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 have been in work more or less everyday

My consultant, Mark Birmingham, ensured I was in work more or less everyday.  All the placements I had were at nice schools, within a reasonable travelling distance – Mark always checked whether the schools were appropriate for me to travel to before waking me up!!  A lot of my earlier placements had been day-to-day, which sometimes led to weekly placements at schools.


Shahida, NQT Supply Teacher, Birmingham

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

“A friendly and reassuring communication motivates me to do my best”

Adam Cox has been my consultant at since September 2013. His friendly and reassuring communication keeps me inspired and motivated to do my best at my assignments.  I get regular assignments almost every week and I cannot recommend him enough for his efficiency and skill as a consultant. His professional and courteous interaction and commitment towards me and other cover supervisors in Nottingham is evident. I find him extremely professional, efficient and consistent in his role and it’s a privilege to work for Aspire People.


Mrs. Mayer, Nottingham Cover Supervisor

“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

“Aspire People don’t harass me like other agencies”

Aspire People take a personal approach, the staff have managed to achieve that fine balance of being readily available to be contacted but not being constantly harassing every morning.


Mr. Kay, Cover Co-Ordinator, Finham Park School

“If you’re looking for an honest, efficient & quality provider of staff look no further than Aspire”

“Holyhead had previously not used agencies. As a last resort I approached Aspire People about a DT technician. It was the best decision I could have made. We have been so impressed by their quality and efficiency we now contact Aspire People first regarding vacancies.  If the candidate is suitable we keep them on a 10 week temporary basis then employ them ourselves with no extra cost! If you are looking for an honest, efficient and quality provider of staff then look no further than Aspire People.”


Marie Shiels, Business Manager, Holyhead Business & Enterprise Academy

“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

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

Holyhead have used Aspire People’s services since 2011, I have no hesitation in recommending them”

Holyhead had previously not used agencies, as a last resort I approached Aspire People when looking for a DT Technician.  Kelly ensured the candidate met all of our needs (of which there were many) and had undergone the safeguarding checks. We have been so impressed by the quality and efficiency of service provided by Aspire People that we now contact them in the first instance regarding any vacancy.  If the candidate proves to be suitable then we employ them ourselves. If you are looking for an honest, efficient, quality provider of education staff, look no further than Aspire People.


Marie Shiels, Business Manager, Holyhead Secondary School

Every candidate undergoes the following vetting procedures:

Face to face interview
Induction
Child Protection training
Fully Enhanced CRB
ISA barred list check
Employment and education references
Right to work in UK
Proof of Identity
2 x proof of address
Proof of NI
Proof of name change
Education Certificates
Confirmation of GTC
Medical & health checks
Overseas police checks
UK NARIC


“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 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

If it wasn’t for Aspire I don’t think I’d be completing my NQT induction

I am now completing my NQT year with a school I was introduced to through Aspire.  Mark offered me to do a placement at the school, and this led to the school offering me a position.  Had it not have been for Aspire, I don’t think I’d be completing my NQT year this year.  I’d definitely recommend Aspire to other NQTs looking for permanent work.


Yasmin, Primary NQT, Birmingham

I rejoined Aspire as a supply teacher after my PGCE, I am still working with them now

After graduating from university with sports science I started working for Aspire as a girls PE supply teacher I found them very helpful and they always managed to get me regular work. The work I got from them helped me to gain enough experience to get on a PGCE course. I rejoined Aspire as a supply teacher after my PGCE as an NQT and am still with them now. They are very friendly and reliable.


Christa, PE Supply Teacher, Warwickshire

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

“I’m always paid on time and any queries are dealt with efficiently”

The Payroll department at Aspire People is really efficient. I’m always paid on time, any queries I do have are dealt with efficiently and quickly. The staff are friendly
and respond to emails or texts without delay.  From my point of view Aspire People is an excellent agency to work for.


Helen, Secondary Teacher