Category Archives: Applications

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Skills Tests – How NOT to fail them!

First the good news – the DfE announced in July 2019, that applicants for teacher training starting in Sep 2020 will no longer have to complete the Skills Tests in Numeracy & Literacy. But the bad news is that trainees looking to start in Sep 2019, DO STILL HAVE TO pass them both. Sorry!

However, last year’s changes to Skills Tests was excellent news, so although you do still have to pass them for this year,  you do now get 3 FREE attempts and no ‘lock-out’ for 2-years if you do fail the 3rd test any more.

Also since the 2018 changes, if you had failed a 3rd test sometime over the past few years and were ‘locked-out’, you no longer have to wait for 2-years and so can reapply and start taking tests again now. If this is YOU, we’d love to hear from you ASAP about reapplying for next year.

So clearly we’d like you all to pass the Skills Tests as soon as possible and preferably not have to pay for a test, so we’d rather you were properly prepared to take and pass them , hopefully first time, so please read this carefully:

Firstly it’s important that you take the right documents when attending the Skills Test centers. Anyone that doesn’t follow the process (below) might be turned away, and may lose their first free attempt at taking the Skills Tests.

Booking the skills tests:

You can book your Skills Tests once you have submitted your application. You can book in advance of this, as long as your application is submitted before you attend the test centre.

You can complete a fully interactive online test before you attend – simply follow the instructions on the page and use this activation key: jhULiqgX

What you need to bring:

    • Two forms of identification – a primary ID such as a passport, and a secondary ID (e.g. a debit card). More information can be found on the STA Website
    • You also need to bring proof of your teacher training application – e.g.:
    • a welcome email from UCAS Teacher Training;
    • correspondence from your school or university provider;
    • a copy of your completed UCAS Teacher Training application form;
  • confirmation of, or an invitation to, an interview from your school or university.

For more information please visit: www.sta.education.gov.uk

We run coaching sessions for applicants who have been offered a place to train with us, but other organisations also offer helpful advice or on-line guidance, such as TES – Get help preparing for the Professional Skills Tests – Register for FREE on-line sessions.

So, once you know what you’re taking with you, please consider that:

In our experience, many applicants take the first one without any real preparation thinking “how hard can it be?” and are then surprised by the test and fail it. Then they do some practice tests, but think we need them to pass the tests ASAP, so re-book without really taking the time they need to be ready to pass and so fail again, perhaps just by an odd mark.

So, be one of those who doesn’t take it lightly, be very well prepared for your first attempts and you’ll more than likely pass them both first time. But if not, make sure that you are totally ready for the 2nd attempt and then you’ll not be putting yourself under the pressure of having to take it for a 3rd time, even if you can now go back for a 4th or 5th etc. as after the 3rd test you will have to pay.

Almost everyone passes by the 3rd attempt, very few fail and most pass 1st or 2nd time.

Take and pass the ‘easier’ of the two first. If Maths is your ‘thing’ do that one and then take the literacy later on. If English is your strength, do that one first then take the numeracy later.

Don’t book to take them both on the same day just to save travel time and costs – it could put you under too much pressure and end up costing you far more in the long run!

For applicants offered places with us, we run coaching & support events in the Spring & Summer Term, so there’s no mad rush having to take them just yet.

And . . . you might want to go to one or more the following – other websites & services can be found from a simple Google search (other search engines are also available!), but these have been recommended by some of our former trainees:

Numeracy Ready & How to pass the Numeracy test (Quote ‘NST20’ for a Discount)

FREE online sessions (TES)

How to pass the Literacy test

Literacy Skills Test (spellings)

Creative Openings (Numeracy & Literacy support)

QTS Skills Tests

Good luck with your Skills Tests this summer!

We’re really looking forward to deleting this post and never having to mention Skills Tests ever again after September 2019!!

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Need help with your application?

Are YOU ready to apply, but are struggling a bit with your personal statement?

Maybe YOU just need some final guidance around the interview process?

You’ve still plenty of time to submit your UCAS application to start your Teacher Training this September and we’re keen to make sure that YOU have the resources YOU need to apply this year. However, as the year progresses  some subjects will fill their places and we’ll have to close for any more applications.

The Department for Education (DfE) Get into Teaching Events team is planning to host some FREE application workshops, where YOU will:

  • have access to one to one advice from experts who will show YOU ways to maximise the impact of your application;
  • be able to get feedback on your personal statement and advice around the application process.

So go to the Get into Teaching website and register for your nearest Application Workshop in Yorkshire.

  • 2nd Apr – 5.30pm – 8pm, Hull, Holiday Inn Hull Marina
  • 1st May – 5.30pm – 8pm, York, Park Inn by Radisson York City Centre
  • 18th May – 10am – 12.30pm, Leeds, Park Plaza Leeds City Centre

Or if you’re a career changer looking to get into teaching then perhaps go to the Transition to Teach website and apply for additional support with your application.

Then when you’re ready to apply, go to the DfE’s ‘Find a Postgraduate Teacher Training Course’, choose the Doncaster ITT Partnership and two others from Teach Yorkshire , then link through to UCAS  to apply.

Make your application STAND OUT!

Good luck with your 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.

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.

Equivalency Tests:

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.

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*** Financial support while you Train ***

Find out about the ITT Bursaries, Scholarships and School Direct (Salaried) grants for the academic year 2019 to 2020 at the Department for Education (DfE): Get Into Teaching website.

Get up to £28,000 (TAX FREE) to train to teach!

And you may also be entitled to Additional Financial Support while you train.

The DfE provided bursary awards for 2019-20 are as follows:

Graduates with top degrees training to teach in ‘priority‘ Secondary subjects may be eligible for a Bursary Grant or a Scholarship of up to:

  • Mathematics* -£32,000 Scholarship or  £30,000 Bursary
    • This is made up of either a £22k Scholarship or £20k Bursary with two additional payments each of £5k after the 3rd & 5th year in teaching (*see below as ‘Doncaster’ gives you even more!).
  • £28,000 Scholarship or £26,000 Bursary in other high-priority subjects for Trainees with a 1st, 2:1, 2:2, PhD or Master’s for:
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Computing
    • Languages (Scholarships for French, Spanish & German ONLY)
    • Geography

And other subjects have Bursaries of:

  • £26,000 (1st, 2:1, 2:2, PhD or Master’s)
    • Biology
  • £15,000 (1st, 2:1, 2:2, PhD or Master’s)
    • English
  • £12,000 (1st, 2:1, 2:2, PhD or Master’s) for:
    • Design & Technology (D&T)
    • History
  • £9,000 (1st, 2:1, 2:2, PhD or Master’s)  for:
    • Music
    • RE

*Mathematics: The new bursaries for Maths teachers (unveiled by the then Secretary of State, Justine Greening, in early October 2017) gives Maths graduates up to £32,000 on top of their teaching salaries in exchange for joining and remaining in the teaching profession.

All Maths graduates will get an upfront payment of £20,000 (£22K for Scholars) when they become Secondary school teachers, with those who stay on in the profession then receiving two subsequent payments of £5,000 in each of their 3rd & 5th years of their teaching career.

However, an increased incremental amount of £7,500 will be available “to encourage the best maths teachers to teach in more challenging schools”. Teaching in Doncaster will entitle you to this increased amount.

Other subjects which are not otherwise listed above (e.g. Primary or PE etc.) do not have a bursary, so if you’re not sure if you’ll be eligible, please contact us to discuss your application, at:

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Get into Teaching – South Yorkshire Event (Sat 12th oct 2019)

If you want to Get into Teaching in South Yorkshire, then come along to this prestigious event on Saturday 12th October 2019, hosted at Sheffield Hallam University, Charles Street Building, Sheffield, S1 2NH

This event is for anyone considering applying for teacher training in the Region who wants to find out more about the different routes into teaching, funding, qualifications and how & when to apply.

There will be high profile speakers from the Education sector, support talks on applying, finance, school experience, skills tests, subject talks (Early Years, Primary, Secondary, Post 16 & Further Education), alongside representation from ALL of the teacher training providers in South Yorkshire.

Book onto the ‘Talks’ and download a Schedule for the day.

In addition, there will be a ‘Get into Teaching – Advice Zone’ providing objective, one-to-one advice and guidance for those looking to go into teaching.

‘Get into Teaching – in South Yorkshire’  is a collaborative event involving South Yorkshire Futures, Sheffield Hallam University, the University of Sheffield, Doncaster ITT Partnership, Sheffield SCITT, the National Modern Languages SCITT and it is supported by the Department for Education (DfE).

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 15 years experience of delivering ‘Outstanding Trainee  Attainment’ (Ofsted 2012); 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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Scholarships from £28,000 – £32,000

Apply for a Scholarship for 2018/19: 

Applicants with good degrees in key subjects can apply for a ‘tax free’ Scholarship of between £28,000 (Physics, Chemistry, Computing, Geography & Languages*) and £32,000 for Maths*.

To be eligible for a Scholarship, you should have at least a 2:1 degree or above and want to teach one of the subjects listed.  You can still apply if you have a 2:2, but you’ll need to provide evidence of significant relevant experience. Scholarships are awarded in place of a bursary.

Find out more on the dedicated scholarship pages:

  • Computing: BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT
  • Chemistry: Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Geography: Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
  • Languages: British Council
  • Maths: Mathematics Teacher Training Scholarships
  • Physics: Institute of Physics scholarships

Or have a look at their brochures:

If you’re not successful in your application for a scholarship, and secured a place on a qualifying teacher training course in England you’ll still receive the standard Bursary.

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* Conditions apply:

  • Languages – only for French, Spanish & German;
  • Maths – £22k Scholarship with additional payments totalling £10k*  (after tax) once in teaching – with two additional ‘early-career’ payments of £5k* each in your 3rd & 5th year of teaching . Further conditions apply.

*As Doncaster is an ‘Opportunity Area’, this is increased to £15k (i.e. £7,500 in each of your 3rd and 5th years in teaching).

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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:

  • ‘QTS ONLY’ (£7,400) – SLC Course Code: 664647, or;
  • ‘QTS plus PGCE’ (£8,600) – SLC Course Code: 664650 – (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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*** 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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Skills Tests – Practice, Practice, Practice

Worried about taking the Skills Tests?

Do you feel that you need extra help and advice before taking the Numeracy or Literacy Skills Tests?

Remember whilst you can do the on-line practice tests as many times as you like, you only have three attempts at passing each of the actual tests and will have to wait for 2-years before you can retake them, if you fail on the third attempt!

Several of our current and former trainees have used on-line help/practice websites and the one most recommend for helping them pass their Numeracy test is: Numeracy Ready although there are other websites, publications and on-line resources which may help if you feel that you need additional support.

We’re planning to deliver some training sessions early in the Spring Term and will let applicants who have been offered places know the dates of these. We also get a 20% discount for ‘Numeracy Ready’ so can pass that on to applicants who have accepted a place with us.

So make sure you’re ready to take the test BEFORE you book in at a test centre.

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