There are now a number of routes into teaching and trying to choose the one that is right for you can seem like a minefield.

It is important that you understand the differences between them as there is much information on official promotional material that the publisher has sadly chosen to omit! Often this is essential information that allows the applicant the opportunity to make an informed decision on which route is right for them so that they are fully aware of the challenges that face them in their training year and beyond.

Medway Valley Training Partnership is dedicated to promoting the School Direct route into teaching and our own training places and, as a collaboration of schools, we have our reasons for that. However, we at MVTP also recognise that we have a responsibility to not just attract potentially good and outstanding teachers into the profession, but to give them a training experience that keeps them there, whatever their chosen route into teaching. All too often the wrong impression of teaching is given purely because the training route taken was not right for the trainee. Consequently, I have listed the main routes into teaching and provided an explanation of the similarities and differences between them so you are able to make this informed choice. Please remember that the information given while accurate at the time of posting, should be checked by further research through reading official websites and/ or speaking to the providers concerned.

There are two main post graduate strands: The traditional University-led PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) and the School- Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) now recognised as the School Direct route. Added to this. there are now Teach First, Troops to Teachers, Researchers in Schools and recently Return to Teaching.routes available.

The traditional University PGCE course is the more “ACADEMIC” route into teaching whilst the School Direct, Teach First, Troops to Teaching and Researchers into Teaching follow a more “PRACTICAL” one. All courses have the opportunity to study for a full PGCE qualification, although some routes will give Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and require you to undertake a top-up PGCE qualification should you wish it. Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) is a recognised qualification throughout England and Wales and allows exactly the same access to leadership positions, including Headteacher as those with a PGCE. Where PGCE could have an advantage is if you decide that you wish to teach abroad at some stage or if you wish to take a Masters degree for which the PGCE can count as credits towards that qualification.

Please look at University v School Direct (non-salaried) for a comparison of self-funded courses.

Please look at School Direct (salaried) v Teach First for a comparison of courses attracting a salary while you train.

Please look at Troops to Teachers and Researcher in Schools for other alternative routes,

Please look at the government website for Return to Teaching as that is a route available only to qualified teachers and beyond the scope of this website,


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