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Frequently Asked Questions

We know the process of applying for teacher training can be daunting and you may have lots of questions! Please see below for FAQs. If you have any questions that are not answered below then please do get in touch with us.

What is a SCITT programme?

School Centred Initial Teacher Training programmes are one of a number of routes into teaching.  Students are based in placement school from the start of the course and work towards their Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).  The programmes are run by schools or groups of schools, many of whom work in close partnership with Universities enabling trainee teachers to gain a PGCE alongside working towards their QTS.  They provide practical hands-on teacher training programmes, taught by experienced, practising teachers and are often tailored towards teaching in the local area. The BPSCITT works with schools across Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire and we award QTS and PGCE in association with the University of Bath Spa.

Please see the Get Into Teaching website for full details of the routes into teaching

How do I make an application to The Buckingham Partnership?

Applications for our SCITT, School Direct and Salaried programmes are managed through the UCAS Track system. If you would like to apply for our Assessment Only or Early Years Route. Please contact us directly. Please check our Application section for more information.

I don't meet the GCSE Entry Criteria. Can I apply for any of these routes?

Yes you can still apply for any of the courses but please speak to a member of the team before you apply. You will need to pass your GCSE or an equivalency test before the start of the course. Any offer that we make to you will be conditional on this. Our team can help you to locate a provider for your GCSE or equivalency test. We may also be able to arrange an invigilator so you can sit the exam at our SCITT centre. We are only able to offer this service if you have already been offered a place on the course. Contact us for further advice

Do I need school experience to apply for this course?

For our Primary and Secondary SCITT/School Direct Routes there is no minimum amount of school experience as a criteria for applying. However, we do recommend that you gain real life experience of teaching either before, during or after your application. Spending time in the classroom can help you decide whether a teacher is the right career path for you and can be invaluable at the application and interview stage. For our Assessment Only, Early Years and Salaried routes you will need some experience. Full information is available on the individual course pages.

It's been a long time since I completed by GCSEs/Degree. Am I still able to apply?

Yes, we welcome applications from mature students and career changers. We know from experience that trainees who have previously worked in other careers can bring valuable insight and skills into the teaching profession. If you completed your secondary school education before the introduction of GCSE qualifications please get in touch with us to discuss whether your qualifications are equivalent.

How much does the course cost?

The fees vary across the routes. All our course fees are detailed in our Fees and Financing section

When can I start the course?

Our SCITT, School Direct, Early Years and Salaried routes have one entry point per year in September. The course runs from September to June. 

We accept entry onto our Assessment Only course throughout the year. Please see the Assessment Only page for more details.

I have a qualification from abroad. Am I able to apply for a place on the course?

Yes we are happy to accept equivalent qualifications from overseas. We have full access to the UK NARIC Equivalency check system so please get in touch with Olivia Lewis to check if you are eligible to apply. Please note that we will need to see the original certificates for any international qualifications that you have been awarded before we can confirm equivalency so please make sure you have these available.


Who should I choose as a referee?

If you are still at University or you studied for your degree in the past 5 years, one reference must be from someone who can comment on your academic ability and potential.  The other reference can be either from work or from someone who is able to comment on your character and potential as a teacher. Please note that we can’t accept references from friends or family members

How do you allocate placement schools? Can I choose which school I am placed in?

For our SCITT and School Direct route we will arrange your two school placements. You will be in your main placement from the start of the course. Normally you will move to your second placement school from January to February half term before returning to your main placement from February half term to the end of the course in June. Your second placement school will be chosen as a contrasting experience to your main placement.  If you have a school in mind, you’re welcome to approach us about it and we’ll work with you to arrange the best experience for you. We allocate schools based on location and whether we believe the school will support you in your chosen subject specialism. You will spend most of the year in one school with a second experience in a contrasting school (usually Christmas to February half term). This ensures that you have a broad experience of differing school environments during your time on the course and will allow you to develop a greater breadth of experience. When in school, you are expected to follow the timings, practices and culture of the school. Where possible we try to take into account your individual circumstances when allocating schools. Please note that we do not allocate schools until you have confirmed your place on the course.

My degree is not in the subject that I would like to teach. Will you still consider me for this subject?

Whilst we do prefer candidates to have a degree in their chosen subject there is some flexibility around this. For example if you have an A-Level qualification in the subject we would consider your application based on this. Sometimes we ask trainees to refresh their subject knowledge by taking a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course in their chosen subject. SKE courses vary in duration depending on the subject and your individual needs. If we make you an offer for a place which is conditional on you completing an SKE course you may be eligible for funding to cover the cost of the course. You can find out more information about SKE courses on the Get Into Teaching website


I would like to apply for the salaried route but I don't work in a school. Will I be able to apply for the salaried route?

For trainees wishing to join the salaried route we ask that you have at least three years experience in school and be working in a school that is willing to support your placement. If you meet the experience criteria but do not currently work in a school that will employ you during your placement please speak to a member of the team.

What will happen at my interview?

Currently, our interviews are run remotely using video conferencing. Before your interview you will be asked to work on a safeguarding focused task and to prepare a lesson plan which you will present to the panel during the interview. This will be followed by interview questions from the panel. There will also be an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have. We send full guidance on the interview process when we invite you to interview. 

What happens after my interview?

We aim to let candidates know the outcome of their interview within 24 hours although at busy times it can sometimes take longer. If you are successful you will be sent details of your offer via email and an offer will be made to you on the Apply system. If you are unsuccessful you are welcome to contact Olivia Lewis to ask for feedback if you are hoping to reapply in the next recruitment cycle.