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Frequently Asked Questions

Faqs - Applicant

Approximately 10 months – typically 01 September to 30 June.

Yes – typically you’ll be based in 1 school for the Autumn Term, a different school for the start of the Spring Term and then return to the first school.

The length of the school day is decided by each individual school.  Typically you will be expected to be in school before 0830 and remain until 1630.  Some days you may be required for a longer time if there are after school meetings or events.

Additional criteria for School Direct (salaried) candidates

Trainees are eligible to take up places on this route if they:

  • are eligible to work in England as an unqualified teacher; and
  • possess three or more years’ work experience. However, the NCTL will allow schools to accept applications from high quality graduates with less than three years’ work experience in hard to fill subjects, especially in maths, physics, chemistry, languages and computing. It will be for schools to decide whether they wish to accept applications from candidates with less than three years’ work experience.

The lead school should take responsibility for ensuring that the candidate is eligible to take up employment as an unqualified teacher in England, before they are offered a place on the School Direct (salaried) route.

Additional criteria for School Direct (tuition fees) candidates

Trainees are only eligible to take up places on this route if they:

  • meet the conditions for eligibility for student support, as set out in part 2, schedule 1 of the Education (Student Support) Regulations
  • are eligible to pay the ‘home’ tuition fee after assessment using the criteria set out in the Education Regulations above;
  • are undertaking a designated course leading to QTS for the purposes of attracting student support as outlined in schedule 2 of the Education (Student Support) Regulations, and not an employment based ITT programme or adult education programme; and
  • meet the eight eligibility criterion for receiving the training bursary as set out in the training bursary guidance.
  • be an ‘eligible’ student for the provision of UK student support;
  • be training in an eligible ITT subject listed in Annex A;
  • hold a UK first degree with at least second class honours, or equivalent, or be training in maths, physics or Primary maths specialist (and specialism), hold a relevant degree and have at least a grade B A level in maths, further maths or physics;
  • be taking a qualifying postgraduate ITT course;
  • comply with the terms and conditions of the bursary scheme;
  • not already hold QTS, or be eligible to receive QTS;
  • not be undertaking paid teaching work when receiving the bursary; not be taking any other ITT course.


Bursary payments will be via BACS in 10 monthly installments with the first payment in October.
Salary payments will be made monthly to you, direct from your employing school.


They can be paid using

  1. A Tuition Fee Loan available from Student Loans Company
  2. In full by the trainee – via instalments

See https://www.gov.uk/student-finance for full details

The main student finance package includes a:

a)      Tuition Fee Loan up to £9250
b)      Maintenance Loan – full-time students only

You might get extra help on top of this.  For example: Trainees with children or dependent adults; Trainees with a Disability

Applicants with a degree from outside the UK should refer to the equivalency table (PDF, 1MB) to see if their degree is likely to attract a bursary.

All trainees with qualifications from outside the UK will need to provide a NARIC statement to provide evidence of equivalency to UK qualifications.

You will need to take the numeracy and literacy skills tests as part of the application process.  Passing them forms part of the conditions of any offer of a training place.  Get them booked early and if possible take them before interview.


    • Degree with 300 HE points with at least 60 at Level 6 – classification 2:2 or above
      • for secondary the degree needs to be related to the subject you wish to teach.
      • Please note you must have an honours degree (360 HE points) to qualify for a bursary
    • GCSE grade 4 or equivalent in English and maths
      • If you want to teach in primary you will also need GCSE grade 4 in science
    • Pass the NCTL Literacy and Numeracy Skills Tests

http://www.astarteachers.co.uk/equivalency/equivalency_information.asp or http://equivalencytesting.com/

School experience is essential if you are interested in becoming a teacher. Before you apply for teacher training, you’ll need to gain as much experience in the classroom as possible in order to strengthen your application and prepare you for potential interviews.

The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) runs the school experience programme, which offers prospective trainee teachers the chance to see what it’s like to be a teacher.  Many of our Essex Schools participate in this scheme.


The NCTL work with subject associations to provide a limited number of scholarships.


To be eligible for a scholarship, you should have at least a 2:1 degree or above and want to teach chemistry, computing, geography, languages, maths or physics. You can still apply if you have a 2:2, but you’ll need to provide evidence of significant relevant experience. Scholarships are awarded in place of a bursary.

Find out more on the dedicated scholarship pages:

computing: BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

chemistry: Royal Society of Chemistry

geography: Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)

languages: British Council

maths: Mathematics Teacher Training Scholarships

physics: Institute of Physics scholarships

The scholarship will be instead of the standard bursary, but trainees who are not awarded the scholarship may still be eligible for the standard bursaries.

All trainees who successfully complete the programme will be awarded Qualified Teacher Status

All non-salaried trainees will be enrolled on a PGCE Programme with University of Derby with the outcome of a PGCE with Masters Level 7 credits

The PGCE programme is optional for salaried trainees and a tuition fee of £1950 is payable to Essex Teacher Training in order to register

Your degree should be related to the subject you wish to teach and in most cases should contain subject related work of around 50%. 

There are cases where this may not apply in full.  Please contact info@essexteachertraining.co.uk if you have a query in regard to your degree.  We will usually ask you to send a copy of your Academic Transcript which outlines the content of degree modules.

You may be required to do a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course if your degree does not contain enough content related to the subject you wish to train to teach.  SKE courses are available in maths, physics, languages, biology, chemistry, computing, English, geography and design and technology.

It may not be appropriate to take an academic year to work towards QTS if you have been teaching as an unqualified teacher for two or more years. If you meet the following criteria the Assessment Only Route may be a possibility for you. This is a 12 week programme.

Entry Criteria:

  • Basic requirements are the same as other ITT routes
  • Have been teaching successfully in England for a minimum of two years full time or equivalent with experience in at least two schools
  • Already be a highly competent classroom teacher, at least ‘Good’ based on the Ofsted criteria for teaching
  • Be employed in a teaching role for the duration of the assessment period at a school where you can meet the full requirements of the Teachers’ Standards

Individuals who hold QTS on the first day of their ITT course are not eligible for a training bursary.

Under current reciprocal arrangements, most qualified teachers from countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland are able to receive QTS following application to NCTL. Teachers who qualified in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA can also apply to NCTL to be awarded QTS. Lead schools and ITT providers should advise applicants in both of these categories to apply to NCTL. Teachers who are successful in their application and receive QTS will not be eligible for an ITT place, or a bursary; those that are unsuccessful in their application to NCTL may be considered eligible.
Potential trainees who may already be eligible to receive QTS under the conditions described above should email qts.enquiries@education.gsi.gov.uk or visit Qualified teacher status (QTS): qualify to teach in England for more information.


Individuals who hold Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status and are members of the Education and Training Foundation (ETF), formerly the Institute for Learning (IfL), are recognised as qualified teachers in maintained schools in England. They must continue to maintain their registration with the ETF for this recognition to be valid.

They will still be able to apply for an ITT place and in turn receive a bursary. However, they must meet all the criteria to be eligible.

Those who already hold early years professional status will be recognised as the equivalent of early years teachers.

Early years teachers are specialists in early childhood development. They are trained to work with babies and young children from birth to 5 years. They support and lead staff in early years settings, including early years educators.

They meet the same entry requirements and pass the same skills tests as trainee primary school teachers.

Essex TT only offers FS/KS1 (age 3 – 7) as a route within the primary teacher training programme.  If you wish to work in an early years setting for 0 – 5 specifically you will then need to complete an Early Years initial teacher training (ITT) course, which will lead to the award of Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS).

Essex TT do not offer Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) only the award of QTS within the age range 3-7.


If you have a degree you can apply for any of the ITT programmes that Essex TT offers. You may be eligible for funding through the MOD, which could be used to pay tuition fees.

If you do not have a degree the NCTL offer Two-year Troops to Teachers courses for non-graduates that lead to QTS and a degree qualification. Further details can be found on the NCTL website: https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/explore-my-options/specialist-training-options/troops-to-teachers

All applications are through UCAS.  Go to www.ucas.com/ucas/teacher-training

  1. Search for the programme that you want using the search tool.
    1. For SCITT search for
      1. Essex Teacher Training Provider (code E75)
    2. For School Direct search for
      1. Academies Enterprise Trust and Tendring Teaching School Alliance: Eastern: (code 2CG)
        1. includes all AET academies in Essex and their partner schools
      2. Eastwood Park Academy (code 2G1)
      3. Gable Hall (code 1KM)
      4. Harlow Teacher Training Partnership (code 1ZH)
      5. Lee Chapel Primary (code 16H)
      6. Merrylands Primary (code 2D6)
      7. Parklands Infant School (285)
      8. South Essex Teaching Institute (code 1K9)
      9. St Thomas More’s Primary (code 1K8)
      10. Woodside Academy (code 26V)

Then register and make your application.

Yes – you will need two people to be referees. At least one should be an academic reference. If you left university more than 5 years ago then ask someone who can write you a professional reference instead. See http://www.ucas.com/how-it-all-works/teacher-training/filling-in-your-application/references

With Essex Teacher Training the School Direct (Tuition Fee) trainees follow exactly the same programme and training plan as the SCITT trainees.

  • Training in two schools
  • Possible Bursary for some subjects if you meet the NCTL requirements
  • Generic Teaching and Learning Pedagogy and phase / subject specific training
  • Outcome is QTS with PGCE / Masters Level 7 credits

School Direct (salaried) follow a slightly different training plan

  • Employed by one school who then release you for a brief period of training in a second school
  • Reduced number of Generic Teaching and Learning Pedagogy and phase / subject specific training (with the option to buy-in for more). The core entitlement is reduced as it is expected that as a salaried trainee you already have some experience
  • Outcome is QTS with the option to buy into the PGCE / Masters Level 7 credits

Main difference is in how you apply:

School Direct (salaried) and School Direct (tuition fee) you apply directly to the Lead School

    1. Academies Enterprise Trust and Tendring Teaching School Alliance: Eastern: (code 2CG)
      1. includes all AET academies in Essex and their partner schools
    2. Eastwood Park Academy (code 2G1)
    3. Gable Hall (code 1KM)
    4. Harlow Teacher Training Partnership (code 1ZH)
    5. Lee Chapel Primary (code 16H)
    6. Merrylands Teacher Training Partnership (code 2D6)
    7. Parklands Infant School (285)
    8. South Essex Teaching Institute (code 1K9)
    9. St Thomas More’s Primary (code 1K8)
    10. Woodside Academy (code 26V)

 For SCITT you apply to Essex Teacher Training (code E75)

It is preferable but not essential. If you do not have any connections to a school you can still apply and we will then place you in a school with the aim of it being within a commutable distance of your home address.

If you find your own school:

  1. check if they are working with a Lead School for School Direct. If they are you will need to apply to that Lead School for a place.
  2. if they are not working with a school for SD you will be able to do SCITT with us. Ask the person at the school who has responsibility for trainee teachers to contact Essex Teacher Training to discuss what is involved.

Yes you can.  In Apply 1 you can send your application to up to 3 different programmes.

However, if you are undecided between primary and secondary, we would advise you to get some experience in both a primary and secondary school and talk to different teachers to try to make a decision before applying.

If applying for secondary, the content of your degree or your experience will dictate which subjects you can apply for.


For School Direct see the info on our SD partners to see where the schools are.

For SCITT, we are happy to work with schools in neighbouring counties as long as the school meets the requirements set by us for being a host school for ITT.  Please contact Essex TT for further information.

No – You will be given assistance to do this during the Autumn Term of your training year.

If the above hasn’t answered your question please contact us.