Train To Teach

Please contact Mrs Geraldine Gray, Assistant Headteacher for more information regarding teacher training at Testbourne Community School.

More Information


Initial Teacher Training

There are many different routes into the teaching profession including SCITT, Schools Direct, PGCE and undergraduate courses. All routes differ and it is important that trainees choose the most suitable course for them.  At TCS we offer school-based PGCE training, combining hands-on classroom experience with academic study. We have links with the Basingstoke Alliance (SCITT), Southampton University and other teacher training routes.

What is SCITT?

School-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) is a programme for graduates, run by and based in schools. Testbourne Community School is apart of the Basingstoke Alliance SCITT, which means we work with other schools in the area and follow the same strategy and method to train future teachers.

Many schools work in close partnerships with universities for SCITT programmes, enabling trainee teachers to gain a PGCE or PGDE alongside working towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Many SCITT courses also include a PGCE qualification, but not all do. If gaining a PGCE is important to you, check before applying.

The academic year is organised as follows:     

  • Term One: 10 Mondays central training on professional themes, subject specific study and special educational needs study; 4 days a week in main placement, putting the theory into practice.
  • Term Two: 4 Mondays central training on professional themes, subject specific study and special educational needs study; 4 days a week in second school teaching experience including a diversity experience which includes Primary and Post-16 school experience.
  • Term Three: 4 Mondays central training on professional themes, subject specific study and special educational needs study; 4 days a week in main placement school, putting the theory into practice; June-July full time in main placement school.

In the classroom, initial observation and interpretation progresses to co-planning, team-teaching and evaluating parts of lessons before trainees progress to taking on full delivery of lessons. With this experience, trainees develop their lesson planning, teaching and evaluation at different key stages and continue to participate in classroom teaching in their preferred age range and specialist subject. Towards the end of the academic year, trainees will be expected to be involved with up to 60%-70% of the timetabled week.
There is an option to undertake a diversity experience in a special needs school if this is of interest to the trainee.

All SCITT courses lead to qualified teacher status (QTS). Basingstoke SCITT is an accredited provider and offers training in a range of subjects.

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What is the School Direct route?

School Direct you are selected by a school from day one. The school will have a job in mind just for you and you will receive financial support throughout your training. Successful completion of the programme will lead to the award of qualified teacher status (QTS). 

School Direct is a program that allows people who are training to become teachers work with schools to gain their Teaching Qualifications. The program is described as an option for ‘high-quality graduates who want to be part of a school team from day one.’

During the program, they train by assisting in schools while they are studying at a university or college. 

The program works as a partnership between the university and the school that the graduate is studying. The universities work with the schools to develop training programs that match the needs of the teachers in training.

There are two separate School Direct training options: 

  1. School Direct Training Programme (tuition) is for high-quality graduates who want to be part of a school team from day one. You may be eligible for a bursary of up to £28,000 to support you while you train. 
  2. School Direct Training Programme (salaried) is an employment-based route for high-quality experienced graduates with at least three years’ work experience. You will earn a salary while you train.  

School Direct Tuition route is for high-quality graduates who want to be part of a school team from day one. You may be eligible for a bursary of up to £28,000 to support you while you train (depending on subject and quality of degree). If you have a degree but less than three years' full time work experience, you could apply for the School Direct (tuition) route. In this route, you would pay for the course through student loans in the same way that you funded your degree.

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What's the difference between School Direct and SCITT?

School Direct and SCITT are very similar as in they are both a school based route into teacher training led by partnership of schools. Both routes will award QTS and some will also offer a PGCE. The main difference is in who awards the QTS. In a SCITT this is awarded by a SCITT where in School Direct this is awarded by the partner HEI. The SCITTs that also offer a PGCE with partner with a HEI to award this element.

PGCE courses

The postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) is a one- or two-year academic qualification you can achieve during your teacher training. The PGCE is a mix of predominately university study and some teaching practice.

The Southampton University-based Secondary PGCE course at Southampton provides an excellent route into teaching. The course has consistently been rated highly by former trainees, and has been successful in a series of recent Ofsted inspections. Two thirds of the PGCE is spent in two school placements, starting in October, under the guidance of curriculum mentors who are all experienced classroom teachers. One third is spent in university, under the guidance of curriculum tutors, who all have extensive school teaching experience. 

Secondary Education (including School Direct Training Trainees) pay £9,250 tuition fees for the PGCE.

Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

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Undergraduate Courses

If you don't already have a degree, you can apply for teacher training programmes to graduate with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). UCAS Undergraduate is the scheme to apply for the main university-led routes, and most (but not all) Level 5 post-16 teaching courses.

Primary and secondary postgraduate teacher training

To qualify you’ll need the following or equivalents:

  • a degree
  • grade 4 (C) or above in English and maths GCSEs
  • grade 4 (C) or above in GCSE science if you want to teach primary

If you do not have GCSE grade 4 (C), you’ll need to show that you can meet an equivalent level. The training provider may ask you to take an equivalence test or show other evidence of your ability.

Before you start a teacher training course you’ll also need to:

  • pass numeracy and literacy professional skills tests, if you are starting training before 1 April 2020
  • confirm you have the health and physical capacity to start training

Further education postgraduate teacher training

To qualify, training providers usually prefer you to have:

  • a degree, or relevant vocational or technical qualification
  • grade 4 (C) or above in English and maths GCSEs (or equivalent)

You’ll need a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate if you are teaching students under 18.