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


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

Aspire People have found me ongoing work and a longer term placement

I have been working for Aspire since November 2012 when I was recruited by Mark. At that time Mark indicated that he was confident he could find me work and this has proved to be the case.
He has found me ongoing weekly work and also a longer term placement. Mark has communicated with me on a regular basis and has provided feedback from assignments. Based on my experience, I have recommended Aspire to colleagues.


Jo, Primary Teacher, Birmingham

“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

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

“Aspire People offer a range of solutions fit for the day ahead at St. Edmunds RC School”

“Aspire People’s supply teachers are reliable and always say they enjoy coming to work at our school.  They have a range of solutions from HLTAs through to qualified teachers so I can pick what is most appropriate and cost effective option for the day I have ahead.”


Mrs. DiFranco, Finance & Cover Officer, St. Edmunds RC School

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

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

“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

“I really enjoyed the training, a very interesting and engaging module”

The Behaviour Managment Course was a very interesting and engaging module. I liked the honesty given from the trainer and it was great to be given example planning sheets. Thank you Aspire People”


Marvin, Primary NQT, Birmingham

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

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

“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

We often get information on safeguarding before we hear it in school

Aspire People is professional, informative and extremely helpful.  Communication has always been excellent, both by email and telephone. We are often given information on safeguarding practices before we have even heard them in school.


Mrs. Beechey, Cover Co-Ordinator, The Crestwood School

“The documentation on supply staff is the best I have received”

I was impressed with the quality of presentation that my consultant made to me in July, it was following this that I chose to book staff from Aspire People in September.  The documentation provided to me about supply staff is the best I have received, providing all the information required clearly.  The quality of staff sent to me has been very high and the one very slight problem I had (late arrival of a supply teacher) was dealt with by him straight away. One of the many qualities that I like about Aspire People is their honesty.


Mrs. Beverley, The Grove 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,  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

“Find an agency that listens to what your school needs, like Aspire People”

Find a recruitment agency that will take the time to meet with you and actually listen to what your school needs.  Show them around and let them get a feel for the kinds of pupils within the school. This way your consultant will have a great chance of matching the right candidates to your school. You can build trust up with the agency and in the end save so much time and money.  Some years ago, Shenley Academy’s predecessor school had a poor reputation among supply staff. When ever Aspire People send a candidate to us, they love their day, if there is ever any negative feedback I always act upon it.  Now they all say they would be happy to come back to Shenley Academy and nothing makes me prouder.


Mrs. Bain, Information Services Manager, Shenley Academy