Choosing a teacher training course that’s right for you

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Choosing a teacher training course that’s right for you

Shortlisting and choosing a course that’s right for you is one of the biggest decisions in the journey to become a teacher. You will have a lot of questions to answer and sometimes it can feel hard to know what to do or who to contact.

There are two main graduate routes into teaching: School Direct, which is mainly based in school and can attract a salary while you train; and the traditional Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), which is often described as university based.

Whichever postgraduate teacher training course you choose, your training will be very similar. You will spend a large proportion of time in school gaining classroom experience and when you have completed your training you will be awarded qualified teacher status (QTS).

Our tips to help you shortlist courses

  • Find out what courses are available near you. The Department for Education has a useful online search tool to help you find teacher training courses. The tool allows you to filter by location, provider and phase or subject. You can try out the tool here
  • Visit a school and talk to teachers and current trainees. Spending a few days in a school can answer a lot of the questions you may have, and you will get the opportunity to find out about the training options that could be available to you. Many schools work with local alliances to offer School Direct training places and you may be able to speak with teachers who can tell you what training with different providers might be like. You can read our blog for advice on setting up some school experience.
  • Research individual course providers. Providers are always happy to answer your questions and can give you valuable advice about the application process. You can also visit their websites and attend one of their events to get a feel of the support that you would receive during your training year.
  • Attend a variety of events. There are lots of recruitment events every month and you should try to attend events put on by a variety of providers – both in schools and at universities. Find events local to you or book on to one of the Get Into Teaching roadshows here
  • Financial and logistical considerations. You may be looking to relocate during your training year in which case you will need to find out about accommodation options. Even if you are training close to home it is important to ask your training provider if there could be a lengthy commute to your placement schools, especially if you will be relying on public transport.

Choosing a course that’s right for you is the biggest decision point in the application process. It is normal to feel uncertain or frustrated at certain points and it is important to get in touch with people who can answer your questions.

You can always get in touch with us to ask a question.