5 top tips for preparing your teacher training application

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So you've made the exciting decision that teaching is the career for you? Give yourself the best chance of success with a well prepared application. Read on for our five top tips for preparing your teacher training application, direct from Portsmouth's teacher training providers.

1) Give yourself plenty of time

The last thing you want is to be submitting your application in a rush. Help avoid unnecessary stress by researching application deadlines and familiarising yourself with the process. Identify the steps involved so there are no surprises and ensure you have time to complete everything, such as organising your references.

Find out if you need to apply via UCAS or GOV.UK's new Apply service and make a note of when applications open.
As Lynn Nicholls at Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance highlights:

Ensure you have the essential entry criteria or know how to achieve it by 31 August.

Lynn Nicholls, school direct director at Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance

2) Do your research

It's important to be sure that teaching is the right career for you. You'll also want to discover what you can about the course(s) you are planning to apply for. Be clear about the what the course involves and why you think you'd be a suitable candidate.

Are you able to attend a virtual open day to find out more and meet the training providers? If that's not possible, you could reach out to training providers to ask any specific questions you have before applying. As TKAT SCITT told us, it's important to speak to others to learn about teaching and initial teacher training:

If school experience is not an option (because of COVID-19) try and speak with teachers, and past and current trainees. Teacher training providers can also be good to talk to before making this big decision.

Sacha Beresford, head of SCITT at TKAT SCITT

3) Understand your motivations

As part of your application you'll need to write a personal statement. Be clear about your motivations for wanting to become a teacher and why you think you're right for the role.

Prove your passion and commitment to a rewarding career in teaching which will help you stand out from the crowd. It's called a personal statement for a reason - let the reader learn about you and your personality.

Passion and hunger are the traits we are looking for. What prompted you to want to become a teacher? Tell us about your journey. We don't want you to have woken up one day and decided that teaching is something you might as well try.

Cate Worrall principal at Portsmouth Primary SCITT

4) Think about your transferable skills 

When writing your personal statement, back up what you say with examples where possible. If you haven't had experience teaching in a classroom before, consider any transferable skills that can demonstrate your abilities, such as communication.

As Mark Corominas-Casey at the University of Portsmouth notes, try to answer this question:

What skills or experience from your life to date contain skills that are transferable when training to teach?

Mark Corominas-Casey, associate head at the University of Portsmouth

5) Plan your references

You'll need two referees to support your teacher training application. Choose people who meet the criteria and can endorse your teaching potential. Once chosen, check you have correct contact details to include in your application. Be sure to find out if the course provider has any specific referee requirements that you need to consider.

Contact two people who will write your reference.

Lynn Nicholls, school direct director at Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance

Your time to teach is now

Applying for initial teacher training is an exciting step towards a career in teaching but remember, preparation is key. Good luck with your application!

Portsmouth's initial teacher training providers are still recruiting for courses starting in September. If you are ready to take that first step, take a look at our partners today!

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