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Thinking about Teaching

Become a great teacher with Ark Teacher Training

Great teaching changes lives. That's why we want to make sure every child has a great teacher. We're looking for the best – both graduates and career switchers – to join our programme and train to teach with us. Ark Teacher Training is part of School Direct – this means you'll spend one year training in one of our 35 schools, before qualifying as a teacher. It's the perfect start to a successful and rewarding teaching career.

You can make a real difference. Lots of our schools are in areas facing social and economic challenges – so you can have an impact from day one.

It's the perfect balance of theory and classroom practice. You're in the classroom from day one, but we won't drop you in the deep end. You'll receive strong theoretical foundations and plenty of practical experience.

You’ll be supported by the best people in the profession. From your coach helping you on a daily basis in school, to education experts and tutors delivering regular sessions, everyone is here to help you succeed.

You'll graduate with QTS and a PGCE. While some programmes give you Qualified Teacher Status, ours gives you a PGCE too.

We want you to stay and teach with us after your first year. We'll help you find a place at the school you train at or somewhere else in our network; in fact, all the trainees on this year's programme have been offered a permanent teaching role in the network. What's more, we'll develop your career over the long term, with a wide range of programmes and bespoke training.

Common Questions

WILL I GET PAID ON THE PROGRAMME? IF SO, HOW MUCH?

We offer both salaries and bursaries as part of our programme.

To qualify for a salary, we would prefer you to have worked for at least three years. You also need a 2:1 or above at degree level. We would pay you based on the Unqualified Teacher Scale, and your school will pay for your tuition fees.  The Unqualified Teacher Scale is set by the Department for Education – the exact amount would depend on the school you work in, the location of that school, and the kind of work you have already done before.

If we can't give you a salary, you could still qualify for a government bursary to help you with your tuition fees and cost of living. The amount depends on the kind of degree you have, the subject you teach, and whether you're teaching at primary or secondary level – it could be anything up to £25,000.

WHERE WILL I BE BASED?

If we asked you to come in for an assessment, we would talk to you about which ARK school you'd like to work in. Then, if you gain a place on the programme, we would agree a school with you based on the number of places available. Although we can't promise that there will be a space available at your first choice school, we would not force you to work in a school or area that you don't want to work in.

WHAT WILL THE TRAINING LOOK LIKE?

It’s the perfect balance of theory and practice. As well as giving you strong theoretical foundations, we give you loads of practical experience and expert support. This gives you solid foundations on which to build your career. You'll be in the classroom from day one, so once you've learned something new, you can put it into practice the very next day.

We won’t drop you in the deep end. We give you a huge support network: coaches and tutors support you as you work inside your own school. On top of this, you have weekly training with other trainees across the network, and every three weeks you'll have subject specific training with specialists.

WHAT WILL I LEARN IN MY WEEKLY TRAINING SESSIONS?

The weekly training sessions cover a variety of topics, from creating objective-driven lessons to managing the emotional charge of the classroom. For full details, please see our secondary programme.

AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THE PROGRAMME?

In terms of academic qualifications, you need a 2:1 or above at degree level from a UK Higher Education institution, or an equivalent qualification. Also, in terms of your GCSEs, you need at least a C in English, maths and, if you want to teach at primary level, science. We might consider taking you if you have a 2:2 if you can demonstrate a real aptitude for teaching - but we might ask you to complete a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course to really hone your understanding of your subject.

You also need to show us that you’ve tried to work with young people in another capacity. You must be a UK or EU national to qualify for any government funding (i.e. a bursary or salaried position).

I'M NOT A RECENT GRADUATE – CAN I STILL APPLY?

Yes – we're looking for the best, both graduates and career-switchers. We want the brightest and best people for our children. That doesn't just mean graduates – it means career-switchers too. Our current trainees have been nurses, soldiers, lawyers and doctors, and can bring their skills and experience into the classroom.

I'VE ALREADY DONE A TEACHER TRAINING COURSE - CAN I STILL APPLY?

If you have already trained and achieved Qualified Teacher Status, you don’t need to train again. We're only looking for people who haven't yet achieved Qualified Teacher Status. If you are already qualified and are interested in working for ARK Schools, have a look at our careers page to see if we have any vacancies that suit you.

WHAT IS SCHOOL DIRECT?

School Direct is the name of the government programme which enables schools to select and train their own teachers. Trainees spend one year learning on the job, with regular support. As part of our programme you also gain a PGCE. You can find out more on the DFE website.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I’M SHORTLISTED?

If you're shortlisted, we'll give you a date for your round 1 assessment. This assessment will include a written exercise, a panel interview, a group activity and a presentation on a subject of your choice.

If you're successful at round 1, we will invite you for a round 2 assessment. This will be in one of our schools, and will involve some interaction with students as well as a final interview. After that, we'll let you know whether you've won a place on the programme – we will finalise our decision through UCAS too.

In some cases there will be a single assessment process, when all of the activities will be completed on one day.

WHEN DO APPLICATIONS CLOSE?

There is no set date. We have a set number of positions available in our schools and we will keep the applications open until all the places are full. We hope to have filled most of our places for 2014-15 as soon as possible, so get your application in early! If you're interested in applying for 2015-16 then you can send us a CV and we will get back to you when we start looking for people for next year.

IF I'M SELECTED, WHEN WOULD I START?

You’d start your training in September 2014, but there will be several days of induction and training in the late summer too.

CAN I DEFER FOR A YEAR?

Unfortunately, no. We can only take on trainees who are ready to start their training next year. However, we would love to talk to you about your career path and how to make a strong application when you're ready to apply.

IF I'M NOT ACCEPTED FIRST TIME ROUND, CAN I APPLY AGAIN?

Absolutely. For some candidates who aren't accepted this time round, it might be helpful to go and spend some time getting more work experience before trying again.

I HAVE A DISABILITY. HOW WILL YOU SUPPORT ME?

We want to make sure that our training programme is open to everybody, so if you do have a disability we will do everything we reasonably can to make special arrangements. If you would like us to do so at the interview stage, please provide details on your application form. This will in no way affect your application.

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE END OF THE YEAR WHEN MY TRAINING IS FINISHED?

Having spent a year in an ARK school, you'll be in a great place to secure a job in our network. We support any candidates who successfully complete the course and meet our requirements for a beginner teacher to find a job with us. We want you to stay and teach in the school you trained at or another school in the network. In our first year, all the trainees on our programme were offered a permanent teaching role in the network.

We see this programme as the first step in a career with us. As a network we offer training for teachers at every stage in their career, and we can support you from qualifying as a teacher to leading your own school. 

WHO DO I CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION?

If you have any questions that we haven't been able to answer in these FAQs, please contact us on:

Let us know your preferred subject and any observational experience in school you may have and we will get back to you as soon as we can.