Applying for teacher training

Rachel Swain, Editorial manager
November, 2020

To secure your place in this competitive industry you'll need to make an outstanding first impression with a well thought out application

Most teacher training routes across the UK ask for an application form to be completed, which will include some sort of personal statement. Before completing your teacher training application form, you need to:

  • choose your training route, age range and/or subject and provider
  • make sure you meet the minimum qualification requirements.

While not a mandatory requirement for teacher training, gaining school experience will enhance your personal statement and help you to decide if teaching is for you and which age group you want to teach.

For more help with choosing your pathway, see routes into teaching or how to become a teacher.

If you have any questions about teaching or the application process, you should register with the Department for Education's Get Into Teaching website, as they're able to provide personalised help from teaching experts.

How to apply

Postgraduate teacher training applications in England and Wales are made through UCAS Teacher Training (UTT). Allow yourself plenty of time to complete everything, so that you can check your application over before sending it off.

Apply 1: Applicants make up to three choices, all submitted at the same time. This could be a mixture of courses led by a school or a university. School-led courses are usually referred to as school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT), postgraduate teacher training apprenticeships, School Direct or the name of the lead school. Your choices are simultaneously deliberated by your chosen training providers.

To increase your chances of success, choose a mixture of teacher training courses. If your application is successful, you will then be invited to attend an interview or selection day; training providers must decide on the outcome of your application within 40 working days. Before applying via UTT, you should use the Department for Education's Find postgraduate teacher training courses to search for available courses (England only).

Apply 2: If you don't have any offers from Apply 1, or you choose not to accept the offers you do have, you're able to make further applications (one at a time) for any route. You can keep applying until you're offered a place.

When you're ready to make an application through UTT, you will be required to set up a login and then submit:

  • your personal details, choices, qualifications and details of your professional skills tests, including your candidate number and test dates if you have completed your tests
  • a personal statement
  • details of your school and work experience
  • referee(s).

Have all these details ready before the application window opens. You can start the application in advance and save each section as you fill in the form.

Training providers must open their programme to applicants for a minimum of two weeks and can then decide when to close. Many providers fill their places before Easter or Christmas, or after two weeks. Check the UTT website for guidance and aim to apply as early as possible.

Application deadlines

  • England and Wales postgraduate teacher training via UTT application deadlines are usually around September of each year.
  • Scottish Postgraduate Teacher Training applications are made through the UCAS undergraduate system with the same deadlines.
  • Teach First recruits on an ongoing basis so apply as soon as you can. Some curriculum subjects, such as history, fill up quickly.
  • Researchers in Schools accept applications on an ongoing basis.

School history and work placements

This is where you evidence your work history, particularly any paid work or volunteering in schools, in 500 characters or fewer if you're applying through UCAS Teacher Training.

If you can't fit everything into the space provided, don't worry - you can expand on what you've written in your personal statement. You can also send a summary of your work history or a CV to the training providers after you've submitted your application and received your personal ID.

This summary should include:

  • your school experience, including details of the age groups and subjects you were involved with
  • your current job and work history
  • time spent abroad, placements and summer jobs
  • information to demonstrate your transferable skills, particularly those that would be valuable in the classroom
  • the average weekly time you spent in each school or role (in the 'hours per week' section).

Teaching personal statements

In a teaching personal statement, you'll demonstrate your suitability for a career in teaching and a place on a course with one of your chosen providers. The statement can be up to 4,000 characters in length, amounting to 47 lines of text, and should be comprised of an introductory paragraph, main body and conclusion.

There are no specific requirements as to what a teaching personal statement needs to include, but you should use the space to discuss your skills and any relevant work experience you have, either inside or outside of the classroom. Remember to tailor your statement to the career path you'd like to take, into either primary or secondary school teaching, and convey your drive and passion for the work.

See teaching personal statement examples for more guidance on what to include.


You need to submit the names and contact details of two referees. Typically, this is your university tutor, who can write about your academic progress, and someone who knows you from work. This could be in a school or professional capacity who can comment on your potential development as a teacher.

This is an important part of the process as applications can't be sent until you've attached two references. To help speed this up you should contact your referees before you start.

For more information, see UCAS - References for teacher training.

What happens next?

Throughout your UTT application, select 'complete' as you finish each section. Your choices can be amended at any time until you have paid for and sent off your application. You can follow the progress of your application through UCAS Track. The cost of applying is a nominal fee of £1.

Find out more

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