What is Teacher Training?

Aug. 18, 2023
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Ambition Institute

Improving teaching and school leadership is the best way to make sure that every child, no matter their background, gets the education they deserve.

By becoming an expert teacher, you can help shape the future of the next generation of learners.

Learn more about our Teacher Training programme which will start you on the path to becoming a great teacher.


Across England, there is an unfair attainment gap between poorer pupils and their better off classmates. Disadvantaged pupils routinely start school behind their better off peers, and those inequalities persist throughout the rest of their school years and into later life, eventually having an impact on life opportunities.

How can we counter this and give all pupils a great education, no matter what their life experiences? This is where you come in.

What is the Teacher Training programme?

Our Teacher Training is a 12-month development programme designed by sector experts and informed by the latest evidence on what makes effective teaching. On the programme, you will develop the essential tools you need to become an effective and confident teacher as well as gaining qualified teacher status (QTS) and a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE).

The programme will prepare you with expert knowledge of teaching and your subject specialism to equip you to deliver an effective education to all pupils. Through regular, bite-sized learning, you will gain a toolkit of theoretical and practical knowledge that you can use flexibly.

How is the programme structured?

  • The programme begins with a five-day conference, where you’ll meet your fellow trainees and start to build a foundation of expertise to underpin your teacher training year.
  • Following the conference, you will begin your main placement in a school, where you’ll experience a mix of study modules, live training sessions and classroom practice. Study modules can be completed at your own pace through our online learning platform, which will provide you with a foundation of theory to build your practice on.
  • Weekly training sessions will help you to turn this theory into practice. You will learn how to use this new knowledge in your planning and teaching, guided by expert facilitators who are experienced teachers and school leaders.
  • Small group sessions and one-to-one coaching will support you to make improvements to your teaching practice over the course of the programme, applying knowledge in ways that will help you to keep getting better.
  • You will also work closely with your dedicated mentor - an experienced teacher who will guide and support you through your teacher training journey. You will model, practise and plan everything you learn on the programme with your mentor before you put it into practice in the classroom.

All of the knowledge and skills you need to be an effective teacher are carefully threaded throughout the programme so that you can build expertise over time towards achieving QTS at the end of the year.

The programme materials you will study are tailored to the phase and subject you want to teach. We have a distinctive curriculum for primary and secondary trainees, as well as 12 subjects to choose from. Half of the materials you study are specialised to support the development of knowledge about the subject you’ll teach (known as subject domain knowledge) alongside your teaching skills.

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What does this mean in practice?

  • Gaining lots of practical classroom experience as you learn, so you're ready for classroom teaching as soon as you qualify.
  • Benefitting from the training curriculum of an Ofsted rated Outstanding provider.
  • Building your practice over time using techniques backed by the latest research and evidence in effective teacher development.
  • Achieving a PGCE as a qualification that is fully integrated into your QTS course, without separate study to complete.
  • Having access to experienced and expert mentors and support throughout your journey to teaching.
  • Join the 40,000 teachers and school leaders that are already developing through Ambition, who are all pushing towards the same outcome, and driving the sector forwards.

In short, it means a teacher training programme that will best support you to become an excellent teacher who can make a difference from your first day in the classroom.

How will I study?

This is 12-month, full-time, postgraduate programme. Part-time training may also be available, spread across two academic years.

You will learn through a combination of study and practice.

Study consists of weekly self-guided learning and face-to-face and online sessions with other trainees. These sessions are paced and structured to give you the opportunity to take a complex area of teaching and unpick it with the help of education experts.

Your practice builds straight from your weekly study activities, and includes classroom teaching practice, peer support and one-to-one coaching from your mentor.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible, you will need:

  • A grade 4/C or above at GCSE English and Maths, or equivalent.
  • Primary school trainees will also need a grade 4/C or above at GCSE Science, or equivalent.
  • Undergraduate (bachelor’s) degree or equivalent, generally at a 2:2 or above.
  • The right to work in the UK.

If you don’t meet these criteria but would still like to train as a teacher, please get in touch with us through our enquiry form.

What are my funding options?

You can apply for student finance to help you to train to teach, including a tuition fee loan of up to £9,250, and a maintenance loan of up to £13,022 to help with living costs. You can do this even if you already have a student loan, and you will only have to make loan repayments once you are earning.

You may also be eligible for a bursary or scholarship – tax-free amounts of money you receive to train in certain subjects, which you won’t need to pay back.

See more information on all of the funding options on the Get into Teaching website.

Some subjects may be eligible for salaried places.

Please be aware the Department for Education has not yet published the full details of its funding options for September 2024. We will update this page when we find out more.


Take the next step. You can apply now or send us a question via our enquiry form.

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