Deciding on applying for a teaching training course is a really exciting time. Although it can be difficult to decide which subject route you may want to apply for and what type of institution or provider that you want to work with.
This page will provide you with a few top tips to ask yourself and others when you are looking for your provider of your Initial Teacher Training course.
Top Tip #1 – Employment
You are taking the first steps to a truly rewarding career and the ITE year is very hard. Ask your institution what the employment rates are across all routes but also your own subject area. Consider about asking for the previous year and a longer time trend. A high employment rate will mean that the institution has an excellent area in the reputation for provision and trainee teachers from that institution will beat others to securing job opportunities.
At Arthur Terry National Teaching School we are delighted that our three year trend for employment is 98% across all routes of SCITT provision.
Top Tip #2 – Retention
Becoming a teacher is a challenging process just like any other profession. You will be challenged to learn at a post-graduate level as well as thriving in the day to day life as a teacher in the schools you work within. It is important that you work with other professionals that understand those stresses and can mentor you through the process. Ensure you ask about retention rates, the higher the rate the more people continued on their course right to the end. Of course there are a multitude of reasons why people may want to leave the ITE year but it shouldn’t be due to lack of support. So find out who has your pastoral and subject development as their core concern.
At Arthur Terry National Teaching School our retention rate is above the national average with 93%of associate teachers completing the course. Our associate teachers are supported by PGCE tutors that ensure that look after your pastoral needs and the academic side of the course by supporting you through your academic writing and research. Our Subject Pedagogy Leads are responsible for developing your subject knowledge to ensure that you are delivering the best lessons you can in your subject areas. Finally all our learning coaches within schools will mentor the associate teachers on a daily basis and will collaborate with the PGCE tutors and respective SPL to triangulate support and guidance.
Top Tip #3 – Qualified Teacher Status and PGCE
Nationally there is a significant difference between the amount of people that finish their respective ITE course (retention rate) and those that pass the course and awarded Qualified Teacher Status. When beginning your journey to becoming a teacher you want to ensure that you are in the best institution possible to achieve your QTS so you can secure employment. Some institutions will offer a QTS only route whilst others will offer a PGCE with QTS and some higher education institutions are offering a post graduate diploma. So ask what course you are going to do and what that means to you!
The SCITT routes at Arthur Terry all results in a PGCE with QTS and this is because we believe to be an excellent teacher and practitioner you need to truly understanding the academic grounding to the pedagogical tools in the teachers armoury. Our PGCE tutors and Directors have completed their own areas of research at Masters level and fully guide and support associate teachers through the process of academic writing and research.
Top Tip #4 – Value for Money
Not all subject routes attract a bursary from the Government and many people entering into teaching will do so with a significant financial burden in one form or another. Therefore it is important for you to think about, ” what is my money getting me?”. Try to explore what the physical provision is like (buildings, libraries, work spaces etc) and the not so obvious provision. Your course fees are more than likely paying for the salaries of people that are working with you. If there is only 1 person in charge of 40 of you are you really going to get personalised support and guidance that you may need? Try to work out the programme of study, how often are you at your institution and what does that provision look like when you are there?
Excellent staffing is at the core of the Arthur Terry National Teaching School and your course fees contribute significantly to that and as a result we ensure excellent ratio of PGCE tutor and SPL to associate teacher and you will all have 1-1 learning coaches throughout the year. Our course programme at ATNTS is immersive and continuous. You have approximately 45 days of full day provision and 125 days of teaching placements and observations.
Top Tip #5 – Get to know who you are working with
The people you are learning from will be instrumental in your success on becoming a teacher and also on what type of teacher you will become. Try and get to know who you will be working with, what are their credentials to be training you to teach and what are they looking for in a trainee teacher on their course?
We believe one of our biggest strengths of our provision is that all members of the SCITT staff are teaching professionals. They teach classes across all age groups which means they are at the forefront of both academic and professional changes so they can guide you through your ITE year to become excellent practitioners in your subject areas with the skills to be adaptable to future changes as they emerge throughout your career.
To find out more about our SCITT team please click here to see their profiles.