Written by: Cally Worden
If you’ve decided you’d like to embark on a teaching career, there are a number of routes you can take. University-led training is the traditional method – via a full-time 3-4 year degree if you are not a graduate and via a 1 year PGCE if you are. Increasingly though, the government has recognised the value of alternative training options that throw teachers in more towards the deep end. This is known as School-led training. All courses require you to be of graduate status, most will also deliver a PGCE qualification once completed. The main difference is that you are training in a school environment virtually from Day One. If it appeals to you, there is a range of options available to you.
These are school networks across the UK that have gained approval to run training courses that are school-led. Their emphasis is on, hands-on teacher training, immersing trainees in the practicalities of teaching early on. The training is provided by highly experienced teachers who are themselves still in the role. Trainees are encouraged to stretch themselves, but will not be left to take classes without support, until it is considered that they are ready to act independently. SCITT courses usually run for one year.
These courses also run for a standard one-year period, after which, trainees who have met the required standards will acquire Newly Qualified Teacher Status. School Direct offers on -the-job training in at least two schools (this is true of most School-led courses). The courses offered by School Direct are designed by local groups of good schools, in conjunction with a university or SCITT. They target the skills, which these schools are seeking in their new teachers. Graduates of School Direct often secure places in their local school network as a result. Emphasis is also placed on academic learning for trainees on these courses.
School Direct (Salaried)
These courses are aimed at those people who are already graduates, having at least three years of work experience under their belts. The principles of these courses are the same as for the standard School Direct programme. Trainees can earn up to ¬£25000 per year (¬£21k outside London), with the upper end of this pay bracket typically being reserved for trainees on courses most in demand, such as computing, maths, and physics.
Teach First is a charity whose focus is to put an end to inequality in education. It has been running since 2002. Since then more than 7000 graduates have joined the TF Leadership Development Programme. Targeting schools in low-income and deprived areas, Teach First gears its training to cater for some of the specific needs of this demographic. Training is highly supportive; it involves a two-year commitment from trainees. The challenges of this type of school environment deliver a broad skill set to trainees; this can be transferred well into the business world. It is a training programme that attracts those who know they want to follow a career in teaching, those who are uncertain and those who know they definitely don’t. Trainees receive a PGCE upon graduation.