Return to Teaching programme

Grant funding for schools to support inactive teachers who wish to return to teaching.

This guidance was withdrawn on

Further information is available in the School Direct marketing resource collection.


Lead schools, on behalf of school partnerships were invited to bid to join the Return to Teaching pilot programme. Application rounds took place between September and December 2015. All schools have been informed of the outcome.

The programme aims to help secondary schools improve teacher recruitment in English Baccalaureate (EBacc) subjects in hard to recruit areas. It will:

  • 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) by November 2016

The EBacc subjects are English, mathematics, science (biology, chemistry, computer science and physics), languages, history and geography.

Through the pilot and its evaluation, we’ll gather evidence about the most effective ways to support inactive teachers back into the profession. The intention is to support returning teachers back in permanent teaching positions by November 2016.

This information is for lead schools of a School Direct partnership.


The application round has now closed.

The Return to Teaching: assessment evidence (PDF, 91.2KB, 3 pages) was used.


For the purposes of this pilot, returners are those who have qualified teacher status (QTS) and who aren’t currently holding permanent or fixed-term posts in English schools or colleges (state-funded or independent). They, therefore, 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

If you’re a returner looking to participate in this programme please visit the Get into Teaching website.


Supporting returning teachers

Published 20 October 2015