The skills you need

Please get in touch if you have evidence of:

  • a degree in a relevant subject (2(ii) or above)
  • GCSEs in English Language and Mathematics at C or Grade 4 or above
  • An A-Level or standard equivalent (normally grade B or above) in the subject you intend to teach or in a relevant subject
  • Recent and relevant experience of working with young people (either in a secondary school or in the community). If you need support with this after application we can help you gain experience
  • Your competency in fundamental English and Maths. We will make an assessment of fundamental English and Mathematics knowledge and skills during our selection process.
  • A commitment to career in teaching
  • Effective communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • An ability to relate to and engage with young people
  • Strong subject knowledge. Don’t worry if you completed your degree a few years ago and feel that you need a refresher course in some subject areas. Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) courses are available to top up your subject knowledge (see below).
  • Knowledge of issues linked to secondary education
  • An ability to work effectively as part of a group
  • An ability to use initiative

Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE)

Don’t hold back from applying for teacher training due to your subject confidence – if necessary, you can top up your subject knowledge before you start your course and we can direct you to resources that will help.

You can also complete an SKE course, which are usually available for subjects where there is a particular demand for teachers.

We will work with you to identify your need for an SKE as part of our selection process, usually at interview. If we feel you need to enhance your knowledge, but have potential to be a great teacher, we’ll offer you a teacher training place on the condition that you complete the most appropriate SKE course.

We strongly recommend all SKE courses are completed before your teacher training commences. They are available to study full-time or part-time, classroom-based or online.

TES Institute run several online courses > Full directory of courses

Book SKE course

Book an online TES course here

Your interview

When we receive your application from Apply, it will be reviewed by the Subject Head of Department and the School Lead.  If you have the required qualifications and we would like to progress your application, we will invite you to visit the school for an interview. We will provide you with an interview guidance booklet which will give you more information about the process but here is an overview of the process and the purpose of each activity:

All candidates will complete a written task. The purpose of the written task is to review the following:

  • your grammar, spelling and punctuation;
  • your ability to articulate points clearly;
  • the extent to which you have addressed all aspects of the question.

All candidates will plan and deliver a 20-minute session to a group of KS3 pupils on a pre-prepared topic. This will be observed by some members of the interview panel. The purpose of this task is to review the following:

  • your confidence;
  • your clarity of speech;
  • your positive demeanour;
  • your effective communication skills;
  • your enthusiasm;
  • your ability to get on with people;
  • your genuine liking for and understanding of children;

There will also be a 20-minute formal interview. Information collated from the written task, students’ feedback and the taught session together with your application references will be utilised to support the interview. The interview panel will consist of a number of staff from across TCAT including a Subject Lead.

The purpose of these tasks is to review the following;

Your Strong Subject Knowledge

You will be expected to demonstrate to the interview panel that you have a good understanding of the knowledge, concepts and skills of your curriculum area and that you have the capacity to articulate your understanding of the same.  The panel will expect you to demonstrate an enthusiasm and interest for your subject and, if possible, experience and understanding of how your subject is taught in the Secondary classroom.

Your reflection and analysis of prior experience in a secondary school (if applicable) and the ability to relate to and engage with young people

If you have had the opportunity to observe lessons in a Secondary School, the panel will expect you to be able to describe and analyse the range of experience gained in relation to working with children and young people.  If you have planned further experiences in schools, you must ensure that that the interviewers are aware of this.

Your knowledge of issues linked to secondary education

The interview panel will expect you to demonstrate your awareness of current educational issues.  These might include, for example, the National Curriculum, the place of your subject within the curriculum, the nature of your subject at 11-16, the testing of pupil attainment, changes to the post-sixteen curriculum and educational inclusion.

Your commitment to a career in teaching

You will be expected to have well thought out ideas on why you wish to enter teaching and, in addition, to show an awareness of the work of the contemporary Secondary school.

Your personal characteristics including flexibility, independence and resilience and excellent interpersonal skills

You will be expected to demonstrate this throughout the whole recruitment and selection process but we would expect you to be able to share examples of where you have had to demonstrate this.

Your leadership potential 

You will be expected to provide an example of when you have demonstrated leadership and what you learned from this experience about yourself and your leadership style.

Your effective communication skills

The ability to communicate clearly and grammatically in spoken and written Standard English will be explored throughout the whole interview process and the written task completed on the day.