Category Archives: Hints & Tips

Helpful hints to make your application run more smoothly

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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Skills Tests – How NOT to fail them!

The recent changes to Skills Tests is excellent news, but you still have to pass them, even if you do now get 3 FREE attempts and no ‘lock-out’ for 2-years if you do fail the 3rd test anymore.

Since the 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 on UCAS and start taking tests again now. If this is YOU, we’d love to hear from you ASAP about reapplying for this 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 through UCAS Teacher Training. 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!

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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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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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Are you considering a ‘career change’?

The NCTL 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 NCTL 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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