Different Types of Course
TRADITIONAL UNSALARIED COURSES PROVIDED BY A UNIVERSITY
The candidates are selected by the university. You train at the university and there are normally two assessed placements for you to gain experience in the classroom. The schools that you attend are chosen by the university. The schools themselves also do not choose you and you have no special relationship with them.
You pay tuition fees to the university (commonly £9,250) and if eligible (relating to the level of your degree rather than its subject; and your residency status) then you could access DfE bursaries and scholarships for particular subjects; and student loans.
The qualification outcome is commonly PGCE(M)QTS. The university awards the PGCE(M) and they are accredited to recommend you to the Teaching Regulation Agency for the professional award of QTS.
At the end of the course you look for a job in the usual way through advertisements, etc.
PARTNERSHIP COURSES - This is the category we belong to
Some schools complained to the government about that traditional university route into teaching because they wanted to be able to work in partnership with a university, selecting their own trainees; feeding into the training and effectively 'growing their own staff'. They wanted to achieve a fit between the trainee and the school, with a view to later employment.
School groups are now allowed to set up a partnership arrangement with a university (or other accrediting body) to offer teacher training courses. Scope was given to allow candidates to choose the school at the point of application and the schools would interview the trainees to select those they felt had potential for their later employment at the school. Not all partnerships exploit this. Some do not enable you to choose the school at the point of application, but we do. This is fundamental to our approach.
The government agreed that on these courses, where the school/s interview the trainee - if the school later has a teaching vacancy, they could keep you on as a qualified teacher, with no need to advertise the vacancy for a further competitive interview. The interview for a 'potential job' has already taken place before training commences.
These courses still include the important second placement at a contrasting school but you have a closer relationship with the main host school that recruited you through the partnership scheme.
Unsalaried and Salaried
Partnership courses can be unsalaried (with the same qualifications still awarded to you by the university) and access to same DfE bursaries, scholarships and loans. Schools however are coordinating the partnership, so some could also offer employment to trainees, paying them a salary.
- Unsalaried PGCE(M)QTS
This is similar to the courses led by the university. You commonly attend all the same training at the university that you would on a core university course. Occasionally, (depending on the nature of the partnership) some aspects of that training may be delivered by experts within the school group. You would still have a university mentor and the university is still the body that awards the PGCE(M).
With WLTTA (unlike some other partnerships providers), we let you choose the main host school. We then select the contrasting second school to add depth to the training.
The advantage of these unsalaried partnership courses is the close relationship that you build with your main host school; the potential to be able to carry on into direct employment; the close involvement of the university and the added value of having a group of schools involved. Some bursary levels are higher than net salaries.
- SALARIED QTS only
Some schools want trainees to remain with them for as much time as possible while they train. On a salaried QTS only course almost all your training takes place in school. With us there are still some university days included. The main host school pays you a salary for the year and WLTTA pays the fees.
You may find a few Salaried PGCE(M)QTS courses but these are less common.
On any salaried course you tend to move teaching sooner and schools often select candidates whose subject knowledge and experience is suitable for that. Previous tutoring experience for example, can be helpful.
The advantage of a salaried QTS course is the close relationship that you build with your main host school; the potential to be able to carry on into direct employment; and the added value of having a group of schools involved. Some candidates who already have two degrees for example, may not want to spend more time studying for a further academic qualification and may prefer a QTS only course, training as much as possible in a school.
WHAT IS A SCITT?
SCITT stands for School-centered Initial Teacher Training. A SCITT is simply a group of schools with accreditation to recommend you to the Teaching Regulation Agency for the award of QTS. They could therefore offer you an unsalaried QTS only course without the involvement of a university at all. In our experience, these courses are not significantly cheaper than an unsalaried PGCE(M)QTs course. Often they charge £8,000 when courses with a PGCE are commonly £9,250.
Having said that, we believe that the most important thing is finding a school that you aspire to work in and training there if that's possible. If the schools you like are offering SCITT courses (with the school group accrediting the QTS) then do that.
Quite often, SCITTs want to offer other courses that include a PGCE. For those courses the group of schools would need to partner with a university (or other tertiary academic body) because only they can award postgraduate academic qualifications.
In the end many SCITTs therefore fall into the partnership course category, but they could offer QTS only on their own.
WHAT ARE TEACHING APPRENTICESHIPS?
These are a form of salaried teacher training. A school group (or individual school) can enter into a partnership with an accredited apprenticeship provider (commonly but not always universities). The qualification outcome could be QTS only or PGCE(M)QTS but having achieved these you would also need to take part in an apprenticeship assessment meeting for the further award of PGTA. You don't pay any fees. It takes slightly longer than one academic year to gain the apprenticeship qualification.
We offer teaching apprenticeships for primary but not for secondary. For secondary we offer some salaried courses but have not included the extra apprenticeship qualification and our trainees are fully qualified at the end of the academic year.
Having said that, we believe that the most important thing is finding a school that you aspire to work in and training there if that's possible. If the schools you like are offering teacher apprenticeship courses then do that.