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


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

“our boys get to experience first hand what it is like to communicate with an employer”

‘Aspire People took part in an interview day that we held for pupils. Not only did they allow the boys to practice their interview technique but they coached and mentored them, providing constructive feedback. This additional service has a positive impact on the education we provide our pupils. They get to experience first hand what it is like to communicate with an employer.’


Sarah McAneny

“I have had nothing but first rate service from Aspire People”

“Since I first started working with Aspire People and my consultant Adam, I have had nothing but first rate service.  I have found them to be assiduous in finding work placements, and supportive once on placement in all ways. I have been so impressed I recommended a friend. Adam is a great guy and I really cannot praise him too highly.”


Mr. Fisher, Nottingham English Supply Teacher

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

“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

“A faster, more friendly agency”

I registered with Aspire People on 27th September and within 7 working days my vetting checks had been completed and I was placed in to a school.
The application process was informative yet friendly and relaxed. Other agencies I registered with were not as friendly and made me feel nervous and unwelcome. I get on really well with my consultant, Kelly. Overall Aspire People is friendly, helpful and professional.


Valarie

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

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

One of the best agencies in Birmingham with very good consultants

I would like to say massive thank you for helping me find work while I have been with you. I have really enjoyed meeting new people when going to different schools and have gained many experiences. You always looked for work for me, I was looking for long term work. while I have been with Aspire and my consultant has looked after me very well.  If I hear or know of anybody that needs that start in teaching when they have finished their course from university or college I will definitely recommend them directly to Aspire People as they are one of the best agencies in Birmingham and have very good consultants.


Sue, Primary Teacher, Birmingham

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

“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

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

“I have been looked after from the minute I registered”

In addition to providing a high level of professionalism, Aspire People offer a friendly, pleasant and efficient environment for supply teachers, office and technical support staff. They provide work on a regular basis and strive to place employees in recurring positions where possible. My consultant has always listened to my needs and fine tuned the assignments I do


Martyne

“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 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 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