1. Do you offer Primary and Secondary training? 

Yes! We usually take approx. 10 Primary and 10 Secondary trainees each year. 

2. Can I start the course in January? 

No. There is only 1 starting point each year which is September. The course ends in mid-June.  

3. I don’t have a degree in the (Secondary) subject that I want to teach. Can I still apply? 

Yes as long as you have an A Level (or equivalent) in that subject. You would also be required to undertake a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course (SKE) which is an on-line course of approx. 6 weeks to be successfully completed before 1st September. 

4. Can I do an SKE before I apply? 

No. You have to apply, be interviewed & offered a place which you accept. Then you can do an SKE if your degree is not in the subject you want to teach and if it is a condition of the offer. 

5. Can I do this course part time? 

Unfortunately not. The course is full time. 

6. Can I have a part time job & do the course? 

You could work outside of school hours, BUT the course is very demanding & time consuming. Doing the course is a full time job so having a part time job as well is probably unrealistic. It is definitely something we would advise against. 

7. How many hours will I have to work? 

Teaching is a vocation – dedicated teachers work until the job is done & as a trainee a considerable time commitment is required. Schools normally expect staff to arrive at approx. 8:15am. and school usually ends for students at around 3:00/3:30pm. Most schools have at least one weekly meeting and there will be meetings with your mentor to fit in.  You will also have to do some work after school / at the weekend and in the holidays. HOWEVER, we do encourage all our trainees to establish a sensible work-life balance – teaching can be stressful so we need all trainees to take care of their physical & mental health! 

8. I have a young child. Is the course manageable for me? 

We have had many trainees over the years who have successfully managed the course whilst caring for young children. It is a challenge, but as long as you are committed to the programme and have an appropriate level of support/child care in place the course is most definitely manageable. 

9. When do applications open and close? 

Applications open in mid-October for the following September. Applications remain open throughout the year BUT courses will be closed when places are full. If you leave your application too late, you may find that your chosen provider has filled all their places in your chosen field so you’ll have missed out on them. Applications for a September 2022 start will be via DfE apply (not UCAS) and my advice would be to apply sooner rather than later. 

10. I’ve struggled to get school experience due to Covid-19 restrictions. Will this hold me back? 

Ideally, we would like all applicants to have some school experience or experience working with young people so that they are sure that teaching is the right career choice for them. However, we understand the problems regarding getting school experience that Covid has posed.  At interview you will need to persuade us that you have a realistic understanding of the role of the teacher & that you have the determination & resilience to see the course through. School experience is desirable and a bonus, but given the current situation it’s not essential. Post pandemic, we will be happy to arrange for applicants to get some classroom experience in one of our alliance schools. 

11. I’ve lost my GCSE certificates. Do I need the originals & if so, how do I get replacements? 

Yes, you do need to provide your original certificates as proof of your GCSE and degree passes. You can get replacements by Googling the exam board & requesting these. There will be a charge for this. Allow plenty of time for certificates to arrive. 

12. Do I need a criminal records check? 

Yes – this is now called a DBS – Disclosure and Barring Service. You will need to provide the information for this to be done – photo ID (Passport or Driving Licence) & proof of address (usually a utility bill or similar). Northumbria will then arrange for the DBS check to take place. There is no charge to you for this. 

13. Do I have to travel to Northumbria? 

The majority of the training takes place on a Friday at the Alliance base at Nunthorpe Academy. The majority of the University days will be conducted remotely. There may be a couple of trips to Northumbria & we will help with transport if required. Going to Northumbria is a positive aspect of the course which gives you a great opportunity to meet fellow trainees and share experiences. 

14. Will I be teaching from day 1? 

No! September is a settling in period/starting to do parts of lessons. You gradually build up to teaching full lessons over the first half term with the support of your mentor/the class teacher. The plan is flexible, so trainees with more experience in schools can start to teach earlier if they are ready for it. This is all discussed/agreed with your mentor. 

15. Will I have to plan my own lessons? 

Lesson planning is an important (and fun!) part of being a teacher. You will start by using the schools planning and over time start to tweak plans to fit your students. Later in the course you will plan your own lessons which is great experience to prepare you for your first job and further down the line when you get promoted! 

16. How will I deal with challenging behaviour? 

All schools have students who do not behave as we would wish and they all have policies and practices in place to deal with this. In training behaviour management is thoroughly covered, but again, managing behaviour is part of being a teacher & it’s something which gets much easier over time. Throughout the course you will have the support of your colleagues & the class teacher who will help you manage any issues which arise. 

17. Can I use Teesside University Library? 

Yes. You will get a Student Card from Northumbria & this will allow you access to Teesside University Library. This will also get you discounts in a range of shops! 

18. Will I have a Tutor Group? 

You will work alongside a tutor & contribute to tutor activities as the year progresses. When you start work as an Early Career Teacher you will have a Tutor Group so this is all great experience for trainees.  

19. Do I have to teach a second subject? 

Your focus will be on the subject you have applied to teach. However, Geography & History trainees will teach a little of the ‘other’ subject & Science trainees will teach across all 3 sciences – Physics, Chemistry & Biology, regardless of specialism. This is to give you a broad experience which will stand you in excellent stead when you attend interviews for jobs. Most schools in these areas will advertise for a Teacher of Humanities or a Teacher of Science so you will need to be flexible and, with support, be prepared to teach a little beyond your specialism. 

20. Will I get a job at the end of it all? 

Our trainees have an excellent track record of getting jobs. We support trainees with this & have sessions on applying for jobs and interview technique. Prior to the pandemic, all our trainees got jobs. During the pandemic fewer jobs have come up & it has taken a little longer to secure posts which has been a national problem. You getting a job is as important to us as it is to you so we do everything in our power to support you with this.