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Routes Into Teaching

All teacher training courses will include time spent training in at least two schools and lead to qualified teacher status (QTS), so you’ll get the necessary support and training you need to succeed in the classroom.

School-led Training

If you'd like your training to be based in a school, and want to learn from experienced teachers from day one, then school-led training is for you.  School-led courses generally last a year and result in the award of qualified teacher status (QTS).  Most courses include a postgraduate certificate in education – or PGCE, which is likely to carry with it Master’s-level credits.  You should check the exact details of individual courses with providers.

School-led courses are referred to as the SCITT (school-centred initial teacher training) programme and School Direct training programme, and you should use these terms when you search for a course. Whichever course you choose, your training experience will be the same. 


Networks of schools that have been approved to run school-centred courses are known as SCITTs. They provide practical, hands-on teacher training, delivered by experienced, practising teachers based in their own school or a school in their network. ‘SCITT’ is also a type of school-led course, similar to the non-salaried School Direct option.

SCITT courses generally last one year, with many including a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) and/or Master’s-level credits.

Training as part of a SCITT gives you the opportunity to learn ‘on the job’ from the very beginning. You will benefit from working and learning every day in a school and getting an immediate insight into what teaching involves.

But this doesn’t mean you’ll be teaching classes before you’ve had a chance to find your feet. You’ll have an extended support network of experienced teachers and mentors on hand to help you throughout your course. The school you’re with won’t ask you teach classes unsupported until they think you’re ready.

You can search for our SCITT (tuition fee) vacancies here.

School Direct

School Direct courses generally last a year and result in qualified teacher status (QTS) – most also award you a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) and/or Master’s-level credits.

You’ll train in at least two good schools, getting the chance to learn ‘on the job’ – but you shouldn’t worry about being thrown in at the deep end. You’ll be part of a team from the very start, receiving intensive support from experienced teachers and mentors. That means you won’t be teaching classes unsupported until the school thinks you’re ready.

The principles of academic rigour on School Direct are the same as on university-led courses, too. You’re also equally eligible for a training bursary or scholarship and can apply for the same financial support, such as student loans

If you’ve been working for three years or more and like the idea of School Direct, but want to earn a salary, School Direct (salaried) is available exclusively for you.  Trainees on the salaried programme are recruited and employed directly by schools, and often continue teaching in their school following training.

You can search for our School Direct (salaried) vacancies here.

University-led Training

Training with a university gives you the chance to learn the pedagogy of teaching and apply it through your practical placements.  You can complete a 3- or 4-year undergraduate programme or you can complete a one-year post graduate programme.  Both routes will lead to trainees gaining Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Specialist Training Routes

There are also a number of specialist training routes available depending on your subject, qualifications and previous experience:

  • Teach First
  • Researchers in Schools
  • Assessment Only
  • Future Teaching Scholars
  • Now Teach

Further information on these routes can be found on the 'Get Into Teaching' site.