Teacher Training Options

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1 1 Teacher Training Options There are a number of different training options available in the UK to become a fully qualified teacher. Everyone who wants to teach in a school maintained by the state (there are a number of schools which are independently funded and run) has to gain an accreditation called Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). This is a set of professional standards that teachers gain through doing a form of training called Initial Teacher Training (ITT). This training can in the main be academic based, taking place mostly at a university, or employment based, where you work in a school while studying. What type of training you wish to take will depend on your previous qualifications, your personal and financial circumstances. All of the ITT options highlighted below lead to Qualified Teacher Status. Teaching in the UK is a postgraduate profession. This means you must have a degree or its equivalent to be able to train. If you do not have a degree, you can choose to study for a degree in the subject you want to teach e.g. maths or chemistry. This normally takes three or four years full time, depending on what you study. This route is popular for those wishing to do secondary school teaching, where you normally teach one or two subjects. After this, you then go on to do Initial Teacher Training. Alternatively, you can follow one of the undergraduate courses given below, which have teacher training within the course. If you have the equivalent to part of a degree, there are various options for further study to degree level, without studying a whole degree. All teacher training options also require you to have the equivalent of GCSE Maths and English (and Science if teaching Primary age or Key Stage 2/3) at grade C or above. Applicants are now required to undertake professional skills tests for trainee teachers. You will need to take the numeracy and literacy skills tests as part of the application process, ensuring that you have passed them both prior to the start of your course. More information can be found here at The National College for Teaching and Leadership is the organisation responsible for Initial Teacher Training in the UK. There are a number of subjects which currently need more teachers, called priority subjects. These are detailed below, and people who choose to study these subjects can get extra funding and help to study: Maths (and primary maths specialist), Science (physics and chemistry), Modern Languages (the main languages taught in schools are French, German and Spanish. Others include Italian, Russian, Mandarin, Japanese, Urdu and Bengali), Other priority secondary and primary subjects (details can be found at

2 2 Initial Teacher Training Options Academic based Bachelor of education (BEd) If you do not already have the equivalent to a UK undergraduate degree, you can study for a Bachelor of Education, which includes teacher training. This degree takes between two to four years to complete if you study full time, and gives you Qualified Teacher Status when completed. The course is university based, but you will have several placements in schools, working with different ages of students and schools in different types of areas. The qualifications you need to apply for this course vary, but generally you should have at least the equivalent to two good A levels. Bachelor of arts or science with QTS (BA/BSc) A Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc) is similar to the BEd explained above; being an undergraduate degree that also has Qualified Teacher Status. These degrees are focused on a particular subject, such as English or Maths, so are more popular for those wishing to teach in a secondary school. They also have time spent in schools as part of the degree. Some universities offer top up degrees leading to a BEd with QTS if your qualifications have come back as under a full degree. This takes two years full time, and you would normally have the equivalent to the first two years of undergraduate study to be eligible. Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) The PGCE is a postgraduate qualification, meaning you must have the equivalent to a UK undergraduate degree to take this course. It focuses on developing your teaching skills, not the specific subject you want to teach. People who do this course mostly have an undergraduate degree in an area related to what they want to teach. The course normally lasts nine months full time, or up to two years part time. If the university feels you do not have enough subject knowledge in the area you want to teach, they may ask you to take a course called a Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course before you can begin your PGCE. These courses are for between two to 36 weeks, and are particularly useful if you want to teach a subject you didn t study to degree level, only part of your degree course covered the subject you want to teach, or to develop skills in French or German if you with to teach languages (schools normally want language teachers to do more than one language). There are also Subject Knowledge Enhancement short courses, and Initial Teacher Training providers may ask you to take one before you can start on a training

3 3 programme. These are only for teaching in secondary, and in priority subjects. On the PGCE you may start off being in a school one or two days a week, watching teachers and gaining confidence. The hours you spend in a school will increase slowly while you also do more academic work on your teaching skills. You will be placed at two different schools during the Autumn and Spring terms during the course. The PGCE is currently the most popular route into teaching, as there are the most places available to study this way. However, it does mean giving up work if you are currently employed, as generally the course is full time and very demanding. It is possible to study via flexible distance learning, and the PGCE can be completed in up to two years part time. A PGCE can also be completed through a programme of School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT), through Teach First or by completing the School Direct Training Programme. Employment / School Based School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) Another option available is to apply to a university, group of schools or colleges that offer School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT). These courses are based mostly in a school, as opposed to the PGCE, which is more focused towards learning at the university. All SCITT courses lead to QTS, and many also award teachers with a PGCE (if they are linked to a university). You are normally based at the lead school (in which you will be taught by experienced practicing teachers), where you will complete your studies, but may also do teaching practice in other schools in the area. The course generally lasts for one academic year, from September until the following June. There are consortia of schools and colleges running SCITT all over England covering primary, middle years and the full range of secondary subjects.you will be taught by experienced practicing teachers. In most cases you need to apply for SCITT courses through the Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR), although some SCITT providers require direct applications. When applying through the GTTR you can apply to up to four different providers, in order of preference. School Direct Another option available is School Direct. There are two separate training options: School Direct Training Programme which is for high-quality graduates who want to be part of a school team from day one. School Direct Training Programme (salaried) which is an employment based route for high-quality experiences graduates with at least three years work

4 4 experience. School Direct places are available in some of the best primary and secondary schools across England, with programmes lasting for one year. Successful completion of the programme will lead to the award of qualified teacher status (QTS) and may include a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE). Teach First Teach First offers a two-year Leadership Development Programme for those interested in an employment based route into teaching. You join Teach First as a Trainee, beginning with six weeks of intensive training with Teach First and their university partners before teaching in a school in a low-income community for two years, where you will achieve a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE), a full time salary and responsibility in the classroom from day one. Assessment based routes to QTS If you have experience of teaching (with a degree) there are two further routes designed to help you meet the required standards for QTS with minimal training: Assessment only (AO) route allows you to demonstrate that you already meet all the standards for QTS, without the need for further training. You will need to show evidence and your teaching will be assessed in a school by an accredited provider. Assessment based route to QTS. If you have substantial experience of working in a UK school as an instructor, unqualified teacher, or as a teacher in an independent school or further education institution, you may be able to qualify for QTS with minimal teacher training. Information about school based routes into teaching can be found at:

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