Category Archives: Applications

Posts relevant to applications

GCSEs – ‘Equivalency Tests’ and Level 2 Qualifications

GCSEs:

You’ll need your GCSEs (Grade C  or above/equivalent* – New GCSE Grade 4 or above) in Maths & English [and a Science if you want to teach Primary], but make sure that you have them BEFORE you apply.

If you don’t have them yet, you can consider doing an ‘Equivalency Test’ before you apply for teacher training. A simple internet search will bring up a number of organisations who deliver Equivalency Tests.

 

Equivalency Tests:

Birmingham City University (BCU) have developed an online GCSE equivalence option which is open to trainees applying to any provider. They are offering all three GCSE equivalencies.

An applicant, who is holding an offer at an ITT provider, will pay a one-off admin fee of £25 – irrespective of the number of equivalencies needed.  They will then pay an additional fee of £75 for Maths, £75 for Science and £90 for English.

This will give access to four areas of learning, which are run as online study sessions and which the candidate must engage with before taking the test.  An applicant will have the opportunity for two tests – a first attempt and a resit.

All of the tests will be marked by experienced GCSE Examiners and subject leads to provide assurance in regards consistency.  The charges are designed to cover costs and support development only.

Full details of the service can be found here.

Equivalency Testing co are also now offering  an on-line facility.

Their contact email is: info@equivalencytesting.com

Alternatively, please enter an internet search for ‘Equivalency Testing‘  and select which organisation’s course you wish to apply to.

Once you have passed the test, we would accept this as an equivalence to the GCSE.

 

Level 2 Qualifications:

Please note that Level 2 Qualifications (e.g. GNVQs etc.) are NOT equivalent, as they do not have the ‘breadth or depth’ of a GCSE or a recognised equivalent.

If you do apply and only have Level 2 qualifications, your application will not be progressed further, so please look to take a GCSE resit, alternative qualification or an Equivalence Test before applying for a place on one of our ITT programmes.

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Talk to your Referees now!

The UCAS recruitment system  (and NEW DfE ‘Apply’ system) requires applicants to nominate two Referees – one should be your current (or most recent) employer or perhaps your course tutor, if you’re still at Uni.

Whoever you nominate, we advise you to speak to them NOW if you haven’t done so already, as your application will not be able to be sent on to us from UCAS (or DfE) until both references are back in their system.

So speak to them NOW so that they can agree to provide a reference, know to look out for a reference request for you soon and understand how important it is to you that they complete it as soon as possible.

Good luck with your applications!

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Fundamental English & Mathematics Criteria replacing Skills Tests

First the good news – the DfE announced in July 2019, that applicants for teacher training starting in Sep 2020 will no longer have to pass the two Professional Skills Tests. However,  all trainee teachers will now be required to demonstrate that they meet ‘Fundamental English & mathematics’ criteria.

ITT Providers will continue to ‘test’ applicants for their numeracy & literacy skills to determine that all teachers are able to demonstrate competence  in the following areas:

  • Speaking, listening and communicating are fundamental to a teacher’s role;
  • Teachers should use standard English grammar, clear pronunciation and vocabulary relevant to the situation to convey instructions, questions, information, concepts and ideas with clarity;
  • Teachers should read fluently and with good understanding;
  • Writing by teachers will be seen by colleagues, pupils and parents and, as such, it is important that a teacher’s writing reflects the high standards of accuracy their professional role demands;
  • They should write clearly, accurately, legibly and coherently using correct spelling and punctuation;
  • Teachers should use data and graphs to interpret information, identify patterns and trends and draw appropriate conclusions;
  • They need to interpret pupil data and understand statistics and graphs in the news, academic reports and relevant papers;
  • Teachers should be able to complete mathematical calculations fluently with whole numbers, fractions, decimals and percentages;
  • They should be able to solve mathematical problems using a variety of methods and approaches including: estimating and rounding, sense checking answers, breaking down problems into simpler steps and explaining and justifying answers using appropriate language.

Further official guidance can be found here

We’re really looking forward to deleting this post and never having to mention Skills Tests ever again!!

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Is all Schools-led ITT the same?

NO!

We’re all the same in many respects, but very different in others. We all have to meet the same ITT Entry Criteria, but we go about it in very different ways and it’s the same with how you’ll be trained.

Even the 2nd ‘S‘ in ‘schools‘ is a key difference – will you get a chance to train in a range of contrasting schools [plr] or mainly be based in just one school (sgl), with just a short placement in a quite similar school?

See what one of our Trainees thought about his training with us.

So what should you be looking for?

  • Training with an Accredited ITT Provider at the very heart of the programme, not just a distant university linked to a group of schools;
  • Alliances with a broad range of contrasting schools, not just a few similar schools who’ve set-up to do Schools Direct;
  • Having a choice about doing a PGCE or not and making sure it’s a full PGCE with 60 Masters Credits all at Level 7, not just a ‘PG Cert’ or with credits only at Level 6;
  • Training provision with a history of delivering high-quality Trainee Attainment, not just a small group of schools who don’t have any real experience of delivering their own ITT;
  • A Provider with a range of significant partner organisations (e.g. Local Authorities, Teaching School Alliances, Universities etc.);
  • Not having to pay £9,250 if you don’t have to!
  • Schools benefiting from being in a Social Mobility Opportunity Area (SMOA);
  • A collaborative approach to professional development through the ‘Partners in Learning‘ Teaching School Alliance (TSA);
  • A real focus on research in teaching through the recently established ‘Research School‘ as part of the Research Schools Network
  •  Government supported recruitment and retention initiatives

Teach Doncaster!

The Doncaster ITT Partnership is an Accredited School Centred ITT Provider with nearly 18 years experience of delivering Outstanding Trainee  Attainment (Ofsted 2018); working with a wide range of Schools, Academies, Special Schools and PRUs, the Local Authority, Teaching School Alliance and the University of Hull (to deliver an optional PGCE) and all for far less than most ITT courses.

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Applying for Student Loans

All our tuition-fee paying courses (SCITT & School Direct*) require trainees to apply for fees from the Student Loans Company (SLC) / Student Finance England (SFE)

Please watch this 1 minute film which helps explain student finance and the application process or go to the Student Finance Zone or watch the ‘Getting Paid’ video on YouTube.

To apply for tuition-fees and see what other loans you may be eligible for, please go to the DfE’s Student Finance – Log-in

To register for a tuition-fee loan please go to: www.slc.co.uk and search for the ‘Doncaster ITT Partnership’ then you can select from one of two courses with SLC, either (for 2020-21):

  • ‘QTS ONLY’ (£7,950) or;
  • ‘QTS plus PGCE’  (£9,150) – (See below for details)*.

To apply you need to search for the ‘Doncaster ITT Partnership’ then it should give you the two Course options (above). Do NOT enter any other description (i.e. ‘Primary SCITT’, ‘Maths’ etc.) as these will NOT allow your application to be correctly processed. You do NOT need the UCAS course code to apply for a loan on SLC.

*NB – Please note that the ‘PGCE’ refers to the programme offered by University of Hull who provide this additional qualification to Doncaster ITT Partnership trainees – please do NOT apply for a tuition-fee with the University of Hull.

Good luck arranging your student loans!

*NB – School Direct (Salaried) trainees do not need to apply for tuition-fees

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Are you considering a ‘career change’?

The DfE advisory service is to encourage second year undergraduates and career changers who want to teach a ‘priority subject’, but are not ready to apply this recruitment year.

The DfE has recruited a number of specialist advisers who will provide a dedicated one-to-one support service, which aims to help candidates to chose the right teaching route, providing help and support with their ‘application journey’.

To access this service, please register with the Get into Teaching site

Good luck with your applications!

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Hotmail? University email?

If you have a Hotmail or a similar web-based email account, please note that we would ask you to set our email (ittpartnership@doncaster.gov.uk) to a ‘trusted’ or ‘secure’ email address to avoid emails from us being pushed into your ‘trash’ or ‘junk’ mail folder.

This often happens when we send out ‘bulk’ emails to large numbers of applicants, especially if we’ve included an attachment, as understandably we can’t always send out individual emails to each applicant.

Every year applicants with Hotmail and similar accounts fail to receive important emails from us because of their email settings.

Also if you’re using a University email, please remember that we may not be able to contact you once you’ve left Uni and the email closes, so preferably please use a ‘home’ email – and let us know if you change your email provider.

So to make sure that we can contact you and send you the latest information, please make sure that your application has your correct email address and then check that your email settings will receive emails from the Doncaster ITT Partnership.

Good luck with your applications!

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*** Online Events ***

Online Events

Would you like to ask a panel of specialists the questions that matter to you in one of the Department for Education (DfE) ‘real-time’ Online Events ? Whether you want general guidance or advice tailored to your circumstances, these online teaching events offer a convenient way to discuss a range of topics related to teacher training.

Recently held events included a series focused on getting into teaching which are still available on the DfE archive, inc. events on:

 

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These archived events were interactive sessions that offered a convenient way to engage directly with a panel of specialist advisers across a range of topics, but you can see the questions which were asked and answered about what mattered to other potential trainee teachers.

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What will happen to my Application?

Once you apply, if your application is short-listed**:

Primary – you will be asked to select areas of the Borough that you would prefer to be trained in, if you have a preference. Then Partner schools in that area(s) will consider your application and hopefully contact you to arrange a visit to a school* to discuss your application or invite you to attend an interview.

Secondary – applicants that schools wish to consider will be contacted by a Partner school and invited in for interview.

*The school that contacts you may only be hosting interviews, so may not be the same school that you would train in, if you are subsequently offered a place.

Please note we are not able to use the ‘Interview’ stage on the UCAS system as our Partner schools and academies will arrange individual interviews themselves, so your application may still be shown as ‘Referred’, but actually may still be being considered by schools.

Please see our Blog post on ‘Hotmail’ as you may be missing an email from us or a school with important information -i.e. an invitation to interview.

All ‘Offers’ will show as ‘Conditional’ as they are subject to the usual clearances and checks, but will be changed to ‘Unconditional’ once all these (inc. the DBS checks and Skills Tests etc.) have been completed.

If you’re not sure what’s happening email us: ittpartnership@doncaster.gov.uk

**On behalf of the schools, if your application is not short-listed – it will be ‘Rejected’ on UCAS by the Partnership.

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