Frequently Asked Questions

Why train with us?

  • How do I know whether places are available?

    Our courses are always up to date on UCAS, if you look for the course and find it on UCAS with ‘vacancies’  next to it then there should still be places available. 

    We will also update our own website and social media as soon as possible. Remember that places are awarded on a first-come-first served basis to the right candidates who meet our criteria. 

    Each year we are open for applications between late October and early June, or until we have filled our places in a particular subject.

  • What qualifications do I need to have?

    To meet the national criteria you must have a GCSE (or equivalent) in maths and English of grade C/ new grade 4 or above, those applying for primary must also have a science grade C/ new grade 4 or above. You will also need to have completed an undergraduate,  first degree before the start of the programme.

    If you do not have a GCSE qualification you will need to undertake a certified Equivalency Test, please see the section below for more information.

  • How much academic training is there and how much will I learn ‘on the job’?

    Our programmes provide a careful balance of time in your placement schools, central training days and subject specialist input designed to provide you with school experience and an essential teacher’s toolkit. This balanced approach means that you will be ideally prepared to start your career as a great NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher).

  • What qualification will I gain?

    On successful completion of our programmes you will be awarded QTS (Qualified Teacher Status). This is the professional qualification for teachers in England and is the qualification that nearly all schools, academies and free schools expect applicants for teaching jobs to have. For everyone who trains with us there is also the option to add a Masters level PGCE to your programme, subject to an extra fee for both salaried and non-salaried routes. The PGCE element is provided and assessed by Oxford Brookes University. You can register for the PGCE element once you have started your QTS programme with us. The face to face sessions for the PGCE (approximately 30 hours in total) take place outside school hours – usually as twilights/ weekend sessions. Between 30% and 50% of each cohort that trains with us undertakes the PGCE in their training year and an increasing number wait and do it in subsequent years so it is not a ‘now or never’ decision. You can make the decision about undertaking the PGCE once your QTS programme has started with us in June/ July.

  • Do I get to choose which school my placements are in?

    There are many factors which affect decision-making for placements but ultimately the decision will be made by the Director of SCITT and partner schools.

    As the only provider that works solely in Oxfordshire we are able to be very flexible in our placement arrangements so if you have any specific concerns or a preference for an area of Oxfordshire then you can let us know at interview. We will always try to accommodate preferences but cannot make any guarantees.

  • I am working as a Teaching Assistant, can I do my training at my current school?

    If you are successful it may be possible to complete your main placement at your current school, you should discuss this with your Headteacher in advance of application and they must contact us to confirm that they would like to sponsor you.

    Remember that you will complete two placements and will need to be successful in the normal recruitment and selection process; working in a school is not a guarantee of a place on the programme.

  • I’m not a recent graduate, can I still apply?

    Absolutely, all of our programmes are open to people of all ages and backgrounds, the salaried route is designed to be an option for career-changers with experience within and outside education.

    Have a look on our website for the Person Specification and details about the different programmes to decide which route is best for you.

  • I heard that you need 3 years work experience for the salaried programme, is this true?

    It is no longer part of the essential criteria for salaried candidates to have 3 years post-degree work experience, however this is still desirable. Due to the salaried nature of the programme candidates must be able to demonstrate well-rounded skills and experiences which will enable them to tackle the more demanding approach to the programme.

  • I’m retaking a GCSE but I won’t know my result until the summer, can I apply now?

    Yes you can, but we will ask you to complete an Equivalency Test in advance of the summer training so that you are able to evidence meeting all conditions of your offer before the programme begins.

    You are welcome to complete the GCSE in addition to this but it would not be a condition of your offer, the Equivalency Test is enough to certify your qualification. See the Equivalency Test link below for more information.

  • When do I need to complete the professional skills tests?

    You must complete the skills tests in both literacy and numeracy prior to starting any ITT programme and we ask that candidates ideally pass within 6 weeks of receipt of their offer letter.

    You are able to book tests up to 3 months in advance and can book as soon as you have submitted an application. If you have any questions or concerns about the test do ask us and there are lots of practice tests you can do as well as online help clinics to help prepare.