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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between PGCE and QTS?

QTS stands for Qualified Teacher Status. If you have QTS, you can teach in any state school in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. To gain QTS, you need to demonstrate that you have met the Teachers' Standards

PGCE stands for Post Graduate Certificate of Education. It is an academic qualification which usually takes around 9 months to complete. it usually involves attending university sessions and the submission of assignments. A PGCE does not qualify you to teach, so you would need to gain QTS alongside it to work as a qualified teacher. Most teacher training courses enable you to complete a PGCE and gain QTS at the same time, whilst some only enable you to gain QTS. Please see the details of the teacher training courses you are interested in to find out what they offer.

What qualifications do I need? 

For Initial Teacher Training, you are required to present evidence of these qualifications: 

  • A degree in any subject (the classification varies with provider)
  • Maths and English at Grade 4 (C) or above at GCSE level, or equivalent
  • Science Grace 4 (C) or above at GCSE level, or equivalent, if applying for Primary teacher training.

What if I want to train to teach a subject at secondary level and I do not have a degree in that subject?

Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) courses are available if: 

  • Your degree was not in your chosen subject but is closely related
  • You studied the subject at A Level but not at university
  • You have relevant professional experience and an SKE would show you how to apply that to the curriculum and teaching
  • You would benefit from a refresher course in your subject

What counts as equivalent to GCSE grades?

If you do not have a GCSE at Grade 4 (C) or above in English, Maths or Science, ITT providers will accept certain approved equivalent examinations. Please check with your provider which qualifications would be acceptable. 

The Equivalency Testing Company offers English, maths and science GCSE equivalence exams if you do not have the appropriate GCSE grades. Candidates can take a 12 unit GCSE syllabus home study course followed by an exam or can sit the exam only. Please see their website for more information: Equivalency Testing | Home | GCSE equivalency testing

For overseas qualifications, please check the equivalency of your qualifications with UK NARIC.

What is English is not my first language?

For candidates whose first language is not English, the IELTS test is usually acceptable with an average minimum score of 6. This needs to be in all four areas of the academic test and be within the last 2 years. 

For details of exam dates and centres in your area please consult their website

What if my qualifications are from overseas?

The schools or universities you wish to train with make the final decision if your qualifications meet the minimum requirements. You should contact your chosen provider and you may be asked to formally recognise any overseas qualification through UK NARIC

The Get into Teaching website can provide you with guidance on your equivalent qualifications and a free UK NARIC statement of comparability once you have submitted your application, if required. 

Do I need school experience to apply?

Experience of working or volunteering in a school is not a requirement to train to teach. Some applicants prefer to spend some time in a school to gain an insight into what the life of a teacher entails. 

What is the cost of training to teach and is there any funding available?

As you will be gaining a post-graduate qualification (Qualified Teacher Status, Post Graduate Certificate in Education, etc.), the courses do have tuition fees.

  • The course fees for UK students in 2024/25 are £9,250.
  • The tuition fees for UK/EU students are typically £9,250.

As you will be registered as a full-time student throughout your training, you will have access to a student loan. Depending on your chosen route, subject and qualifications, you may also be eligible for a bursary or grant to support you throughout your training.

Current bursaries announced by the Department for Education include:

  • Primary | N/A
  • Early Years | N/A
  • English | £10,000
  • Maths | £28,000
  • Biology | £25,000
  • History | N/A
  • Geography | £25,000
  • PE | N/A
  • Spanish | £25,000

The latest updates on bursaries can be found on the Department for Education’s Get Into Teaching website

Will I be paid a salary during my SCITT year?

As a trainee teacher is a full-time student, you will not receive a salary during your SCITT year programme.

We encourage you to check the Department for Education’s Get Into Teaching website to learn more about the different bursaries and funding options that might be available to you.

After you have completed the ITT course and gained Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), you will be guaranteed a minimum starting salary of £30,000.

If you have any questions or would like to know more information to help you make your application, please contact us to discuss the options available to you.