include representation from all of the Services. Some have served the minimum of four years where others have had much longer military careers.

Success stories 

Mike Parry has recently graduated from the programme and was an Army Corporal: “When I left the Army I decided I wanted a solid career and something I enjoyed – I used to teach groups in the Army and it was something I really liked – so this seemed quite a natural step forward.

“When you leave the forces there are a lot of jobs you can go into, but there are very few careers. That’s what I was looking for: something that had a long-term future, as well as being something I enjoyed.”

Graham Riddle is now a science teacher after graduating from the Troops to Teachers programme. He said: “If you are thinking about applying – do it. My studies have given me the confidence of knowing I can teach, and that I do know what I am talking about.

“Besides gaining the degree, which is awesome, I proved to myself that I can achieve something if I try hard enough. The University of Brighton made me believe anything is possible.”

Find out more

The Troops to Teachers programme is currently recruiting for a September 2017 start. Applications are made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) and you can make your application now.

More about the Troops to Teachers non-graduate programme and available routes can be found on the University of Brighton website: The course team will also be happy to answer any questions you may have; you can contact them by email: or by calling them on 01273 643598.

If you already hold a degree there are a number of other options to get into teaching – you can explore the options at