There are lots of misconceptions about school-led training that arise frequently. Below we answer some of the most common questions.
Myth: “I’ll get thrown in the deep end, teaching classes by myself early on.”
Fact: You are part of a team from the start and receive intensive support from experienced teachers in the classroom. You won’t be teaching classes unsupported until the school thinks you are ready, and opportunities will exist to build networks with fellow trainees.
Myth: “I’ll only train in one school – I want something broader than this.”
Fact: To become a qualified teacher, you have to take training placements in two schools. Trainees will train in at least two schools – and will usually spend time in other schools too.
Myth: “There’s no academic or theoretical training. I won’t get a PGCE.”
Fact: You will spend plenty of time in academic training, comparable to the university-led route. Most school-led courses result in a Master’s-level qualification such as a PGCE as well as qualified teacher status (QTS). Trainees who successfully complete our training programme will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Education at Masters level.
Myth: “Don’t most people just go to university to do teacher training?”
Fact: School-led routes into teaching have been around for many years, and have very high rates of trainee satisfaction. This year half of postgraduate teacher training places were school-led.
Myth: “I won’t receive the same level of financial support that I would following a university-led path to teaching.”
Fact: You could get a £25k tax-free bursary to train as a teacher on both school-led teacher training and a traditional university-led path. With an option to earn a salary on School Direct (salaried), this route is suitable if you are already working at a school, or have work experience that you can demonstrate transfers to teaching.
Trainees on the salaried programme are recruited and employed directly by schools, and often continue teaching in their school following training. The amount you earn will be dependent on the school you train in and the subject you’re teaching.
Remember, tax-free bursaries and scholarships are available in some subjects on both school-led and university-led courses. On a School Direct (salaried) course, you’ll be paid and taxed as an unqualified teacher, so you should compare the bursary rate for your chosen subject with the salary on offer via School Direct (salaried) to work out which route would be best for your circumstances.
Myth: “School Direct is the same as Teach First.”
Fact: School Direct is different from Teach First – Teach First trains 2,000 outstanding graduates in selected challenging schools. You apply directly to Teach First. School Direct has around 17,500 places available in schools of all types across the country. You apply for School Direct through UCAS Teacher Training.
Myth: “SCITTs are the same as School Direct.”
Fact: SCITTs are schools which have been given government approval to run their own training courses. They can be searched for under ‘SCITT programme’ on UCAS. Many SCITTs and around 8,000 schools also offer School Direct programmes, which can be searched for under ‘School Direct training programme’ and ‘School Direct training programme (salaried)’ on UCAS.