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Most Googled: initial teacher training (ITT)


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Date published 16 January 2024

Last updated 21 March 2024

In this video, Ambition Institute Associate Dean Dr. Neil Gilbride answers the internet's most pressing questions about initial teacher training (ITT). Neil has spent around 19 years working in education in primary schools, secondary schools and special schools. He's also worked at universities as a lecturer and teacher trainer.


What is a SCITT?

First of all, SCITT is an acronym. It stands for ‘school-centred initial teacher training’, and it’s largely to do with who is organising your training.

Our Ambition programme is a SCITT, school-centred, which means that your programme will predominantly take place in one main placement school.

Some people might think that on a SCITT, they don’t do an academic programme. This is just not true. Our SCITT, for example, has a ‘PGCE’, a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education which runs alongside your training.

So, with a SCITT, you’re getting the best of both worlds. You’re getting a school-centred experience in one big placement, and you’re also getting that rigorous and robust academic experience as well.

Can you train to be a teacher without a degree?

Whilst there are quite a few options out there in terms of how you choose to train to teach, generally, you’re going to need a degree. There are some degrees that allow you teach straight away, they are teaching degrees, so an undergraduate teaching degree

The Ambition programme is a post-graduate programme. This means that you will need an undergraduate degree in order to start training with us.

Can you get student finance when you're training to teach?

Absolutely, yes you can. You can still get student finance for when you’re training to teach and it works in the same way as when you are an undergraduate.

What is a teacher training bursary?

A teacher training bursary is a tax-free incentive that you get from the government. It’s paid directly into your bank account throughout your teacher training year. How much you get, or if you can get a bursary, depends on the subject that you’re training to teach in.

The most important thing about these teacher training bursaries is that they can vary every year. That number on the Get Into Teaching website will differ next year.

You can also get scholarships. Scholarships are often offered by subject associations. Again, only in certain subjects. Again, to support you through your teacher training year.

You can’t have a bursary and a scholarship. So you’re going to have to pick which one works for you and your circumstances. But generally, again, it’s money that you can use during your training year to support you as you train to teach.

Am I too old to train to be a teacher?

No, no, no, no. You are definitely not. You are definitely not too old to train to be a teacher. Some of the schools that I’ve worked in that have been the most genuinely beautiful to work in have not just had diverse students, but diversity amongst the staff.

All I would say to you is that, as someone that’s worked in this field for a long time training teachers, I’ve met a range of teachers and the most important thing is the passion, right. That they have something inside them to make a difference. And if you feel that’s coming through to you now, or you feel like now is the time in your life to do it, it’s the right time to train to become a teacher.

So, whether you are 24 or 44, or whatever age, you are not too old to train to be a teacher. You absolutely can make a difference to a child’s life.

How do you apply?

To apply to the Ambition programme, you go straight to the Ambition website and from there you can select what region or partner is going to best suit your application.

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Neil Gilbride
Associate Dean, Ambition Institute

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