Frequently Asked Questions


  • How do I know whether places are available?

    Each year we are open for applications between mid October and early June, or until we have filled our places in a particular subject.

    Our courses are always up to date on Apply for Teacher Training, the DFE’s application service.

    We will also keep our own website and social media up to date.  Places are awarded on a first-come-first served basis to the right candidates who meet our criteria, however, we are able to offer a significant number of places in most subjects, in most areas.  Therefore if you are not ready to apply when we open, in October, please don’t panic. Usually, most subjects, remain open until the end of the cycle. 


  • I’m not a recent graduate, can I still apply?

    Absolutely, all of our courses are open to people of all ages and backgrounds!

    Have a look on our website for the Person Specification and details about the different courses to decide which route is best for you.  We regularly have career changers and applicants who have taken a bit longer to make the change and get into teaching.

    We work closely with the career changer network NOW TEACH, who provide additional support to applicants throughout their application and training journey.

  • What qualifications do I need to have?

    To meet the national criteria you must have a GCSE (or equivalent) in maths and English of grade C/ grade 4 or above, those applying for primary must also have a GCSE (or equivalent) in a science subject at grade C/ grade 4 or above. You will also need to have completed an undergraduate,  first degree before the start of the course, though this does not need to be in the subject you apply for. 

    If you do not have a GCSE qualification you will need to undertake a certified Equivalency Test, please see the section below for more information.

    If you have qualifications from overseas you will need to seek a Statement of Comparability through ENIC  You should apply for this for all the qualifications you have received to give yourself the best opportunity.  Please be aware this process can often take some considerable time, therefore it is best to get this process going as soon as you can. The DfE does offer their own service for this, so it may be worth viewing their information here.

  • What is an equivalency test and how do I book it?

    All applicants for Initial Teacher Training must have a GCSE grade C or equivalent in English, maths and also in science for primary courses. If you do not have one or any of these qualifications (or a recognised equivalent) you will need to book an Equivalency Test. Please note that if you have applied for a statement of comparability from ENIC you are not required to apply for an Equivalency Test, unless the qualification is not recognised as equivalent to GCSE grade C or above.

    We will be offering our own Equivalency Tests to candidates for our courses at a much reduced rate, tests will take place on set dates between January-July and you do not need to have passed this before you apply, but you will need to pass before the course starts. Please contact us if you would like further information.

    There are different options and other providers available, if you would like to explore a different provider, please contact us before booking anything, to ensure we recognise the equivalency test.  You will be able to choose a provider who suits you best, such as revision or examination only routes and the providers can help you decide on the most suitable option for you.

  • What qualification will I gain?

    On successful completion of our courses you will be awarded QTS (Qualified Teacher Status). This is the professional qualification for teachers in England and is the qualification that nearly all schools, academies and free schools expect applicants for teaching jobs to have. For everyone who trains with us there is also the option to add a Masters level PGCE to your course, subject to an extra fee. Between 30% and 50% of each cohort that trains with us undertakes the PGCE in their training year and an increasing number wait and do it in subsequent years so it is not a ‘now or never’ decision.

  • Will taking the PGCE make me more employable after my training?

    We know from speaking to our Partnership Headteachers that they will not look more favourably on a candidate who has completed the PGCE compared to someone who has chosen to complete the QTS only course. Our training provides you with all of the training and experience you need to be a successful teacher and employing schools will be looking for you to be awarded QTS so completing the PGCE is definitely not a requirement.

    There are some countries who still expect teachers to have a master’s level qualification in education, so some people chose to complete the PGCE as they know that they want to teach overseas in these countries. In recent years however, we have found that we are able to provide sufficient training records and letters of support for previous graduates of OTT SCITT so that their QTS is recognised by the country they are looking to teach in, so this does not necessarily need to be a barrier.

  • What happens at a Recruitment and Selection Process?

    Our Recruitment and Selection Process will take place online, via Zoom. Operating online enables us to arrange a panel of representatives from our partnership schools across Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and Berkshire, and from our Central Team, as well as providing more flexibility for candidates who are unable to travel.

    If you are invited to complete a recruitment process with us we will provide full details about what you need to prepare in advance, you can expect to complete an interview, a lesson task, an activity with other candidates and a subject knowledge task – an example guide from previous processes can be found on our website. All candidates will be required to also submit documents for checking, so do start looking for your degree and GCSE certificates and your ID/ proof of address. 


  • When will my interview be?

    When you submit your application through DfE Apply it comes directly to us, it will be reviewed by a shortlisting panel and we aim to let applicants know if they are invited to a recruitment process (interview) with us or not within 5 working days. Sometimes we may contact you for some additional information about things like work history before we invite you, so do keep an eye on your emails.

    Our recruitment and selection processes are held regularly with members of our Central Team and partnership representatives from schools in Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and Berkshire. It is a great opportunity to tell us a bit more about you and to meet some key people for your training course. We strongly encourage all candidates to attend, even if you have had an offer from another provider already, so that you have a chance to compare the courses and the team who will support you; providers are not allowed to put pressure on you to accept by a certain deadline, you are in control of your application!

  • When are the induction days and are they compulsory?

    One of the great benefits of our courses is that you are invited to attend three Induction days in July – Wednesday 17th, Thursday 18th and Friday 19th.  These are a great opportunity to meet people and start building relationships and networks with our Central Team, your Subject Specialist, your school and your peers. You will get a taste of what our training is like, you will feel well prepared for starting in September and you will even get to visit your first placement! Attendance at the Induction days is generally expected for all Associate Teachers, but we do understand that sometimes work or other responsibilities makes this a challenge. If you have concerns about attending don’t let this hold you back from applying to us as some flexibility can be arranged, you can discuss this with us at interview or in advance if you are worried.

  • I’m retaking a GCSE but I won’t know my result until the summer, can I apply now?

    Yes you can, but we will ask you to complete an Equivalency Test in advance of the summer training so that you are able to evidence meeting all conditions of your offer before the course begins.

    You are welcome to complete the GCSE in addition to this but it would not be a condition of your offer, the Equivalency Test is enough to certify your qualification. See the Equivalency Test link below for more information.

    We generally advise that rather than enrolling on a GCSE programme, which takes a full year, we suggest an equivalency test, which can be taken at any time.