Dispelling myths about school-led teacher training

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 aPGCE as well as qualified teacher status (QTS).

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. Last year a third of postgraduate teacher training places were school-led; for 2015/16 it will be over half.

Myth: “I won’t receive the same level of financial support that I would following a university-led path to teaching.”

Fact: School-led financial support is the same as for the traditional university-led path. There is also, unique to the school-led route, a salaried scheme for career changers called School Direct (salaried).

Myth: “I’m not sure whether School Direct is for people thinking of switching career.”

Fact: People with three or more years of work experience can apply for the School Direct (salaried) programme, on which you are paid a salary while you train, though you won’t qualify for a bursary. However, you can also apply to the standard School Direct training programme, for which training bursaries are available.

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.