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 a Masters qualification. 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 many countries.

Step 2 - I know what I want- but how do I get there?

Understanding all the different routes into teaching is a challenge. To gain a bursary there are essentially there are two routes; school based, and University led. A University led route mean you are usually placed in two schools spend week blocks studying, spending a minimum of 120 days as per the DFE guidelines ; whilst on a School Direct route you start at your placement school from your first day and attend university that the school is working with for accreditation. Essentially, 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 DFE Apply 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:

  1. Check the school and provider Ofsted report - you can find these on the relevant websites
  2. See what schools the provider works with - are they near you? Are they schools you’d be happy working at? You can ask these questions at interview or at an event they are hosting
  3. 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
  4. 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.