If you’re considering returning to teaching, the transition may be much easier than you think. Whether you left to bring up a family or explore a different career, there’s plenty of support available to help you become one of the thousands of teachers who come back to the profession each year.

From January 2016, Leigh Academies Trust has been participating in a National Pilot for the Returners Programme.  The new initiative is focused on helping talented teachers return to the classroom by providing a free package of bespoke support in a way that best suits every individual.

Programme Overview

On behalf of school partnerships, Leigh Academies Trust schools are now amongst other Lead Schools in piloting the ‘Return to Teaching’ programme. The programme has and will continue to:

  • Offer bespoke packages of support to qualified Teachers who aren’t currently teaching in maintained schools
  • Help support Teachers wanting to return to the profession to permanent teaching positions (part-time or full-time)

The support and mentoring can take place either before or during the time the returner is in the classroom. The duration varies according to each Teacher – some feel ready to go back to the classroom after a few weeks, others may take a few months.  There is no rush; we can work at a pace that suits you and your commitments.

Who are considered to be 'Returners'?

Returners are those who have qualified teacher status (QTS) and aren’t currently holding permanent or fixed-term posts in English schools or colleges (state-funded or independent). They also include people who, after acquiring QTS, chose not to join the teaching profession but now wish to do so.

Returners include people who:

  • have had a teaching post in the past (regardless of how long ago) and are now working outside of teaching
  • aren’t currently teaching but have previously taught in the independent sector
  • gained their QTS in England but are currently teaching outside the UK
  • have had a career break to bring up children or take on caring responsibilities (this doesn’t include returning from an official period of maternity leave)
  • are currently supply teaching
Eligibility Criteria

Those who are eligible are those that:

  • Have qualified teacher status (QTS)
  • Have QTLS and have a membership with the Education and Training Foundation (ETF)
  • Aren’t currently holding a permanent or fixed-term teaching post in a state-maintained or independent School or College in England
  • Are not currently barred/banned from teaching and do not have a previous conviction (spent or unspent) that would prevent them from working with children
  • Teachers who wish to return to teach part- or full-time, on a permanent or temporary basis
  • Qualified teachers that have previously worked in, or currently work in, higher education
  • Teachers who have had a teaching post in the past (regardless of how long ago) and are now working outside of teaching
  • Teachers that are not working at all (i.e. are parents / carers and / or are unemployed). However, this doesn’t include teachers returning from an official period of maternity or paternity leave as their leave will be part of their current employment contract
  • Teachers who are currently supply teaching, but are not employed by, or have a contract with, a school
  •  Teachers who aren’t currently teaching but have previously taught in the independent sector
  •  Teachers who gained their QTS in England but are currently teaching outside of the UK or have taught  overseas, and are planning to / have now returned to England to teach
  •  Teachers from overseas, as long as they are qualified to teach in England (i.e. have QTS)
  •  Teachers that have been qualified for at least a year (excluding NQT’s) but have never taught

Many teachers who have joined the programme share the same concerns when it comes to getting back into the classroom. The most common anxieties are:

  • Changes in curriculum
  • Changes in assessment frameworks
  • Behaviour management in the classroom
  • Managing workload
  • Changes to educational policy
  • New educational reform

Are you ready to return?

If you’re ready to come back, we’re here to help. To start, you can register at education.gov.uk/return-to-teaching-registration. This will ensure that you get the best support and most relevant advice. Once you are ready to apply to Leigh Academies Trust, please complete the short form and a member of our Talent Team will get in contact with you directly to discuss your experience and current situation, and to identify key areas in which we can provide support.

You can also visit the DfE website where you’ll find a resources page for returning teachers.  This provides invaluable information on everything from the new Teachers’ Standards to behavioural management guidelines.

Return to Teaching and Leigh Academies Trust will guide you all the way so you can get back to making a difference. You will receive support and guidance from an experienced member of your relevant department via a series of individually tailored sessions focusing on the main causes of concern.