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SCITT Programme/Placements/PGCE

Q: What does SCITT stand for?

A: SCITT stands for School Centred Initial Teacher Training.

Q: What is the difference between the SCITT route and the University led PGCE route into teaching?

A: SCITT Programmes involve more time based in schools than university based PGCE programmes but both lead to the same qualifications. 

Q: What qualification do you get from a SCITT route? 

A: The SCITT programmes lead to QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) we also offer the option to gain a PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education).

Q: Do you get paid on a SCITT course? Should I opt for a salaried or a fee-funded training route?

Opportunities for the salaried route into teaching are very limited due to changes in DfE funding. 

Occasionally, secondary schools offer the salaried route for certain shortage subjects.  If this is the case, vacancies will be advertised via our regional hub pages.

Both salaries and fee-funded training routes are school-centred as we believe that this is the best way to learn how to be a teacher. Both routes lead to a QTS qualification with the option of a PGCE uplift. 

If you are interviewed and we decide that the route you have opted for on your application is not the right one for you, your application can be changed post interview.

Q: How long is the training to become a teacher?

A: The SCITT programme runs for one academic year from the beginning of September to the end of July. The exact dates vary year-on-year. 

Q: What is the main benefit of doing the PGCE uplift?

A: The PGCE uplift provides you with the option of further academic study and gaining an internationally recognised teaching qualification.

Q: IFT operates over a wide area - can I specify where I would like to be placed?

A: When you apply to your regional hub via the DfE Apply system they will look at where you live, what the requirements are of the schools within your area, and your ability to travel.  If you are interested in a particular school, please let us know at interview and we can investigate placement options.

Q: Is there the opportunity for current unqualified teachers/school staff to train with IFT but remain at their current school?

A: We work in collaboration with schools and candidates who are looking to secure teacher training pathways within their current school settings.  

Q: Would it be possible to keep my part-time job whilst training on your programme?

A: Our primary and secondary programmes are full-time courses, so we are unable to offer part-time training, therefore it is unlikely you will be able to commit to a part-time job for the duration of the training year. Trainees are expected to work four days a week in line with teachers and dedicate the remaining day to training. 

Q: What do the SCITT assessments entail in terms of observations and essays?

A: The programme is designed to develop you as a teacher and each of the assessments are in place to offer you the best support so that you can continue to develop your practice over the year. The observations are carried out on a weekly basis by your mentor and are used to set targets for the coming weeks. 

Q: Are there opportunities to train in a SEND school?

A: Although we work with a wide range of schools across our partnership, we do not currently have trainees placed within SEND settings as their main host school. Throughout the training year you will have the opportunity to gain experience of supporting a range of students in different contexts. We’re open to discuss new partnerships if you wish to train at a particular school.

Q: Do I have to complete the SCITT programme to become a TA?

A: No - you do not need to gain QTS to become a Teaching Assistant.  


Q: What qualifications do you need to do SCITT training?  Can I do teacher training without a degree?

A: To train to teach you MUST have a degree - ideally an Honours degree with grade 2.2 or higher. Your degree must be accredited from a UK university or be an equivalent international qualification that has been approved by ENIC as being UK degree level. 

Q: What does a degree compromise of? 

A: A first degree comprises of 300 HE credit points of which 60 must be at Level 6 of the QCF. Any equivalent qualification must be one single qualification, not an aggregation of a number of separate qualifications.  

Therefore, candidates who hold a Masters degree without a first degree at Level 6, would most likely not be eligible. If in doubt, please contact us for further guidance.  

Q: What if I have a foundation degree?

A: Applicants with a foundation degree will need to supplement this qualification with at least 60 credits at Level 6 (HE Level 3), in order to attain an equivalent single qualification.

Q: I don’t have GCSE English or Maths at grade C/4 or above?

You can still apply for teacher training, but we will require you to pass an equivalency test before we confirm any offer that we make.

Q: I have Level 2 qualifications in key and functional skills. Are these equivalent to GCSE's?

These are not considered to be equivalent to GCSE's in terms of content. Candidates with these qualifications should sit an equivalency test or a GCSE.

Q: I have a degree and GCSE's in Maths and English - can I still apply for Primary training?

A: For Primary training, applicants need to hold a degree and GCSE's in English, Maths and Science with a grade 4(C) or above. An equivalency test could be undertaken if you do not currently hold a GCSE in any of the Science subjects (Biology, Chemistry, Physics).

Q: I have a degree but not in the subject I’d like to teach. Am I still eligible to teach this subject?

A: In shortage subject areas if the applicant does not have a degree in the subject that they are applying to train to teach, they must have an A level in that subject at C or above and will be required to undertake an SKE programme as a condition of their offer. In non shortage subjects the applicant must have a minimum of 50% of their degree modules in the subject they wish to train to teach.

MFL candidates should have a degree but this does not necessarily have to be in a language.

Primary candidates do not need to have a degree in a national curriculum subject. 

Q: What if I no longer hold records of my GCSE qualifications/certificates?

A: As part of the ITT requirements, we need to be in receipt of your degree and GCSE certificates prior to commencing the programme. If you have lost your certificates, we can discuss how you can evidence these. 

Q: What if it has been a long time since I completed my degree?

A: We may recommend that you take a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course prior to starting your teacher training.  These courses are designed to top-up or refresh your subject knowledge. They vary in duration and can be completed online. SKE's are only available in shortage subjects. It is not possible to sign-up for an SKE until you have received an offer from us.

If you are applying for a subject that is not supported by a SKE course, we will ensure that you have access to reading lists and a contact with your subject department, and may also recommend spending time in your host school before starting your course.


Q: I'm in my final year of university and yet to complete my exams, is this a problem?

A: When you make an application, you will need a university reference from your tutor who should state a predicted grade. Any place offered will be conditional on your degree being awarded as a 2.2 Honours or higher.

Q: If I wish to apply for the SCITT programme, should I apply directly through IFT or DfE Apply?

A: You can only apply to the IFT Teacher Training programme through the DfE - Apply to Teacher Training. You will need to visit your local hub page to find the course code for your chosen programme. We are not able to check applications that are emailed to us beforehand for eligibility.  

Q: How do I apply for the QTS-only route?

A: All our courses are advertised as ‘QTS with PGCE’. However, the PGCE element of the course is optional and you can decide to do QTS-only. We recommend selecting the subject that you wish to train to teach in – you can then decide whether you wish to take the PGCE in the summer before you start your ITT course.  

Q: To apply to the training course do I still need to pass a Maths and English skills test?

A: The Professional Skills tests have been replaced by in-house numeracy and literacy tests; these are part of our recruitment process.

Q: Would you progress an application without prior "in-school" experience?

A: Yes, it is not a DfE requirement to have school experience although on your application you should list any relevant experience you may have had in working with children. Our regional hubs do offer School Experience for anyone considering applying to train to teach please contact your local hub for more information.

Overseas Applicants/International Qualifications

Q: What if I am applying from overseas?

A: We welcome applications from abroad,  however you must have the right to work in the UK confirmed BEFORE you make an application to our course. All applicants must demonstrate high standards of written and spoken English.

Please note that we do not sponsor Tier 4 or Tier 2 visas. 

From 01/01/21 the new points-based immigration system will apply to trainee teachers from overseas which also includes EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals.  

Following the UK's departure from the EU, it has also been confirmed that most EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will not be eligible for support from Student Finance for courses starting from September 2021.  

Q: I have a non-UK degree - how do I go about assessing whether my degree/qualification is eligible or not?

A: If your degree is from outside of the UK, you will need to contact ENIC to get a statement of comparability. You can also do this for any high school qualifications you studied abroad to determine if you hold A-level and GCSE equivalents. We assess your NARIC statement upon application.

Please visit the ENIC website for more information. 

Q: What if ENIC / NARIC confirms that English was studied as a second language and is therefore not equivalent to a GCSE?

A: If you studied abroad and do not have an English GCSE equivalent, you will need to obtain a GCSE or equivalent qualification with a grade 4 (C) or above prior to commencing the training programme. 


How much is SCITT training?

Salaried trainees: no tuition fee course costs (host school pays) / PGCE uplift £500 / not eligible for student funding

Fee Funded trainees: £8,750 tuition fee costs for QTS Only/ £9,250 including the PGCE uplift/ can apply for student funding

As a fee-funded trainee, how can I pay for the training year?

  • Self-finance:  tuition fees are paid by the individual – invoiced each term in the ratio 25/25/50% of course fees
  • Tuition fee loans: check eligibility via the Student Finance England/ max value £9,250
  • Maintenance loans: Can be used to help fund living expenses for the year.  Apply directly to Student Finance England.
  • Bursaries: Available for certain subjects only, more information can be found on the DfE website. You can either just take a bursary only / or top up the bursary with a tuition fee loan. Main eligibility requirements: minimum 2.2 degree / you are a UK national or have ‘settled status’ / you normally live in England / have been ordinarily resident in the UK for 3 continuous years before the 1st day of your course.  
  • Scholarships: Again these are only available in shortage subject areas defined by the DfE. The payment schedule is the same as the bursary schedule. You can’t apply for a bursary if you have been awarded a scholarship.

Would I be able to apply for the subject bursary/scholarship despite having a degree in another (non-bursary) subject?

Yes - it is the subject that you want to train to teach in, not the degree subject, that triggers the bursary.

How do I apply for student finance?

Applications are made directly by the trainee to Student Finance England (SFE).  We will send out all the information that you need to know.  You need to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria and that the SFE have your bank details. 

If I already have an outstanding Student Loan (from my first degree), am I able to apply for a further loan?

Yes, you are able to apply for an additional tuition fee loan to support your ITT training.

How do payments work?

Tuition fees are paid directly to IFT for the course costs – you will not receive an invoice for course fees if you have a loan.

Bursaries / scholarships are paid directly to the trainee’s bank account.  The 1st payment is made at the end of October and there are 10 instalments.  If applying for a bursary only, IFT will invoice for the cost of the SCITT tuition fees over the 3 terms in the ratio 25/25/50%.

Maintenance loans or other additional support that is awarded will be paid directly to the trainee’s bank account.