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What to expect when providing on the job training

Trainees will have allocated time each week for training. They must also spend time in a contrasting state school. The time varies but will be up to six weeks. Schools deal with this in different ways and some providers are more flexible than others.

Financial Commitments

  • The trainee teacher’s salary
  • The QTS training and assessment costs
  • The training for mentors (if required)

The school may pay all or a part of the above.
Salary is decided by the individual school. In the state sector, these positions are normally paid at the basic unqualified teacher level (c £17,500 pa), and most independent schools do this, depending on prior experience. The trainee will only teach part of a full time teachers timetable - up to 90% but often less than this.

Your school will enter an agreement with an accredited initial teacher training provider and it is important that both parties are clear about the terms of this agreement. Costs vary from provider to provider. Tuition fees are usually between £6,000 - £10,000 per student, some are lower for a basic QTS qualification. Training providers offering School Direct (QTS) with Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) will usually charge more. See the Training Providers list for some of the initial teacher training providers who are working with independent schools - this is not a comprehensive list but includes commonly used providers in the independent sector. The trainees' applications are direct to a provider for an independent school self funded route (they do not apply via UCAS).

Your school will need to provide an internal mentor and ITT providers offer training for this role. Some ITT providers make it compulsory.

The internal mentor will be responsible for the day to day supervision of the trainee and will usually ensure the completion of all relevant paperwork and be responsible for the liaison with the provider.

Time Commitments

  • Training
  • Mentoring
  • Management

Trainees will have allocated time each week for training and will also need to spend time in another contrasting school – this could be at a state school, and when your school is closed during holidays.

Your school will need to ensure that the mentor has allocated time to carry out their responsibility. It is normal to allocate one or two sessions a week to each trainee to meet with their mentor. There will also be times of the year when there will be more work to do: for example when completing paperwork. Some trainees will require much more support than others.

There will be some management time involved in setting up training within your school. For the experiences of other schools, see the school case studies. The commitment and enthusiasm of the mentor can be key to the success of the training.


Assuming all goes well, you will have newly qualified teachers, who have trained at your school; who understand your processes and procedures; who understand what is expected of them; and most importantly who know your staff and pupils.

Those of your existing staff involved in the process, will have undergone significant professional development themselves by inducting someone new into the profession. Their contacts with the training provider will ensure your school is familiar with current research into teaching methodologies.

The values, high expectations and standards of your school will be taken out into the wider educational world to help raise standards everywhere as in time the teachers you have trained move to other schools.

What other schools say

"Teachers are trained for our school and understand our expectations of the teaching profession"
Thames Christian College, London.

"It is true that the independent model allows greater eccentricity in approaches to student development and this is where the trainee teacher can learn most"
Bethany School, Kent.

To read about the experiences of schools who have offered School Direct training places, see the school case studies.