A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about applications for our teacher training programmes.
What are School Direct and Post-Graduate Teaching Apprenticeships (PGTA)?
School Direct and PGTAs are programmes which enable schools to select and train their own teachers.
Trainees spend one year learning on the job, with regular support both in school and with our university partners.
Do I need to have experience in a Primary School?
Ideally, we would like you to have to have a minimum of 10 days experience within a primary school setting before starting the course.
What are you looking for in teacher training candidates? In both training routes we look for high academic qualifications – entry requirement is a minimum of a 2:2 honours degree. However, a first or 2:1 is preferable. We also look for a strong commitment to teaching, and a minimum of 10 days spent in a school setting. The course is challenging and so is teaching! For the apprenticeship route we also ideally look for at least three years’ work experience.
Do I need to have a GCSE in Maths and English to apply? Can I use any equivalent qualifications, such as Access to Higher Education? It is a Department of Education national requirement that you need grade C/5 or above in English, Maths and Science for Primary Programmes or approved equivalency. For equivalency testing universities will accept tests from www.equivalencytesting.com.
Can I choose which of the Primary Advantage schools I will work in?
You will be applying to our federation of schools rather than one school. You will then be based in 1-2 schools and have opportunity to work within different key stages as part of your teacher training.
Can I choose which key stage I will be based in?
Where possible, you will be given your preference for the key stage that you will be working within, however the course also requires that you gain experience of another adjacent key stage.
What are the differences between the Apprenticeship and School Direct Tution Training routes?
The Apprenticeship route means that you are employed for 1 year by one of our partnership schools, while you train. You are paid on on the unqualified teacher pay rate. You do not have to pay any fees for your training. You will have regular days at London Metropolitan University and gain QTS (Qualified Teaching Status) and a PGCE at the end of your training. Even though you are in a school from the beginning, we won’t drop you in the deep end! We give you a huge support network, both in your school and across the Federation. This route is designed for candidates who have had at least three years’ experience in the workplace. You will have the opportunity during the year to complete assignments towards a PGCE.
The School Direct (Tuition) Training route is an unpaid route in partnership with the University College London Institution of Education and you work towards a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate of Education) at the end of the course, in addition to gaining QTS. You will be based for your teaching experiences in our schools across the Federation. You will follow the same PGCE course that the UCL Institute of Education runs, with the same amount of time spent at the Institute as the other PGCE students. The key difference is that you will know where you will be placed on your school experience and will have a strong affiliation with the Federation, because you will have applied directly to us rather than the university for your programme.
What will the training look like for the apprenticeship route? The training is a balance of theory and practice. You’re based in the classroom from day one, so once you’ve learnt something new you can put it into practice the very next day. The manageable and bite-sized feedback you receive each week makes learning easier and progress quicker.
I’m not a recent graduate – can I still apply?
Yes – we’re looking for the best, both recent graduates and career-changers. We want the brightest and best people for our children. Our previous trainees have been nurses, soldiers, teaching assistants, lawyers and doctors, and can bring their skills and experience into the classroom.
If I’m selected, when would I start?
You would start your training in September when the school term starts, Apprentice route applicants start in our schools and tuition route applicants start at the Institute of Education then move into schools.
Can I defer for a year?
Unfortunately no. We can only take on trainees who are ready to start their training next year. However, we would love to talk to you about your career path and how to make a strong application when you’re ready to apply.
I have a disability. How will you support me? We want to make sure that our training programme is open to everybody, so if you do have a disability we will do everything we reasonably can to make special arrangements. If you would like us to do so at the interview stage, please provide details on your application form. This will in no way affect your application.
What happens at the end of the year when my training is finished? We are committed to supporting our trainees beyond their first year. We encourage our students to apply for positions within the federation. They will then become part of our external recruitment process. We train all our candidates to be outstanding classroom teachers for all settings and prepare teachers for a career in education, wherever they chose to work.
If I am eligible what happens next, how do I apply? All applications for Teacher Training places must be made through: https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-teacher-training. To view all our courses in detail please search for Primary Advantage on the DFE ‘Find a Postgraduate Teacher Training‘ website where you will find further information and application links to apply. We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis. We have extremely high expectations and will only appoint candidates who fully meet our criteria. We will continue to interview until we have found the right candidates!
Who can I contact if I have any queries? Please email the Primary Advantage Learning, Development and Partnerships team at: palearning@primaryadvantage or call us at 020 7254 1010 (option 5)
All our routes will be open on the DFE pages from October 2021 for the 2022/23 academic year