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FAQs

School Direct Programme (salaried and unsalaried) FAQs

1. School Direct Training Programme places: How many training places are available? Do I have a good chance of securing one?

Schools decide on the type of places and subjects they will be offering for September 2017.  Details of the allocations can be found on the centralised on-line application system. (UCAS) and on the websites of the Lead Schools.

The selection process is competitive and priority will be given to those candidates applying for shortage subjects. Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science and Modern Foreign Languages are the highest priority followed by the other priority subjects (English, Geography, History, Music, Biology, RE and D&T). 

2. Academically, I completed my A Levels and then went straight to university. I am now about to complete my degree programme. Is the Herts & Bucks School Direct (Salaried) Training Programme for me?

No, prospective trainees in this situation should look at acquiring an unsalaried place on the Herts & Bucks School Direct training programme. You may also like to consider a PGCE place through a University or SCITT provider. You would need to investigate the possibility of eligibility for a bursary to help you to fund your training through the unsalaried route. Bursaries are available dependant on degree subject and degree level. Tuition fees are payable to the university by trainees on the unsalaried route. 

3. GCSE Mathematics / English: I haven't got GCSE Maths/English, but I am going to take it this year. Can I still apply for Herts & Bucks School Direct Training Programme?

You MUST have secured a GCSE grade C or above (or equivalent) in Maths and English BEFORE your application will be considered and you can be interviewed for a place on the programme. You may have to wait until the next academic year if all places have been allocated. You will need to produce original certificates if you are selected for interview. 

You are advised to consult the Teaching Agency website to check that you fulfil the requirements to teach in the United Kingdom. 

4. Mathematics Degree: I have a degree in Mathematics, but I haven't got GCSE Mathematics. Will I need to take GCSE Mathematics?

All applicants must have GCSE Mathematics or equivalent. Whilst an A Level in Mathematics would be acceptable, a degree on its own would not because it is too specialised. 

5. Degree Result: I will not know the class of my degree until June, can I still apply?

You may submit an application, pending your result. Any offer of a place would be conditional on the successful completion of your degree to the required level. 

5.1. Degree: My initial degree is only partially relevant to the subject I wish to teach, e.g. a degree in Business Studies which included Mathematics.

The degree must be relevant to the subject choice. A minimum of 50% of the content of the degree needs to be directly related to the subject you wish to teach. There are exceptions where other qualifications and experience may be taken into account. For all applicants, their other qualifications and experience will help to inform the selection committee. The final decision about the relevance or equivalency of your degree will lie with The Herts & Bucks Teaching School Alliance. 

5.2 Overseas Qualifications: My initial degree is from an overseas university, am I eligible?

Possibly, you will need to approach UK NARIC (tel. 0870 9904088) to secure a certificate of confirmation of equivalence. Some public libraries offer access to the NARIC data base at no cost. You will be asked to produce this at interview if it is not attached to your application. It may be worth contacting the Lead School with your certificate of confirmation of equivalence at the time you apply through UCAS, to speed up the application process. 

6. Professional Skills Tests: I understand that I have to pass the Professional Skills Tests before I can start the course. Is this correct?

Yes, all applicants are required to pass Professional Skills Tests in numeracy and literacy before starting their course. Full details can be found on the Department for Education website. 

Note for academic year 2017 – 2018, we have received the following clarification from the Skills Tests / Supply & Recruitment Division of the Teaching Agency: 

Anyone who starts an Initial Teacher Training course from academic year 2017/18 must pass the skills tests before they start the course, irrespective of how they are funded. As with all other applicants they can book an appointment a few weeks in advance of submitting an application to ensure they secure a convenient appointment. The first sitting of the tests is free of charge however there is a cost if a resit is necessary. Candidates may sit the tests up to a maximum of 3 times. If one or both tests are unsuccessful after the third attempt, there must be a gap of 2 years before a further attempt is allowed.

You can book a test by registering online via the DfE website:

www.education.gov.uk/teachskillstests

You do not need a reference number to apply but you will be given a skills tests reference number when you register which you can keep for your own records.

7. Part-time: Can I do the School Direct Training Programme over 2 years?

The Herts & Bucks Teaching School Alliance School Direct Training Programme is designed for completion within an academic year. 

8. Commitment: How many hours of study will the training consist of?

The Herts & Bucks School Direct Training Programme is a professional training course. It will require the commitment equivalent of a serving full time teacher in terms of the length of school day, plus additional preparatory and academic work. The programme cannot be contained with a particular number of hours per week: you must expect it to consume a large part of your time and you must be prepared to be flexible.

8.1 Commitment: When am I expected to be in school?

All schools are different. As a trainee following a professional training programme you must expect to be on the school site in much the same way as all teachers and this is typically from about 8.00am until 5.00pm or later. Playing a full part in the work, life and community of the school, you cannot expect to leave with the children. There may be variations during the year, and from school to school, but you will be expected to attend the weekly cycle of meetings within school as part of your commitment.

9. Pay: Will I still get paid?

Yes. You must investigate the funding routes very carefully. The levels of bursary/salary change each year. They can be dependent on subject, degree level and also from school to school for the salaried route.