Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding teacher training at HMC schools:

1. When will the next HMC teacher training posts be advertised?

A small number of vacancies tend to be advertised during November and early December, but the majority of opportunities are advertised between January and April, for an August / September start. Please register your interest to receive email updates when vacancies are advertised.

2. What salary will I receive?

The employing school will determine the salary for their training posts, and this may depend upon a number of factors such as your teaching load, regional variations in pay, and other benefits which may be available such as accommodation.

3. What are the entry requirements for trainees?

PGCE / QTS applicants will normally be expected to have a degree (or equivalent qualification) plus GCSE grade C or above in English and Mathematics and a good level of spoken and written English.  Trainees are also likely to be required to complete the DfE Professional Skills Tests. Employer schools will set out criteria and a job specification for each role advertised, which aspiring trainees will be expected to meet.  It is anticipated that criteria will include the requirement for trainees to demonstrate a strong motivation for teaching, and an excellent academic background.

4. Do I need to have any classroom teaching experience in order to apply?

Although there is no formal requirement do to so, it is recommended that you do spend some time in school prior to applying for posts in order to gain experience and to make sure that a career in teaching is definitely the route you wish to follow. Candidates without any teaching experience – in school or as a tutor, for example –  are likely to be at a disadvantage when they are required to teach at interview.

You may also find it useful to review our advice for applicants.

5. Can I start my training at any time during the academic year?

Posts will generally start in August / September each year, although in some cases schools may wish to take on trainees at another point in the school year.

6. What teaching qualification will I gain upon successful completion of my training?

Most schools will support their trainees to gain a PGCE with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), although in some cases a PGCE without QTS, or QTS only may be offered.

Broadly speaking, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is an academic qualification whereas the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) is a confirmation that an individual has been assessed as successfully meeting the DfE Teachers’ Standards.

Gaining QTS is helpful if you may wish to teach in the state sector in the future, whereas a PGCE tends to be the most important qualification if you may wish to teach overseas.


7. What type of institutions will provide the formal teacher training qualifications?

PGCE training and / or QTS assessment will be provided by high quality Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) or accredited training partnerships with a strong track record of working with trainee teachers in the independent sector.

8. Do I need to pay for my teacher training qualification?

Your employing school will cover the cost of whichever training / qualification route is appropriate.

9. Will I start working towards my formal teaching qualifications straight away?

You may start your formal training straight away, or depending on your initial level of experience and the employing school’s local training approach, some schools may suggest that you defer your formal training for a period of time (for example a year). This can help to lessen the workload in the first year, enabling new trainee teachers to focus on developing their classroom skills without the distraction of PGCE coursework. Those who spend a period of time teaching and learning from experienced colleagues prior to beginning their formal qualifications are also likely to be better prepared, reducing the required learning curve and potentially gaining more from the process as a result of their increased expertise.

Where formal training qualifications are deferred, they are likely to be funded subject to performance during the deferral period.

10. Will I be teaching a full timetable whilst training?

The number of lessons you teach each week is likely to increase over time, and typically be between 50-90% of a standard teaching timetable whilst you are training. This will vary depending on the timetabling requirements of individual schools and your experience level.

11. Can I train as a primary / prep school teacher?

The training opportunities are currently only available for secondary subject specialist teachers.

12. Will posts be full or part time?

All posts are likely to require a minimum of a 50% teaching timetable.

13. What happens if I need to leave or move away from my training school?

You will have a contract of employment with your school which sets out your terms and conditions and your rights, responsibilities and duties. If you wish to leave your school before the end of your contract, you will need to negotiate this with your school.

14. Do you provide visa sponsorship?

As trainees are employed directly by the schools in which they work, it is up to individual schools to decide whether they are able to offer visa sponsorship. It may be that some schools might consider visa sponsorship for extremely strong candidates in high demand subjects such as Mathematics and Physics.