School-centred initial training (SCITT) programmes are school-led teacher training courses that lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). The majority of SCITT programmes also result in a PGCE certification. SCITT teacher training is one of the most popular ways to gain QTS as it gives trainees the chance to gain hands-on teaching experience whilst gaining a qualification. This blog will explain what does SCITT stand for in teaching, how SCITT programmes work and explain the differences between other routes into teaching.
What does SCITT stand for in teaching?
SCITT stands for School-centred Initial Teacher Training. SCITT programmes are teacher training courses run by local groups of schools, providing graduates the opportunity to receive practical teacher training and to learn ‘on the job’.
The nature of the school-led course means that you will spend most of your time on a SCITT programme at two or more schools, learning from experienced teaching professionals. You will have an extensive support network of teachers, tutors, mentors and peers – all designed to help you find your feet in the world of teaching.
What’s the difference between SCITT and university-led training?
It can be confusing to know which route to take when it comes to teacher training. If you decide to take the university-led route into teaching, you will be based at a university rather than predominantly in schools. Rather than being at a school from day one, you’ll learn the theory of teaching at university before having the chance to apply your knowledge in a minimum of two school placements over the course of at least 24 weeks.
A SCITT, however, places you in a school straight away. Of course, you won’t be thrown in at the deep end, so don’t worry about having to teach a class on your first day! Instead, you will benefit from a more hands-on approach to teaching, immersed in the everyday life of a school environment from the start.
What are the entry requirements for a SCITT course?
The entry requirements for SCITT courses are similar to those for PGCEs. You normally require a 2:2 Bachelors degree either in the particular subject or in a subject related to what you want to teach. If you studied an undergraduate degree that is not closely related to your desired teaching specialism, you may be able to complete a subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) course to boost your familiarity of the discipline.
You will be required to hold the following qualifications:
- GCSE grade 4/ grade C in Maths
- GCSE grade 4/ grade C in English
- Primary teachers – GCSE grade 4/ grade C in Science
SCITT providers usually ask applicants to complete professional skills tests in literacy and numeracy (normally before your interview or as part of the conditions of your offer). You will also need to pass a DBS check.
Although not necessary, it is always favourable to gain some voluntary experience in a local school before starting/applying for a SCITT to observe and help teachers. As well as highlighting your motivation, it will help to give you an idea of what it’s actually like to work in a school.
What’s the application process like?
Applications for SCITT programmes are handled through the UCAS Teacher Training portal. After choosing your SCITT course and registering with UCAS, you will be required to write a personal statement and provide the contact details of two referees. You will also need to give information about your academic background and any work experience – especially anything that demonstrates your interest in working with children.
If your application is successful, you will be invited to attend an interview at a school. You may also be required to complete a set of tasks with other candidates and an aptitude test, however selection processes differ from SCITT to SCITT.
What to expect on a SCITT programme
It is important to note that no two SCITT programmes are the same and each one is designed specifically by the schools you will be working within. The course will normally reflect the priorities and specialisms of the SCITT itself.
You can expect SCITT programmes to share the following elements:
- Initial detailed training to give you a solid grounding in the fundamentals of teaching
- A full-time placement at one of the partnership schools
- A second full-time placement at a contrasting school
During your time on the SCITT you will have access to an established support network made up of dedicated mentors, tutors and fellow trainee teachers. You will also have access to ‘immersion’ days at schools with a strong background in areas like diversity and behaviour management.
Are SCITT courses paid?
No, SCITT programmes are non-salaried. However, many trainee teachers on these courses end up being employed by their placement schools after successfully completing the training. If you’re keen to earn a salary while training to become a teacher, you could apply for the School Direct salaried option.
Alternatively, i-teachers have a wide range of roles designed for graduates looking to step into the world of teaching!
i-teachers’ Step into Teaching Programme
At i-teachers, we aim to support you and allow you to explore teaching roles with our ‘Step into Teaching’ programme to support all graduate roles in education. Our experienced education consultants will place you in a paid teaching assistant position that is perfectly suited to your skill set, in a school that suits your personality. We believe that practical experience is invaluable and learning from teaching experts is key. On your ‘step into teaching’ programme you will get to experience the life of a teacher or teaching assistant, and truly impact the lives of pupils, whilst in a fully supportive environment. It is fantastic work experience both for your own personal development as well as for your CV, and you can earn whilst you learn!