Step 1 - what do you want to get out of it?
The aim of your first year of training is to get QTS - you need it to teach in the UK and every programme should provide this at a minimum. The majority of providers also offer a PGCE which counts as 1/3 of your masters. A PGCE qualification will help you develop your pedagogy skills; preparing you for the classroom, it is also recognised internationally, enabling you to teach in any country.
Step 2 - I know what I want- but how do I get there?
Understanding all the different routes into teaching is a challenge. Essentially there’s 2 basic routes; school based, and university led. A university led route means you spend week blocks studying and then week blocks in a school placement whilst a school based route gets you straight into a placement school from your first day. Everyone learns differently and the route that works for you may not work for someone else!
Step 3 - Where are all these providers?
Head over to the UCAS site to search for providers near you. Alternatively, most local authorities will give you a list of providers in your area. Once you got a list of potential providers you can start researching them- see what type of training they provide, understand the type of schools you’ll be in and get a feel for their style of teaching. This is also a great time to get some school experience under your belt! School experience will enhance your application and give you a real sense of what’s to come.
Step 4 - Location, Location, Location
We all know the school day doesn’t really finish at 3 o’clock! You’ll be busy marking, planning, researching and essay writing... so avoid a long commute where possible.
Step 5 - Decisions?!
Some key points to think about once you’ve got the provider short list:
- Check the providers Ofsted report - you can find these on providers websites
- See what schools the provider works with - are they near you? Are they schools you’d be happy working at?
- Network - see if you can talk to someone completing or who has completed the course. They’ll help to give you a first-hand account of what to expect from the provider and the course
- Once you’ve had some interviews reflect on them. The ways interviews are conducted will give you a good feel for what to expect come September - take all the help and support you can get, choosing a supportive provider will make your ITT year a lot easier.