Routes to teaching

There are several routes to suit individuals motivated to teach. Whatever route you choose you will have a lively schedule with a lot of teaching experience.

All candidates need to undertake Initial Teacher Training (ITT) to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). You will need to meet the basic entry requirements:

  • GCSE Maths grade C (4) or above (or equivalent)
  • GCSE English grade C (4) or above (or equivalent)
  • GCSE Science grade C (4) or above (or equivalent) - for those applying for primary teaching only

School-based routes with School Direct

A school-based route may be for you if you want:

  • more time training in the classroom
  • to put theory into practice
  • to gain confidence through increased contact in a school environment

A school-based route is available to candidates holding a good degree.

School Direct is available in primary and secondary schools in Bracknell Forest. The programme lasts for 1 year.

When completed most trainees will be offered employment in either their host school or one of our partnership schools.

Successful completion of a School Direct course will lead to the award of QTS and may also include a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) including credits at Masters level.

School Direct options

There are 2 separate School Direct training options. The training you receive will be the same, but funding and expectations are different.

School Direct training programme

This is available to high-quality graduates. You will be a student for the year and may be able to apply for student loans. Trainees may also be eligible for a tax-free bursary or scholarship of up to £29,000.

If you follow this route, you may also be eligible for early career payments or the reimbursement of any student loan repayment, dependent on the subject and age range you wish to teach.

When you complete your training and start your first job, it’s helpful to know Bracknell Forest are in the pilot scheme for the student loan and early career payments government initiatives. We therefore pay the highest in the Thames Valley area. As trainees often find employment with their training provider you may wish to consider this when choosing where to do your training.

School Direct training programme (salaried)

This is an employment-based route available to high-quality graduates who have been working for at least 3 years. This does not have to have been a role within education.

This route allows you to earn a salary while you train, and you will be employed as an unqualified teacher. Bracknell Forest are in the London fringe payment area, so pay more than some neighbouring authorities.

Once you have gained QTS, if you remain employed in a Bracknell Forest school for certain secondary shortage subjects, you are eligible to receive a refund of your student loan repayments for up to 10 years.

The salaried School Direct training programme is currently only available to Primary candidates.

Visit the Department for Education website for further details.

School Direct in Bracknell Forest

Primary School Direct training

The Forest Learning Alliance School Direct Partnership have primary training places for potential teachers within Bracknell Forest co-educational primary schools.

Secondary School Direct training

The Bracknell Forest School Partnership comprises all Bracknell Forest’s secondary schools, a special school and a pupil referral unit.

The partnership offers suitable candidates the opportunity to complete the School Direct training programme within the small, friendly and successful local authority of Bracknell Forest.

Your degree should be in the subject you wish to teach. Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) courses are available in several subjects should you need to develop your subject knowledge.

Training places are currently available in the following subjects:

  • Art and Design
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computing
  • Design and Technology
  • Drama
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Languages
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
  • Physics with Mathematics
  • Religious Education

For more information email

How to apply

Application for entry is through the DfE Education and Learning site.

Applicants will be able to apply for a maximum of 3 teacher training programme places in the first round. For the School Direct route, you apply to the partnership where you wish to train, rather than to a specific school.

Visit the student finance pages on GOV.UK to find out about the level of funding available and to apply for a tuition fee loan.

Bracknell Forest works with the University of Reading to deliver the School Direct programme. The university runs information evenings each month for interested candidates.

Find more information on the programmes and Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses.

Assessment only route to Qualified Teacher Status

If you have experience of teaching in the UK or overseas but do not hold a UK teaching qualification, the assessment only route could be the perfect option for you.

As an experienced teacher you can gain Qualified Teacher Status or Early Years Teacher Status without further training. This route is only available to teachers who:

  • have substantial experience of teaching in either the public or private sector
  • are employed as an unqualified teacher but do not already have Qualified Teacher Status or Early Years Teacher Status
  • have a degree and GCSE maths and English (and science if teaching primary)

Bracknell Forest partner with the University of Reading.

Straight to teaching

This is an online and in-school programme with an assessment route aimed at suitable school staff (such as unqualified teachers, high level teaching assistants or teaching assistants) with a degree, who want to become fully qualified teachers.

The programme supports and prepares them to meet the Teachers’ Standards and provides the opportunity to be independently assessed and awarded QTS.

This course is offered by the TES.

Teaching assistants to teachers

This course attracts teaching assistants and others working in the primary sector who would like to consider a foundation degree to build knowledge and experience through study.

There is an opportunity to progress to either a:

  • BA (Hons) in Primary Education – Work-based Route (one year of study)
  • BA (Hons) in Primary Education – Work-based Route with QTS (two years of study)

Our local provider is St Mary’s University in Twickenham.

University-based routes

Both postgraduate and undergraduate courses are available at the University of Reading.

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

If you have a degree and wish to train as a secondary or primary school teacher then this route may be suitable. A PGCE course focuses on developing your teaching skills. Many courses may also provide support for the development of your subject knowledge.

The course involves lectures, seminars and other taught sessions at the university plus teaching placements in school. Dedicated subject knowledge enhancement courses may be available in some secondary subjects before embarking on the course.

Undergraduate Initial Teacher Training courses

If you do not have an undergraduate degree, you can complete a Bachelor of Education (BEd), Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc) with qualified teacher status course. This allows you to study for a degree and complete your initial teacher training at the same time. The course is usually 3 to 4 years.

Contact information

School Recruitment Team