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Thinking of teaching? Hear why trainee Tom changed career to teach on this new programme

Tom Ding

Through the new ARK Teacher Training programme, civil servants, PAs, army officers, corporate lawyers, nurses, shop supervisors and scientists are turning to the classroom to make a difference to children’s lives. Could you do the same?

“My previous job had a certain glamour to it - all long lunches and fancy bars - but after a while I realised that there wasn't much to love beneath the glitter”. Tom Ding, a teacher trainee at Ark Academy used to work in marketing and advertising.

“I began to find it difficult to motivate myself and wanted to make a difference with my life. Then a headteacher told me about ARK Teacher Training – it was the first I heard about it, so I went home, googled it, and applied almost straight away”

Tom, like so many others, is choosing to retrain on this new programme because…

1. You’ll receive a PGCE and Qualified Teacher Status.

But more than this, you’ll receive lots of practical experience and expert training. The programme doesn’t stop here – we want you to stay and work in one of our schools.

“I didn’t imagine I could gain a PGCE as well as being in the classroom every day. Five months into this programme, I can’t imagine a better way to train” says Tom.

2. You’ll be making a difference.

Our pupils need the very best support: many of them are on Free School Meals or speak English as an additional language – much more than the national average. You’ll be giving your support to children who need it most.

“Like my colleagues, I’m passionate about equality of opportunity. I find it devastating that so many young people don’t have the opportunity to gain the education they deserve” says Tom. “To work here is to throw your whole weight against that injustice and try to nudge it just an inch”.

3. You’ll receive the best training - In your first year, and beyond.

“The great thing about ARK is that they will ultimately employ you, so they are responsible for your development – in that sense they are heavily invested in the outcome” says Tom.

There’s no doubt that the first few years are crucial when you’re training to become a teacher. That’s why we give our trainees regular training sessions with their mentors, coaches and ARK Schools experts. The training continues through every stage in your career - even our headteachers take part!

How to apply

If you’re interested send your CV to and we’ll get back to you. In September you could join dozens of other career changers and be teaching in an ARK classroom - making a difference straight away.

“Every day brings at least one moment to cherish. And that’s not something I could say about any job I’ve had before” – Tom Ding, Trainee Teacher, Ark Academy.