Teaching is one of the most rewarding careers available. Not only will you have the opportunity to make a long lasting, positive impact on the lives of your students, you’ll be able to see the results of your hard work first hand as your students learn and develop.

There are thousands of fantastic budding teachers out there, waiting to begin their journeys in education. Each and every one of them has the potential to positively change the lives of hundreds of students but many will be put off before they start by the myths that surround teacher training.

Here at Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) we want to bust these myths and help you become the educator you were born to be. Our Enquiries Team have collected some of the most common queries and questions they experience in the hope that more people will realise there are no reasons not to get started.

“I have unlimited attempts at the skills tests”

TRUE – The Department for Education recently made changes to the amount of times you can attempt a skills test. You now have unlimited attempts and your first three attempts are free.

“I can do my skills tests whilst on the course” 

FALSE – This is one of the biggest teacher training myths and it is important that you do not leave your skills tests to the last minute! Both the QTS literacy and numeracy skills tests need to be successfully passed before you can enrol onto your teacher training course.

“My friend told me that BGU offer free skills test support sessions if we are struggling to pass the skills tests” 

TRUE – This is true! BGU offer FREE skills test support sessions in both Literacy and Numeracy from January-June. We offer two sessions per subject and we encourage you to book onto both session one and two to make the most out of the sessions. Session one is a hints and tips session and in session two, resources will be bought along that you can work on. Click here to book your place!*

*The list of workshops available are listed under ‘Teacher Training Courses’. You must have applied or have secured a place to study a teacher training course at BGU to be able to attend these workshops.   

“I don’t have to do the skills tests because I have GCSEs in English and Maths”

FALSE – GCSEs and QTS Professional Skills Tests are very different conditions, and you are required to have successfully passed all of these to enrol onto a course leading to QTS. You will also need to have a GCSE in Science at grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent) to enrol onto a course that recommends you to teach at Primary level.

“There are no skills test slots available near me”

FALSE – The earlier you book your QTS skills tests the more options you will have in terms of available slots and test centres that are close to you. As the QTS skills tests now allow you to have unlimited attempts, the test centres become full quickly. Leaving your skills tests too late may mean travelling a significant distance to take the tests. Some of our applicants have had to travel as far as Scotland to take the tests so please be mindful of this!

“BGU will find my placement schools for me” 

TRUE – BGU differs from other Universities as our Placement Services Team will find your placements for you whilst you are on the course so that you don’t have to!

“PGCE courses don’t cover specialist subjects”

FALSE – BGU’s wide variety of PGCE courses cover a range of subjects including Computer Studies, Classics & Latin, and Foreign Languages meaning you specialise in an area you’re passionate about. Whichever pathway you follow you’ll still receive the same high quality level of training and support to make you a fantastic teacher.

“A PGCE course is the only way to become a qualified teacher”

FALSE – While a PGCE course is the most commonly recognised way of becoming a qualified teacher, other options are available at BGU. Our BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS course is a three year undergraduate degree that, when successfully completed, provides graduates with a recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). This means you can receive the industry recognised teaching standard a whole year earlier than normal. Alternatively, if you have completed a relevant Foundation Degree, you can take our BA (Hons) Primary Teaching Studies with QTS progression route. This 15 month course will enable you to bump your FdA up to a full BA qualification and provide you with QTS as well.

I’m worried that teacher training courses are intense and I won’t have any support”

FALSE – As BGU are teaching training specialists we have our very own dedicated collection of teaching resources located in our library (The Cornerstone Building) designed to help you whilst completing a teacher training course. The collection boasts over 20,000 physical resources for children at both Primary and Secondary level.

Our helpful Student Advice Team are also on hand both before and after you start the course to support you through your teaching training journey. They can advise you on funding eligibility, how to apply for Student Finance and talk to you about any adjustments that you may require.

Of course, our dedicated academics are also there for you throughout the course. You will meet them on your interview day and have a chance to ask them any questions you may have.


So, with all of that cleared up, what’s stopping you?

Our BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS (3 year undergraduate degree), BA (Hons) Primary Teaching Studies with QTS (15 month progression route), and PGCE courses are the perfect ways to begin or continue your adventure on the path to becoming a fantastic teacher! If you have any questions, our Enquiries Team are ready to help. Contact them today or visit our website to find out how to take your next steps.

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