Sara Smith offers tips for completing your application.
Getting your references ready
You'll need two references for your application.There are some guidelines about who your referees can be, depending on your circumstances:
- If you're currently at university, or you got your degree within the last five years, one reference must be from someone at your university who can make comments about your academic ability. This could be a tutor or head of department.
- Your second reference can be from someone who you know from work, or who can provide an insight into your character and potential – but you must not use family or friends as referees.
- If you left university more than five years ago, you can choose two professional referees who can comment on your suitability for teaching.
- If you're applying for a School Direct (salaried) course, one of your references must be from an employer.
Writing your statements
The main written parts of the application are your personal statement and your school and work experience statement. Within these, it's a good idea to cover these key points:
- Explain why you will enjoy teaching – and, more specifically, why you will enjoy teaching your chosen subject and/or age group.What qualities do you have that will work well in the classroom?
- Emphasise the relevance of your previous studies and any work experience to your chosen subject or age group. Make sure you give examples of what you have learnt from your experience, and how it will have a positive effect on your teaching.
- Include examples from your school experience and any other experience that you may have of working with children, perhaps as a classroom assistant, youth worker, or as a volunteer in a school. If you don't have any experience, it's worth getting some before you apply – it really strengthens your application.
- Provide plenty of evidence of your skills and qualities. Communication and motivation are important skills for teachers, so offer examples of times when you have successfully used such skills.
You only have a limited amount of space, so remember to organise your information clearly. You can use our interactive application form assistant as a step-by-step guide to writing both your personal statement, and school and work experience statement.
The application process
There are two stages to the application process: 'Apply 1' and 'Apply 2'. The Apply 1 phase is open until 15 September 2014 – the deadline to submit your application to all three of your chosen courses. After this date, if you haven't been successful, or taken up an offer in Apply 1, you can enter Apply 2 and apply directly to schools and universities until 10 October 2014.
Once you've found a course you want to apply to, it's a good idea to speak to the school or university before submitting your application to ensure the vacancy is still available and to find out more about their recruitment process during annual school holidays.
Submitting your application
When you're ready to apply, you can submit your application online via UCAS Teacher Training
Once you've applied, you won't be able to change or edit your personal statement. If there is any further information that you would like to make your chosen institutions aware of, you should contact them directly with your full name and personal ID (which is supplied during the application process). Please don't send any additional information to UCAS Teacher Training as it won't be added to your application.
You'll be told within 40 days whether you've been successful or not. If you're successful, you'll be invitied for an interview; our tips on what to expect may come in handy for this. Once you have a decision from all of your chosen courses, you have 10 days to decide which offer, if any, you want to accept. You can do this via Track on the UCAS website.
You can find more useful tips and information on the UCAS website
Undergraduate teacher training applications
Undergraduates apply to teacher training courses using a different process on the UCAS website