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Teaching Training

The Cam Academy Trust strongly supports the training of new teachers to become qualified members of the teaching profession. It does this through its extensive and significant role as a leading part of the Cambridge Teaching Schools Network. Full details about this are on the CTSN website.


Initial Teacher Training with CTSN

CTSN SCITT is an initial teacher training provider which works with over 80 schools in the region, including those in the Cam Academy Trust, to train over 120 trainee teachers in one of 17 secondary subjects or primary education each year. Between over 80% of which go on to teach within the region. It began teacher training under the CTSN banner in 2010.

As a school-based provider of initial teacher training, the CTSN SCITT is very much grounded in the life of its local schools.  Our tutors on the course are expert, practising teachers and, from the beginning of the course, trainees will spend four days a week in school and attend Core Training on the remaining, either in Cambridge or Bury St Edmunds. 

It offers both full-time and part-time non-salaried courses which lead to the awards of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) plus PGCE (with the Anglia Ruskin University).  We also offer salaried courses which lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) only.

Why become a teacher?

“You will create lives as teachers. You will build up, develop and educate young people and you will create their lives. What a wonderful privilege and responsibility that is…

“What is abundantly clear and rightly acknowledged is that schools really do matter a very great deal for our society and especially for all young people in our country who are fortunate to be able to attend them. What is even clearer is quite how important and significant a job a teacher has.” Stephen Munday, Chief Executive of The Cam Academy Trust and Accounting Officer for CTSN SCITT.

Whether you are an undergraduate seeking your first career or looking to change careers, applying to become a teacher may seem daunting. Therefore, CTSN SCITT is committed to supporting potential candidates. As well as hosting a series of Train to Teach information events and it helps applicants through the process, and then supports them during their training and into their first teaching posts. Training to teach with CTSN is more than just a one-year commitment. If you have any questions email: to arrange a conversation with one of our recruitment team.

Gathering Information

A good place to start for general information on becoming a teacher is the DfE Get into Teaching website. This offers good general information, from how to set up a school experience visits, to seeing what primary/secondary school life is like, to checking if you have the correct qualifications to apply for a teacher training course, to how to apply for a place on a teacher training course. 

The CTSN SCITT’s website also has a wealth of information including blogs for previous CTSN trainees, its routes into teaching, eligibility, selection process and information events.

If you would like to speak directly to a CTSN Recruitment Lead for more information you could either attend one of the recruitment events or email: to arrange a conversation.

The DfE also offers a useful tailored advice service which provides you with personalised advice from a team of telephone agents who can talk you through training options, the application process and your next steps. You can register for this here.

How to apply

To apply for teacher training courses in England, you should use Apply for teacher training, a new service.

When you apply you’ll need to give details about:

  • your qualifications, including your GCSEs and A levels (or equivalents) and degree
  • your work history or unpaid experience
  • why you want to teach
  • why you’re suited to teach a particular subject or age group

You can also share whether you need any adjustments during the application process or on the course - for example, if you’re disabled.

You’ll be encouraged to declare any potential safeguarding issues such as criminal convictions.

Writing a personal statement

You will need a personal statement for your application. Your personal statement is used to explain why you want to become a teacher and your suitability for the role. Take your time writing your personal statement; be prepared to receive constructive feedback and write a few drafts before you send it off. Personal statements are split into 2 sections. In total they are usually around 1,000 words.

Section 1: Why do you want to teach?

Up to 600 words.

This is the place to talk about why you think you would make a great teacher. You can include:

  • what inspired you to choose teaching
  • your understanding of the demands and rewards of teaching
  • the personal qualities that will make you a good teacher
  • your contribution to the life of a school outside the classroom – for example, running extra-curricular activities and clubs
  • details of any experience you have working with children and what you learnt
  • your thoughts on children’s wellbeing and the education system

Section 2: Why are you suited to teach your subjects or age group?

Up to 400 words.

  • If you’re applying for secondary teacher training, use this section to describe your knowledge of the subjects you’ve chosen.
  • If you’re applying for primary teacher training, say why you’d like to teach this age group.

You could talk about:

  • any relevant work or unpaid experience
  • your degree and degree modules
  • your other relevant qualifications, such as A levels
  • any relevant skills, interests or achievements
  • your understanding of the national curriculum

If you’re concerned about your subject knowledge, do not worry - you may be able to do a ‘subject knowledge enhancement’ course as part of your training.


You need two references. Unlike a standard work reference, your references for teacher training need to be named individuals rather than a human resources team or academic department. Your referees will be asked to write up to 500 words about your character and potential to teach.

It’s worth contacting them before you apply so they understand why you’re applying and what they’ll be asked to do. Choose referees who could comment on things like your:

  • communication skills
  • reliability and professionalism
  • ability to work with children
  • transferable skills
  • academic skills

Your referee will also be asked if they know of any reason why you should not work with children.

Ideal referees could include:

  • your university tutor or supervisor
  • your current line manager at work
  • your previous employer
  • a teacher at a school where you work or volunteer
  • a supplier or client you’ve worked with (if you’re self-employed)

Referees should not be family members, partners or friends. It’s important to have at least one academic or professional reference. Training providers will accept a character reference, such as a mentor or someone you know from volunteering, as a second reference.

If you’re applying for a salaried course, one of your references must be from an employer.

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