Why are teachers important?

Teachers are integral to our society…they provide the foundation to the knowledge and skills that are vital in our future generations. Without the teachers who taught us, where would we be?

 Why teach?

I decided to become a teacher because I love working with young people and want to help them reach their potential.

A career in teaching provides me with a sense of purpose.

I want to support the next generation of students.

I want to be someone who can inspire and motivate children.


How To Get Into Teaching?



What are some of the postgraduate routes into teaching?

University-led PGCE or PGD

- A one-year training programme, a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) is run by colleges and universities throughout the UK.

- The PGCE is available for both prospective primary and prospective secondary school teachers.

- Students must complete a minimum of 120 days in school amongst blocks of study at their chosen provider.


School Direct (Tuition Fee)

  • - As the title suggests, the School Direct (tuition fee) route of study is unpaid.
  • - A school-led teacher training programme, the School Direct (non-salaried) route is run by a school or group of schools who work closely with a university or School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) consortium who certify successful trainees.
  • - Although your training is based in a school, they are not your employers, and in many ways your training will be similar to training programmes in universities and colleges.
  • - You’ll pay fees but you might be eligible for funding through tuition fee loans, training bursaries, or scholarships.


School Direct (Salaried)

  • - This is a school-led teacher training programme.
  • - Those students who opt for a School Direct (salaried) training programme are employed by the school as unqualified teachers whilst they learn on-the-job.
  • - This route is available for both primary and secondary teaching and is run by the school or group of schools. - These providers work closely with a university or School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) consortium who are able to certify successful trainees.
  • - This is an employment-based route for high quality, experienced graduates with at least three years’ work experience in any field.
  • - You’ll earn a salary while you train and won’t need to pay any fees.
  • - Some providers include a PGCE. 


SCITT Training Courses

  • - A SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training) is a school that has been accredited by the DfE to deliver and award Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
  • - A SCITT works in partnership with a group of Primary and Secondary Schools who are committed to providing a high quality training environment for trainee teachers.
  • - SCITT courses are based in and run by schools.  Training is led by highly skilled and experienced practicing teachers as well as school leaders. Trainees will be able to learn from their experienced professional colleagues.


How long is the course and what does it involve?

  • The training course lasts from September to June.
  • Training as part of a SCITT gives you the opportunity to learn on the ‘job’. As trainees are based in schools throughout the course, they will gain a valuable insight into what teaching involves from the start of the academic year. Therefore trainees will be part of the staff development days, gain an insight into how experienced teachers set expectations and will be seen as a member of staff from day one.
  • Courses combine school-based classroom practice with theoretical learning leading to trainees achieving QTS (Qualified Teacher Status).  Trainees can also gain a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) validated by a Higher Education Institution.
  • School-based teaching practice includes a main placement and a shorter second placement in a contrasting school or phase.


How will trainees be assessed?

  • Assessment will take place throughout the year. It will be in the form of classroom observations, portfolios, written assignments and an action research project with a presentation.
  • A PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) is an option which can be completed alongside gaining QTS. The PGCE comes with 60 Master Level credits (which can be converted into a full Masters – 180 credits, in later years).

What to know when applying for teaching training





What makes the Hillingdon SCITT unique?

  • We provide a school centred learning experience based on Teacher Standards'
  • - We are based in Hillingdon, North-West London but also have Partner Schools in neighbouring London Boroughs
  • - Teaching practice will take place in two different schools with a main placement and a shorter second placement in a contrasting school
  • - Teaching practice in Ofsted rated requiring improvement, good and outstanding schools
  • - Each trainee will have an experienced and dedicated Mentor/Coach to support them every step of the way. We believe at the beginning of the course trainees will benefit from a supportive Mentoring approach.  However, as confidence and pedagogical skills grow, a Coaching approach will be more suitable to support trainees.
  • - Tax free bursaries available for some subjects and phases
  • - An option to achieve PGCE (with 60 Masters Level credits) through The Institute of Education/ UCL (you will only be eligible for this if your Undergraduate Degree is classified as a 2:2 or above)
  • - Support available for preparation of the QTS Skills Tests.
  • - Our partnership of Primary Schools consists of: Breakspear, Castlebar, Cherry Lane, Colham Manor, Cranford Park Academy, Deanesfield, Field End Junior, Grimsdyke, Hayes Park, Highfield, Hillingdon, Newnham Infant, Newnham Junior, John Locke, Ruislip Gardens, Whiteheath Infant and Yeading Infants
  • - Our partnership of Secondary Schools consists of:  Bishop Ramsey (Lead School), Canon’s High, Cranford Community College, Douay Martyrs, Harefield, Harlington, Haydon, Northwood, Oakwood, Queensmead, Ruislip High and Swakeleys 
  • - The training will begin from the 1st day of the new academic year as trainees will be in schools from Day 1 of the school year
  • - There will be a variety of school experiences, including the opportunity to visit a Pupil Referral Unit and a Special School




What do our trainees really think about the Hillingdon SCITT?

The programme has been excellent in terms of content and experience. The programme is intense and extremely enjoyable at the same time. The school staff are always willing to assist and provide positive feedback. The onus is on continuous improvement.

 I feel fortunate to be in the mix with outstanding teachers who are willing to share ideas and experiences with all trainees. The training sessions are extremely engaging, well thought out in terms of content, and really get everyone thinking.

 It has been a fabulous journey so far!

After having spent 2 years in varying jobs after university I came to the realisation that a 9 -5 office job was just not for me. Whilst paper pushing is ideal for some people, I just did not feel a sense of purpose from what I was doing. After volunteering at my old Secondary School in Hillingdon I could see the real sense of enthusiasm the teachers had – they genuinely seemed to love what they were doing and this is what inspired me to apply for the Hillingdon SCITT. Having been in training for just over a month I am genuinely delighted with the decision I have made – the support network is great, not only do you have other trainees who are in the same situation as you are, the current department I am in have made me feel at home from the get go and provide honest and constructive feedback which is already helping to shape me as a teacher in these early stages. I could definitely recommend the scheme to anyone who wants a career in a challenging yet fulfilling and rewarding field.

Training with Hillingdon SCITT is one of the most challenging yet rewarding things I have ever done.  As well as providing trainee teachers with complete immersion into school life, SCITT training provides a supportive network of people who will help see you through your training year.   

Every day is different.

 Hillingdon SCITT provides several opportunities to immerse yourself in different schools and school alternatives/environments.

 An excellent induction programme in the summer before starting the course in September.

 Very supportive Subject Leaders

 The Hillingdon SCITT is by far the single most organised, efficient and student-centred academic body I have ever studied with. It is run by a team of seemingly perfect professionals who have created and maintained an exceptional level of professional and academic development. Every session is timed with aptitude and delivered with an infectious exuberance. I am constantly amazed at the entire operation - the kindness, care and attention to detail shown by every single member of the SCITT staff is fantastic. The way we all felt as a cohort during our induction week in June was exactly as how new teachers should feel - like we were being supported whilst entering into one of the hardest professions; that we were joining a group of comrades. Every single member of the cohort is valued and known personally, and I know that the culture that has been engendered is one of support and cohesion across schools in Hillingdon. I know that the SCITT will create a group of teachers that will collaborate across their schools for years to come. I am continually reminded of how lucky I am to have found myself part of it.

I am six weeks into the Hillingdon SCITT 2016/17 programme and I continue to learn so much by being hands-on in a classroom from Day 1. It can feel a bit like you are being pushed in at the deep end when you start teaching in the initial weeks. However, my placement school and mentor have paced it nicely by starting me off with whole class reading, working 1:1 and in small groups with children, introducing a lesson using the school’s lesson plan and then easing me in to formal teaching. However, it is a steep learning curve and you need the right attitude. Be prepared for hard work as there is a lot to learn in just 10 months and being organised is key.

The SCITT team has been very helpful and a summer induction was organised before we started so we were clear about what to expect. I appreciate the university-school combo as you do need the theories and strategies to be able to apply those to the classroom rather than just learning by observing experienced teachers and trying the same with every child. One size does not fit all where children are concerned and you need an understanding of behaviour management, how children learn and the needs of SEN children, to say the least. You also learn high-level writing skills and reflective thinking at university which is important to your career as a teacher. I do think that having worked as a Teaching Assistant for 3 years beforehand, a school-based training programme was more suited to me. I am also looking forward to working in my second placement school and spending a few days in alternate schools, including a special needs school.



Across our Partnership of Primary and Secondary Schools, both salaried and unsalaried training places with the Hillingdon SCITT will be available in the following phases and subjects from September 2017:

PrimaryPrimary General Salaried and Unsalaried



Art & Design Business Studies Biology Chemistry Computing Drama English Geography
History Maths MFL Music PE Physics RE Social Science


Biology Chemistry Computing English History Maths Physics
  • Academic Award
  • Successful completion of the course will lead to QTS



What academic qualifications are needed?


  • GCSE English Language Grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) is essential (English Literature will not be accepted)
  • GCSE Mathematics Grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) is essential
  • If you want to teach primary age children, GCSE Science Grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) is essential
  • You will need to have the GCSE qualifications or equivalents before you apply.

A Level

  • For Secondary trainees, 3 A2 levels at good grades (C+) would be desirable, but not essential.



  • An undergraduate degree is essential. 
  • The minimum degree classification should be 2:2.
  • We expect that applicants to Secondary SCITT or Secondary School Direct courses usually have at least 50% of their degree in the subject they wish to teach


What if my qualifications were not gained in the UK?

If your qualifications (GCSE & Undergraduate Degree) were not gained in the UK, you can visit the National Academic Register Centre (NARIC)  to find out whether your qualifications are considered to be equivalent to UK GCSEs and degrees.

Please note that it is your responsibility to prove that your qualifications are equivalent and you must include a NARIC statement with your application verifying this.


What other tests do I need to take?

  • You will need to take the Professional Skills Tests.
  • If you are thinking of applying for a teacher training course, you will need to take the numeracy and literacy skills tests as part of the application process, and ensure you have passed them before the start of the course.
  • There is no limit on the number of test attempts.
  • The first three attempts at taking your skills tests in each subject is provided free of charge.
  • You can book further tests should you need them but you will be expected to pay from the fourth test onwards. 
  • If you have previously taken the test and failed three times and are now in a lock out period, this lock out period has now been removed.  Therefore you will now be able to book tests for both subjects.
  • A refund will be issued to candidates who sat their second or third attempted tests between 24th October 2017 and 14th February 2018
  • Skills test passes for ITT applicants will be valid for three years.  If you begin your ITT course after three years have elapsed you will be required to re-take the test.
  • For more information visit  Professional skills tests Tel: 0300 303 9613 (Mon-Fri 8.00am-4.00pm)
  • You can book your tests up to three months in advance for a date by which you are expecting to have submitted an application.
  • When you take the tests you will need to provide proof that you have applied for a teacher training course.
  • All trainees must have passed the QTS Skills Tests in Numeracy and Literacy before starting the course. The Hillingdon SCITT can help you to prepare for these tests.


We expect good and accurate use of spoken and written English.

 *Please note that all applicants are expected to have gained some observation experience of at least 5 days in a Primary or Secondary School prior to application.


How much school experience is required?

For all School Direct Salaried applicants a minimum of 3 years work experience is required (this does not have to have been in an educational setting).

Although school experience is not a requirement to get onto an ITT course, we do however strongly recommend that you gain some school experience so that you fully understand the role of a teacher.


How can you gain school experience?

Should you wish to gain school experience you can contact Primary and Secondary schools requesting the opportunity to visit the school and observe lessons.  Alternatively you can complete the form below request school experience' (please follow the link below)



For more information about financial funding, please visit Funding: initial teacher training (ITT), academic year 2017 to 18 - GOV.UK

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