CANDIDATES

Routes in to teaching

What is ITT?

If you are thinking of becoming a teacher and don’t know where to start, firstly you will need to know what ITT stands for. You will see this mentioned a lot when you are doing your research in to different training routes. ITT is the abbreviation for Initial Teacher Training and is the umbrella of teacher training, in which different routes in to teaching sit. 

 

What do I need to hold to apply for an Initial Teacher Training Course? 

1. GCSEs: Firstly, applicants to teacher training need to have at least a grade C in English and Maths GCSE (or equivalent standard). If you are looking to get into primary teaching you will also need a grade C or equivalent in Science.

2. Degree: If you are thinking of becoming a secondary teacher your degree needs to be relevant to the subject you want to teach. Initial teacher training providers such as universities or schools make the final decision on whether your degree holds enough subject knowledge for you to teach that subject. Some providers may ask candidates to top up their subject knowledge with subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses. You will only be asked to do this if you are going to teach in a secondary school. The following secondary subject SKE courses are available: Chemistry, Computer Science, Design & Technology, Mathematics, Modern Foreign Languages, Physics. Most SKE courses are the equivalent of two weeks’ study, but some may be longer depending on whether a candidate needs a quick top-up or some in-depth knowledge.

3. Skills Tests: As of 1st July 2013 applicants to ITT courses must pass a numeracy and literacy skills test prior to the course starting.You will get 3 attempts at passing the tests. ITT providers will use the skills results to help them decide the suitability of an applicant. You should ensure that you take the tests before interview for the best possible chance of a successful application.

 

Initial Teacher Training Routes

You can do your teacher training either through a school, while employed at a school or through a higher education institution such as a university or college:

1. Through a School - SCITT (School-led initial teacher training)

School-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) is a programme run by and based in schools.

  • All SCITT courses lead to qualified teacher status (QTS) and many award the postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE
  • There are many schools and colleges running SCITT courses all over England. These groups provide all kinds of SCITT, covering primary, middle years and the full range of secondary subjects.
  • You will usually be based in one school from the consortium – the ‘lead school’ – while completing teaching practices at others within the group.
  • Courses last for one year full-time, running from September to June, some start in August.
  • You may be eligible to receive funding while you train
  • Entry requirements are a degree or an equivalent qualification. If your degree or other experience doesn’t relate to the subject you want to teach, then you might need to complete a pre-training course to get your knowledge up to the required level.

2. Employed at a school

There are currently 2 routes that you can take to “earn while you learn”

School Direct Training Programme (salaried)

  • With School Direct you are selected by a school from day one. Candidates will receive a salary on the unqualified teacher pay scale.
  • School Direct is available in primary and secondary schools across England
  • Programmes generally last for one year.
  • You must have three or more years’ experience of working life to apply.
  • Successful completion of a School Direct course will lead to qualified teacher status (QTS).
  • School Direct programmes may also include a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE).
  • If you are a high-quality graduate you may be eligible for a bursary of up to £20,000. Otherwise you will need to take an employment-based route.

Teach First

  • A two-year Leadership Development Programme
  • Teach First participants only work in schools in low income communities
  • You are guaranteed a full-time salary, paid by the school you are working in for a minimum of two years.
  • In the first year you are paid a basic salary as an unqualified teacher. In the second year you will be a newly qualified teacher (NQT) paid to scale.
  • There are no tuition fees.
  • Trainees join Teach First and their university partners for six weeks of intensive training before teaching in a school in a low-income community for two years, where they achieve a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE)
  • The programme is currently offered in the following regions: East Midlands, Greater London, Kent and Medway, North East, North West, South Coast, South West, Wales (South), West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber.

3. Higher Education Institution

  • The alternative route is for you to apply for a postgraduate certificate of education (PGCE) course at a university or higher education institution.
  • These ITT courses take about a year and include 18 weeks in a school for trainees wanting to teach at primary level, or 24 weeks for those wanting to teach at secondary level.
  • At the end of the course, assuming all the standards are met, you will be awarded qualified teacher status (QTS) and become a newly qualified teacher (NQT).
  • It may also be possible to study for a PGCE via flexible distance learning, or in a school by completing a programme of school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT), through Teach First or by completing the School Direct Training Programme

 

How do I get teaching experience?

You don’t need to put your career on hold whilst you wait to be accepted onto ITT. Whilst you are working towards your degree or after you have graduated you can gain teaching experience which will look great for your application.

Ofcourse, schools will always be willing to take on aspiring teachers to do voluntary work. Schools are very busy so the best way to achieve this is by putting on your suit and taking your CV down in person.

You can work in a school as a cover supervisor where you will oversee lessons and supervisor pupils in class. 

For you to work as a cover supervisor at Aspire People all you need is a few weeks experience of working with children and hold a degree or be working towards completing one. The benefits of working with Aspire People is that we offer free training courses to all our cover supervisors, we are able to offer you a mixture of work at different schools which help enhance your experience and we will also write you a reference on letter headed paper which you can take to your ITT interview. 

 

What do I do if i don't get on to an ITT course?

Don’t worry. You now have a year to gain vital experience for your next application. A lot of teachers have not been accepted with their first application onto an ITT but still go on to become teachers.

One of the main reasons students don’t get accepted onto ITT courses is because of a lack of experience. At Aspire People we can help you with gaining some teaching experience. You can work as a Cover Supervisor (unqualified teacher) in schools across the Midlands.

If you are interested in becoming a cover supervisor contact our supply teaching agency today

posted by Aspire People
Wed 26 June 2013

TESTIMONIALS


I am very pleased with the service I receive from Aspire.  I feel valued as a member of their team

I have been working as a supply teacher for Aspire since March 2013. They have provided me with work at a variety of schools, both locally and further afield. I am currently completing a long-term cover at an East Staffordshire school. I am very pleased with the service I receive from Aspire. I receive an email confirming each contract very promptly, and the pay system is very efficient, and easy to use. My consultant is very professional at all times, and is always aware of my requirements. She has maintained very accurate records, and contacts me regularly for feedback, and confirmation of my availability. I feel valued as a member of their team, and would highly recommend Aspire to both schools and teachers.


Susan, Secondary Teacher, Stoke-on-Trent

“The Woodlands School gets vouchers from Aspire People, we put them towards prize giving for pupils”

I frequently recommend Aspire People. Sometimes to acquaintances looking for work, to our own staff looking to gain experience before a GTP qualification or for those looking for a permanent position.  The school received some vouchers from Aspire People which the Head of Science used to provide prizes for attainment for students of all abilities in science. Not only does the school benefit but the candidate we recommend and Aspire People.


Mr. Quigley, Deputy Headteacher, The Woodlands School

I don’t feel pressured to go to work when I have other elements to worry about such as Univeristy

Aspire People have really helped me find a number of work placements. My consultant asks for availability every week to ensure that I can work. I like the fact that I don’t feel pressured to go to work when I have other elements to worry about such as Uni. The other good thing is that I get calls and texts occasionally asking how I am and how I am doing with everything. It ensures that I’m happy and not uncomfortable. When I first joined I was given lots of tips and tricks for effective teaching. The good thing is I feel like with the advice my consultant gave me ensured that I could go out and have success with the different schools and lessons I’ve taught.


Brett, Cover Supervisor, Stoke-on-Trent

“Aspire People’s Work Experience programme taught our pupils about the working world”

Aspire People organised a Work Experience programme for Plantsbrook School. This was a major commitment by Aspire People and the students found the experience very beneficial. It gave them the opportunity to understand commitments of a working environment and develop skills in communication and organisation. We look forward to working with them again.


Mrs. S Westwood, Business Manager, Plantsbrook School

Aspire understands our needs and so we invariably employ their candidate

Aspire People have always been able to respond to requests with quality staff.  Although we use a range of agencies when trying to fill long term we invariably employ the candidate recommended by Aspire People. This is because we have built up a relationship whereby our requirements are known and understood by them. As an Outstanding school at the forefront of educational provision it is essential that every lesson is delivered to the highest standards. The relationship we have with Aspire People is that we can candidly make our requirements known and they are able to choose a candidate that they are confident will meet our needs.


Mr. Wilson, Deputy Head Teacher, Bishop Challoner RC School

High Quality of Staff

Quality of staff is so high we recently took 2 Aspire cover supervisors on permanently - Aspire’s service is fast, efficient and professional, they have never let me down. I can text them at 7 for cover and when I get in to work there is an email notifying me of who is coming.


Mrs. Tye, George Spencer School

I was very wary and nervous at the start, but my first day of work was great!

I worked with Aspire a few months, after graduating as a teacher.  I found it difficult securing a full time position and supply was recommended to me.  Like everyone who goes in for supply I was very wary and nervous at the start, but my first day of work was great!


Shahida, Primary NQT, Birmingham

Friendly, efficient, fast and professional

We have used Aspire People for both short and long term supply teacher roles, the quality of the candidates that they have sent to us has been high, and we regularly have candidates return to us for further cover work.  The aftercare and general service we receive is always friendly, efficient, fast and professional; timesheets are emailed to me via Aspire People along with all safeguarding information the day a booking is made.  In turn invoices are always prompt and give the relevant details that our finance department require to be able to make payments.


Mrs de Laune, Cover CoOrdinator, Lordswood Girls School

My consultant reflected the professional and personal qualities that Aspire People prides itself on

Right from when I registered, my consultant Emily reflected the professional and personal qualities that Aspire prides itself on. Emily understood my adaptability as a teacher but also my needs in terms of the type of school that would suit me. Clearly taking time to study the detail of my CV and skills and experience, this ensured bookings were appropriate for both myself and the school(s). I found Aspire People helpful, polite and dedicated. I recommended Aspire to a colleague largely on the basis of how Emily had presented herself and the agency.


Mark, Secondary Teacher, Staffordshire

“If only all agencies valued candidates the way Aspire People do”

Even though I came from an industry background my consultant genuinely valued the experience I could bring to a school.  She really went that extra mile to find me work by organising training on school IT systems. On top of that she secured me voluntary work to support my Diploma in School Business Management Studies.


Jo

“I was encouraged to do my PGCE”

Having started as a cover supervisor, Aspire People actively encouraged me to qualify as a teacher and advised me which course to choose.  After gaining my PGCE, I had no hesitation in working with them again as I knew there would be regular work and I would be treated professionally. Over the last three years I have been made to feel part of the team and have always felt supported through any difficult times I have had whilst working in education.


Vincent

“The quality of Aspire’s services are second to none.

I have used other agencies before and Aspire have always treated me with professionalism and respect. Alan’s attention to detail is meticulous. I have always found Al professional, approachable, knowledgeable, amenable and diligent in everything he does. Al, on several occasions, has gone out of his way to help and support me and make me feel a valuable part of the Aspire team. Thank you for what you do Al.”


Stella, Leicester Supply Teacher

“I am an ambassador for Aspire People”

My consultant has found me work every day which has led to some wonderful long term assignments.  When I am sent to an assignment I feel as if I am visiting the school as an ambassador for Aspire People and I am proud to work for what I feel is by far the best teaching agency in the West Midlands.


Lucy

Sensitive, caring, friendly and extremely professional

This experience that I have had with Aspire People has really given me an insight into another side of employment that I have never had before. You are really sensitive, caring, friendly as well as extremely professional - this is unlike some agencies that I spoke to or have been told about by other teachers.


Ralph, Head of Drama, Birmingham Secondary School

Trusted because of an honest and open approach

Wheelers Lane Technology College have used the services of Aspire People for the last five years.  The quality of staff supplied by Aspire are excellent and they adapt well to our school environment.
One of Aspires’ many qualities is the excellent relationship developed between their consultant and the school.  Aspire are agency that are trusted because of their honest and open approach to their customers. Aspire will continue to be the agency that this college will contact in the first instance in respect of daily cover needs.


Mrs Brettell, Cover Coordinator, Wheelers Lane Technology College

“Without their support I would not be the Cover Supervisor I am today”

“When I first applied for Aspire People as a Cover Supervisor, I had very little experience of working in schools. My consultant made sure I was fully aware of how to safeguard both myself and the pupils. I was even asked to complete a scenario based questionnaire this not only helped to highlight gaps in my knowledge but taught me precisely how to deal with a range of classroom issues.”


Sam, Cover Supervisor, Leicester