Selection Process

What are we looking for

Motivation and commitment
Evidence of thought about transition into teaching. Some grasp of the realities of teaching in a comprehensive setting. Is motivation obvious? Believable? Realistic? Good candidates must be realistic about what modern schools are like, and they should understand the value of education in building successful lives and be committed to opportunity for all. Teaching is rarely black and white and good candidates need to show that they are flexible, adaptable and compassionate.

Personal Qualities
Does the candidate display warmth, positivity and enthusiasm? Are they approachable and encouraging? Does it appear that they would be able, with suitable training, to control behaviour?

Intellectual qualities
Is the candidate reflective and analytical? This may be shown in their reflection on the micro teaching episode but may also be an evaluation of their own education or professional background.

Subject Knowledge
Does the candidate have suitable subject knowledge? Are there gaps in their subject knowledge? What plans have they made to address this? Do they have the ability to translate undergraduate or post graduate subject knowledge into accessible language for students?

Understanding the Nature of Teaching
How much do they know about the subject they are planning to teach? Are they aware of the difference between subject knowledge and subject pedagogy – including some idea about relating knowledge to lower attaining pupils, or managing mixed ability classes? Do they understand the potential difficulties many pupils have with their subject? Have they got experience of, or ideas about, how to deconstruct their subject knowledge and scaffold it for pupils?

Experiences of learning / working with children.
Has this candidate worked in schools? If so, what have they learned? If not, have they observed in schools recently? How has this affected their thinking about a career as a teacher? Better candidates will be able to discuss the realities of life in a comprehensive school and how they feel they could make a difference and become an outstanding teacher. If this hasn’t been possible, how does their career history help? What skills can they bring to teaching?

Is the candidate convincing that this is a career choice? Does it appear that the candidate has the required motives, skills and attitude to be a successful teacher?

The Selection Process and Interview

In your application, you need to clearly demonstrate how you meet our person specification, as detailed in the ‘Entry Criteria’, and ‘What are we looking for?’ sections on our website and DfE entry profile guide. If your application is shortlisted, you will be invited for an online interview. This is a rigorous and thorough process, designed to get the best match of applicant to the places available.

This will consist of a panel interview, delivery of a short presentation and completion of some written tasks (including Maths and English).

If you are successful at interview, a conditional offer of a place will be made. The conditions will include providing proof that you have met the eligibility conditions for Initial Teacher Training, including a range of safeguarding requirement [such as a criminal record check (DBS) and an occupational health assessment]. Further conditions may be discussed with you at interview.

If you accept the offer of a place, you will be required to attend an induction session and complete a Needs Audit. You may also be asked to complete a subject knowledge enhancement course as a condition of entry. Trainees are required to have fundamental Maths and English skills. We will assess these skills prior to the start of the course, and any trainees who need further development will be expected to work through a development programme whilst on the course.

Interviews / Selection Days

A typical interview / selection day will consist of:

  • panel interview;
  • a micro teaching element (currently for this you will be asked to plan a short teaching activity which you will present to the panel during your interview);
  • a written task;
  • a basic numeracy diagnostic test.

Further details will be sent to applicants when invited for interview. (NB currently the interview process is adjusted to a video interview format.)

For practical reasons, whether you apply to CTSN SCITT through one, two or three Teaching School Alliances (TSAs), there will be only one interview/selection day.  Each TSA will try to send a representative to the interview/selection day, although in practice the various TSAs work together closely that they are often happy to take one another’s recommendations.  There will always be someone from CTSN SCITT at each selection day.

If you are applying for a salaried route, then you would need to be approved for BOTH the training programme AND the employing school.  We would try to organise both of these interviews on the same day, but there might need to be an additional interview at the employing school. (NB if you are looking for a Primary salaried route, then you would need to find an employing school before applying to CTSN.)

We are now recruiting for two training hubs – in Cambridge and in Bury St Edmunds.  Applicants might be offered an interview in either Cambridge or Bury.  However, if you are interviewed in Cambridge, you might still choose to base your core training in Bury, or vice versa.