Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding HMC Teacher Training:

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 HMCTT 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 who want to join HMC Teacher Training?

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 by HMC Teacher Training, 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 HMCTT 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?

HMCTT 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?

This will be decided by the recruiting school. Some schools may offer a school-based PGCE, others may support you to gain Qualified Teacher Status, and in some cases you may undertake a PGCE with Qualified Teacher Status included.

7. What are the differences between the different teaching qualifications available?

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. A PGCE (with or without QTS) typically takes an academic year to complete, whereas a QTS ‘assessment only’ process may take approximately 12 weeks.

QTS is currently required to teach in a local authority maintained school in England, whereas academies and independent schools are able to employ teachers without QTS or a PGCE if they wish. Approximately two thirds of state funded secondary schools are already academies, and so are free to employ teachers regardless of their qualification type. The number of state funded academies is likely to increase under current government policy.

In March 2016 the Educational Excellence Everywhere white paper announced proposed changes relating to QTS. The white paper states that QTS will be replaced by a new more challenging accreditation which ‘will only be achieved after teachers have demonstrated their proficiency – including the strength of their subject knowledge – over a sustained period in the classroom.’

What this all means is that, as things stand, whether you gain a PGCE, QTS or both qualifications, then independent schools and an increasing majority of state-funded secondary schools in England will recognise and understand your qualifications. Your effectiveness in the classroom is likely to be a far greater consideration for schools if you wish to apply for teaching posts in different schools in the future, and it is perfectly possible to undertake a PGCE or gain QTS at a later date as additional qualifications if required.

8. 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.

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

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

10. 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.

11. 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.

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

HMC Teacher Training is currently only available for secondary subject specialist teachers.

13. Will posts be full or part time?

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

14. 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.

15. 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.