All applicants to the School Direct courses in Primary Education must hold a degree from a UK Higher Education Institution. Normally, this should be a 2:1 or above (and this will be a condition of any offer where the degree is not already awarded) but we also consider applicants with a 2:2 degree who have a strong overall profile.
Candidates have to also:
- have a GCSE in Maths, English (grade 4 or above), or an equivalent qualification which must be attained prior to making an application. GCSE Science (Grade 4) must be attained as a condition of entry, where this has not already been obtained. If you are offering a qualification other than a GCSE please check with us before making an application.
- have passed Professional Skills Tests in numeracy and literacy by the date stated in any offer; please see the Professional Skills Tests sectionof the Department for Education web site for more information on the core skills required by trainee teachers. The University of Birmingham has produced a resource list which you may find helpful.
- complete an enhanced Disability and Barring Service (DBS) check.
- complete relevant checks to ensure you have the health and physical capacity to teach.
- agree to abide by the University of Birmingham Code of Professional Conduct and Fitness to Practise.
Please note that for the Primary and Early Years initial teacher education courses at the University of Birmingham we prefer applicants to have passed the Skills tests prior to attending an interview.
If you studied outside the UK, you should visit the National Academic Recognition Centre (NARIC) website to find out whether your qualifications are of an equivalent level to UK GCSEs, A levels and an undergraduate degree.
For up to date information on this visit the National College for Teaching and Leadership website and specifically its Eligibility information
How we select our students
Application forms are considered by both the university and the individual school(s) involved. At application we are looking for evidence that the candidate is on a trajectory to meeting the characteristics listed in ‘What we are looking for’ (see below)
The application will clearly list the qualifications required and additional qualifications and experience relevant to training to teach. It will include references that are appropriate and allow us to obtain recent, relevant and appropriate professional perspective on you as a potential teacher.
The personal statement of a successful applicant will demonstrate commitment to teaching and understanding of what good teaching and learning is about. It will include something of your own aspirations and vision for your career and will pull on recent and relevant experience (paid or voluntary) in appropriate settings. Experience in a primary school may be set as a condition following interview. For those on the School Direct Salaried route, you must have sufficient teaching experience in school to undertake up to ten hours per week of unsupervised teaching during the training year.
All successful applicants are interviewed and this will normally take place in the School Direct school. The University and the school jointly design and manage the interview process with the school leading the process. Applicants that demonstrate professionalism, commitment, a realistic understanding of the pressures of the course and the profession, an awareness of the school in which they are intending to train, creativity, organisational skills and a clear recognition of the need to synthesise practical and academic learning through refection are most likely to succeed.
What we are looking for
Successful University of Birmingham School Direct students will be those that:
- Have a clear, questioning and reflective understanding of schools in England and of what good teaching involves
- Recognise that the job of the teacher is first and foremost that of teaching and that the understanding of the pedagogy of teaching and learning is fundamentally essential
- Have a solid knowledge of their subject(s) and are always committed to further developing this knowledge base
- Have gained practical experience in appropriate school contexts prior to applying for their course
- Understand that the training year, just like the job itself, is demanding in time and effort, and that it will involve some travel and will involve balancing academic study with substantial time spent in school
- Are committed to the education of all children, whatever their educational need and background
- Can work in teams, often under pressure, and can work with a range of other professionals
- Are well organised and able to plan for the blend of academic and professional learning that the programme requires
- Are able to reflect on their own experiences and apply learning to future actions
- Have a commitment to their own career development