How we select our trainees

There is a two stage process for the School Direct course.

The University of Nottingham screens your application and decides whether to offer you an interview. If you are offered an interview this will be at the University’s School of Education on the Jubilee Campus. If you are successful at this interview you are then interviewed by us. If successful at this stage you will then be allocated a placement school. This is not necessarily the lead school.


Your application

Your UCAS-TT application form is looked at very carefully. In particular, at the first screening stage the University is interested in your personal statement, your qualifications and your experience.

Use the personal statement to convince us that you genuinely want to teach and will make a good teacher. Make sure that you have given us a clear indication of the subject content of your degree. We will also look at whether you have taken care to present your application form professionally.

On the basis of our consideration of your application form, and the academic references that accompany it, the University decides whether to invite you for an interview.


Your interview

When you come for a School Direct interview at the University, there are likely to be other applicants being interviewed alongside you. We are keen to see that you can work collaboratively with others. The criteria we will use at interview to decide whether or not we offer you a place on the course are:

– an awareness of current educational issues;

– a realistic and positive view of schools and schooling;

– an open and enquiring mind;

– clear reasons for wanting to teach at the level for which you have applied;

– motivation and commitment to teaching pupils of all levels of ability;

– maturity and self confidence;

– an appropriate level of subject knowledge in your chosen subject for secondary applicants.

You will be interviewed by staff from The School of Education.  You may be asked to carry out certain tasks that allow you to demonstrate your knowledge and skills, individually or in groups. The letter of invitation will give you details about specific requirements or expectations.


What happens next?

We then interview you in school. This will include an interview with the Headteacher, Head of Faculty or Department and the School Direct Mentor or Coordinator.  You will have an opportunity to tour the school, meet with members of your respective faculty and observe our students at work.  Whilst we are looking for the right people to work with us, the interview is also an opportunity to see if you feel the Joseph Whitaker School is the right environment for you to develop your teaching skills in.

We will inform you of our decision as soon as possible after your interview. If you are given a conditional offer of a place on the School Direct course, you will receive a pack of information from the University describing the steps you should take next. The conditional offer will become unconditional when we have received your acceptance and all the necessary clearances and documentation.

We know this is a rigorous and thorough process but we and you need to be sure that teaching is for you!


Fees and Funding

For more information please contact UCAS or The University of Nottingham.


After the Course

Most of the trainees who train on University of Nottingham courses go on to teach in the East Midlands region and many gain posts in the schools in which they have completed their training.  The Joseph Whitaker School have employed many of the School Direct and PGCE students we have helped to train at the end of their course.

All trainees and students on the University of Nottingham ITE courses automatically receive a conditional offer on the MA in Education and many go on to become mentors in the partnership.