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Society, Health and Development

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Children and Young People's Workforce jobs


Teachers must have GCSEs (A*-C) in English and maths and, in the case of primary teaching, a science subject. To teach in a state-maintained school (or other teaching establishment) candidates must have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).. The route to QTS is known as initial teacher training (ITT). There are several options for ITT, some based outside schools and some based within, including :

  • Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree which requires a minimum of five GCSEs (A*-C) and two A levels or equivalent.
  • BA/BSc degree with QTS with the same entry requirements as a BEd.
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), which is an intensive teacher training course completed in one year full time or two years part time. A degree that is relevant to the National Curriculum is normally required.
  • School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT), which is usually one year full time. Trainees are based in one or more schools, gaining experience and theoretical knowledge. Entry requirements are normally the same as for PGCE courses.
  • The Registered Teacher Programme (RTP), a two-year, school-based training programme for individuals who have completed at least two years of higher education. The programme allows trainees to complete a degree as they work towards QTS.
  • Teach First is a programme on which graduates spend two years teaching in a challenging school or referral unit, gaining both QTS and commercial skills.. Entry requirements are at least a 2.1 degree. Either the degree or an A level at grade A or B must involve a National Curriculum subject.
  • The Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) allows graduates to train while working and earning as unqualified teachers. GTP usually takes a year.

Teaching/Learning Assistants

There are no set entry requirements. However, applicants need to be over 18 with an aptitude for English and maths, in order to support classroom literacy and numeracy.

Personal qualities and relevant experience of working with children, such as nursery nursing, playwork and youth work, are more important than specific academic qualifications. A good starting point is to volunteer to help part time in a local school and then take a course to train as a teaching assistant.

There are Apprenticeships for teaching assistants which offer a work-based route to an NVQ Level 2 or 3 and can lead to higher level qualifications.

Early Years practitioners/nursery nurses

It is possible to become a nursery worker without formal qualifications. However many entrants have at least three or four GCSEs (A*-C), or equivalent qualifications.

Apprenticeships may be available in children's care, learning and development.

Alternatively, it is possible to start by taking a full-time college course, which will include supervised work placements. These include qualifications from the Council for Awards in Children's Care and Education (CACHE):

  • Level 2 Certificate in child care and education
  • Level 3 Diploma in child care and education.


Most vacancies for playworkers ask for experience of working with children, either paid or voluntary, rather than academic qualifications.

The most common way to qualify as a playworker is to gain nationally-recognised vocational qualifications whilst working in a play setting.

There are also a number of higher education courses relating to playwork, such as certificates and diplomas of higher education and degrees and foundation degree in playwork.

Most playworkers are trained on the job by their employers and are expected to work towards qualifications such as NVQs Levels 2 and 3 in playwork.

It may be possible to do an Apprenticeship in playwork.

Youth work

  • Youth workers need an honours degree in Youth work. Graduates with degrees in subjects other than youth work can qualify by doing a postgraduate qualification.
  • Youth Support Worker qualifications are also available. Several awarding bodies have developed courses which are offered by local colleges in conjunction with local employers. Students on these courses are generally employed in or work as a volunteer in youth work and study part-time.

Connexions Personal Adviser work

All Connexions personal advisers must hold a relevant qualification at Level 4 or be actively working towards one. The most usual entry routes are:

  • with a Level 4 qualification, such as the NVQ in learning, development and support services for children, young people and those who care for them (LDSS) or the Qualification in Career Guidance (QCG)
  • through a training position in a Connexions partnership that combines study for the LDSS with practical experience.

Community Justice

Community Safety officer

  • Individual employers tend to set their own entry requirements for community safety officers. Some employers ask for a degree. Degree subjects such as community studies, community justice, criminology and sociology may be particularly helpful.
  • It may be possible to become a junior community safety support worker by following the Advanced Apprenticeship in Community Justice. There are no particular qualifications needed for entry but applicants must be at least 18 years old.
  • The Advanced Apprenticeship in community justice takes two years to complete and involves a work-based assessment for the NVQ in community justice Level 3: community safety. Apprentices follow one of two pathways - youth justice services or drug and alcohol services.

Police Community Support Officer

  • Police Community Support Officers must be at least 17½ and a British, EU or Commonwealth citizen, or a foreign national with indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
  • No specific qualifications are required, and people with a range of backgrounds and experiences are encouraged to apply. Employers may prefer people with an experience of community service, which may be paid or voluntary.
  • Successful candidates undergo a medical check. This includes eyesight test and sometimes a fitness test. A background and security check and a financial check are also carried out.
  • All PCSOs are trained for their work by their local police force.

 Probation Officers and Probation service officers

  • The minimum age for trainee probation officers is 20. Minimum entry requirements for candidates under 21 years of age are two A levels and three GCSEs (A*-C), or equivalent qualifications. Candidates over 21 but under 25 need five GCSEs (A*-C) and candidates over 25 do not need formal qualifications, but academic potential is tested in a written exercise. Many applicants have A levels or equivalent, and some have a degree.
  • Probation service officers (PSO) must be at least 20 years of age and have five GCSEs (A*-C) or equivalent. Those with relevant work experience may also be accepted. Entry via an Advanced Apprenticeship leading to NVQ Level 3 in community justice may be possible.
  • There are Advanced Apprenticeships in youth justice services. This Apprenticeship programme takes two years to complete.


There are opportunities at all entry levels. Some jobs do not require formal qualifications. A number of others need GCSEs/S grades (A-C/1-3), while some demand a degree or postgraduate qualification and a lot of supervised practical experience before an individual is considered to be fully qualified.


All entrants to medical training need to take an undergraduate course leading to a degree in medicine. Most candidates have three A levels, with high grades, plus supporting GCSEs (A*-C). Other qualifications may be accepted, usually in combination with science A levels.

Nurses must hold a degree or diploma in nursing. There are various entry routes onto a nursing degree or diploma including:

  • Direct entry to a degree or diploma course at university, for candidates with appropriate academic qualifications.
  • Through Apprenticeships and cadet schemes, followed by a nursing degree or diploma.
  • After gaining relevant experience in the NHS, for instance as a healthcare assistant, followed by part-time study for a nursing degree or diploma.


Physiotherapists need a degree in physiotherapy. Entry qualifications vary, but candidates usually need three A levels (A-C), including a biological science subject, (or alternative Science qualifications at Advanced level eg BTEC National in Science) as well as five GCSEs (A*-C) including maths, English and sciences.


There are two main routes to becoming a qualified paramedic:

  • Working as a student ambulance paramedic and becoming qualified by following an approved programme with the NHS Trust. Ambulance services may look for at least five GCSEs grades (A*-C), including English and mathematics, or equivalent qualifications.
  • A higher education course in Paramedic science - there are a range of degrees and diplomas on offer and some of the courses include a number of paid placements. You may need two or three A levels, including one science subject, or equivalent for entry to a degree course.


To become a radiographer you need a recognised first degree or postgraduate qualification and to be registered with the Health Professions Council (HPC). Entry to degree courses in diagnostic radiography and in radiotherapy usually requires at least two A levels or equivalent qualifications plus five GCSEs (A*-C).

Social Care

Social Work

For entry you need an accredited honours degree or postgraduate degree in social work followed by registration with the General Social Care Council. Social work honours degree courses usually require at least two A levels plus five GCSEs (A*-C), including English and maths. Other qualifications may be accepted, either on their own or alongside A levels. For social work postgraduate degree courses, students need a first degree.

Applicants for courses need to have had some relevant experience, e.g. paid or voluntary work with carers and service users.

Social Care Worker

For many social care roles there are no minimum entry requirements. Qualifications in health and social care or society, health and development and experience of working with people are useful.

An Apprenticeship in health and social care may also be available.


For more information about the courses on offer locally for 14-19 year olds why visit your local area prospectus? -

For courses in higher education check out the UCAS site

For Apprenticeships see the vacancies on the National Apprenticeship website

You can also ring the Barnsley Connexions Centre for information on local Apprenticeships on 01226 205686

Want to find out more about the range of employability skills asked for by employers?