Advice on preparing your personal statement

Your personal statement needs to:

  1. present clearly the reasons why you want to teach
  2. showcase your relevant experience such as previous teaching, school visits and other work with children or young people.

When you apply you’ll need to give details about:

  • your qualifications, including your GCSEs and A levels (or equivalents) and degree
  • your work history or unpaid experience


Your personal statement explains why you want to be a teacher. It’s your chance to show your motivation, commitment and teaching potential. It’s a crucial part of your application – so it’s worth taking your time on it.

Your personal statement should be between 500 and 1000 words. 90% of successful candidates write 500 words or more.

You could include:

  • skills you have that are relevant to teaching
  • any experience of working with young people
  • your understanding of why teaching is important
  • your reasons for wanting to train to be a teacher
  • any activities you’ve done that could be relevant to teaching (such as first aid courses, sports coaching or volunteering)

Teacher training providers want to see your passion and that you understand the bigger picture of teaching.

If you’re concerned about your subject knowledge, do not worry – you may be able to do a ‘subject knowledge enhancement’ course as part of your training.

You will submit your personal statement during your application process on the DfE website.

Top tips on structure and style

  • Use clear, correct English. Put yourself ahead of the crowd by keeping your statement positive, enthusiastic, different -and concise. Never waffle!
  • Structure your statement. Write an opening paragraph that will interest your reader and grab their attention.
  • Always proofread and spell check your statement before submission. If at all possible, ask someone you trust to check it for you. A second opinion can really help.

Helpful hints on content

Choose good, relevant content and you’ll earn yourself that all-important interview! Here are some ideas to help you decide what to include

  • Focus on your reasons for wanting to teach. Be honest and make sure you convey your enthusiasm. Interviewers want to hear what or who has inspired you… Was it one of your own teachers? Or perhaps working with teachers as an adult? What will you bring to the children you teach?
  • Make sure you give examples of your skills and explain how you’ve demonstrated them. Why might you be better than other applicants? How have your experiences in the classroom strengthened your skills as an effective teacher? Remember that interviewers are interested in your wider personal skills that relate to teaching, and that not all your evidence needs to come from the world of education. For example, can you describe events that have demonstrated your determination and resilience? Make certain that you evidence that you have the personal qualities required.