Frequently Asked Questions


  • How do I know whether places are available?

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

    Our courses are always up to date on Apply for Teacher Training, the DFE’s new application service.

    We will also keep our own website and social media up to date.  Remember that places are awarded on a first-come-first served basis to the right candidates who meet our criteria.  However, we are able to offer a significant number of places in most subjects.  Therefore if you are not ready to apply when we open, in October, please don’t panic.  Typically the only subject that fills early on is PE, where we have a limited number of places.  Usually, most other subjects, remain open until after Easter.


  • 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.

    If you have qualifications from overseas you will need to seek a Statement of Comparability through ENIC  You should apply for this for all the qualifications you have received to give yourself the best opportunity.  Please be aware this process can often take some considerable time, therefore it is best to get this process going as soon as you can.

  • 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 ECT (Early Career Teacher).  You can make your final decision on whether to undertake the PGCE during the induction week in July.

  • 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. 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 usually able to be 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 support your training.

    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.

    Have a look on our website for the Person Specification and details about the different programmes to decide which route is best for you.  We regularly have career changers and applicants who have taken a bit longer to make the change and get into teaching.

    We work closely with career changer networks, who are best placed to support with applications and training programme advise.  Please contact:  NOW TEACH and Transition to Teach T2T

  • 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.

    We generally advise that rather than enrolling on a GCSE programme, which takes a full year, we suggest an equivalency test, which can be taken at any time.

  • What are fundamental proficiencies?

    Until fairly recently, all entrants to teacher training programmes needed to complete ‘Professional Skills Tests’ in literacy and numeracy. The Department for Education no longer requires candidates to complete these specific tests, but providers need to work with candidates to ensure that they meet the ‘fundamental proficiencies’ in English and maths. This is a requirement for every teacher training programme.


    At Oxfordshire Teacher Training we make use of diagnostic assessments upon enrolment to check every candidate’s proficiencies. This may require a little bit of revision and you will need to plan for some time to complete the tests, but they are straightforward and accessible, and guidance will be provided. Assessments should be completed prior to induction and full details will be given in advance. If any candidate has any problems or struggles to complete the assessments then we will discuss this individually to ensure that materials and guidance are provided to help to develop these areas.

  • Where will I be employed in my ECT year?

    Once you have  started your QTS training programme you will then apply to a school or schools for a post as an ECT (Early Career Teacher). We will run central training sessions on how to apply for jobs and will offer interview advice and technique throughout the programme. 

    We recognise that circumstances for individuals and schools change all the time so we cannot fully guarantee that there will be a job at the end of the programme, however we work incredibly hard to ensure that everyone who wants to work in Oxfordshire finds a suitable role.