Skip to content ↓

Training to Teach FAQs


What are the entry requirements?

Associate Teachers must have a UK undergraduate degree (or NARIC-verified equivalent) 2.2 or higher. 

For secondary applications this should be in a relevant subject with at least 50% content of the subject you wish to teach. 

All must have Grade C/4 or above in GCSE English and Maths with the same needed in Science for Primary. 

Associate Teachers may also have to pass Maths and English Equivalency tests, dependent on their qualifications.
Edge Hill University Equivalency Test
Equivalency Testing

Good standards of written and spoken English are also essential.

Do I need school experience?

It is desirable that applicants have suitable experience of working in a school setting, either on a voluntary or salaried basis, to confirm if teaching is a career for them. Such experience should include a range of year groups covering EYFS, KS1 and KS2 for Primary and KS3 and KS4 for Secondary.

The more experience an applicant can gain before applying for a place on the course, the greater the chance they will have of being successful as this will support their ability to give reflective examples at the interview stage.

You can gain experience through the School Experience Programme Portal

How do I develop my subject knowledge?

Not everyone feels confident in teaching every subject from the outset, for example, your degree might not be in your chosen subject but is closely related. As an Associate Teacher, you should identify parts of your subject knowledge you need to refresh or deepen. 

Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) courses are available, with a bursary, for English, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Computing, Biology, Geography and Design & Technology. 

We will also provide free access to our online learning platform which will tailor learning around your needs prior to you starting.

Your training sessions at School and University will also assist here, but you are also expected to fill in gaps in your subject knowledge autonomously in order to be confident and competent in teaching accurately.

See subject knowledge course providers

What is the interview process?

Following a successful application that meets our entry criteria, an interview will be arranged by Co-op Academies Trust which could be in person within a trust setting, or via an on-line platform.

The interview will include the following elements:

  • A short pupil-based activity where we ask you to prepare a lesson walk through to discuss with the interview panel.
  • A hidden task revealed during the interview
  • A written task to assess your written communication skills
  • A formal interview with staff from Co-op Academies Trust
  • The interview panel may include a Professional mentor, Director of Curriculum, Head of Department or SLE. 

Training with disabilities and other needs

It is the goal of Co-op Academies Trust to recruit people of outstanding potential, irrespective of their background or needs, and to ensure that the admission process is transparent, has minimal barriers to entry, is based on merit and potential, and is fair with regards to diversity.

Please contact us at if there is anything in particular you would like to discuss.

How do I become a Qualified Teacher?

The award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) is given based on how well you have met each of the Teacher Standards by the end of your ITT Year.

Trainee teacher development is supported during the ITT year through training, classroom experience, professional dialogue and self-reflection. Trainees are not asked to create evidence files as we believe, over the course of the programme, trainee teachers will naturally acquire evidence of their development from a range of sources to substantiate each of the standards. Our approach to evidence gathering is designed to reduce workload and to be meaningful to the trainee. 

Gaining Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)  allows you to teach in the UK or abroad.

How am I assessed?

Trainee teacher progress is monitored very closely and regularly assessed against our ITT Curriculum. A Weekly Progress Review with your mentor is a time for each trainee teacher to reflect on their progress across the week. We ask trainees to lead the conversation with a reflection on what they have learnt in their centre-based learning and how they have explored and applied this knowledge within the classroom. 

This is followed by the Mentor’s comments on trainee progress and pupil learning. Targets are reviewed, set each week and should align with the ITT Curriculum so that the trainee can apply their learning. These are set each week – this should be a shared process.

Your teaching will be observed by your school-based mentor and during each placement you will also have at least one joint observation with your professional mentor and one joint observation with the programme Lead. These are the people who will be available to support and mentor you throughout your training.

Throughout each placement you will complete interim and final reviews alongside your mentor to report on your progress against the core development areas of the ITT Curriculum.

For the PGCE element of this programme, you will attend 8 days of training at The University of Manchester and have full access to all facilities. The programme comprises four course units, and an ethical approval process in preparation for conducting an enquiry. Each course unit is worth 15 credits, giving a total of 60 credits at postgraduate Master’s level. 

The course unit titles are as follows: 

  • Reflecting on Practice
  • Teaching, Learning and Assessment
  • Enquiry Based Practice 1
  • Enquiry Based Practice 2