Application Guidance

How do I apply?

Applications for School Direct places are made through UCAS. You will need to search for the course you wish to apply to.  Please search Riding Forward TSA and use course code 25Q2 for Primary training applications, and 2L8C for Early Years training applications.

Further details about entry requirements and the application process can be found on our How to apply pages.

If you want to train to teach, you will need to demonstrate:

  • a standard equivalent to a GCSE grade C / grade 4 in mathematics and English to teach at secondary level
  • a standard equivalent to a GCSE grade C / grade 4 in mathematics, English and a science subject to teach at primary level

Further advice about equivalency testing can be found at :

Please note all School Direct candidates will be expected to have passed their QTS skills tests in both English and maths before they begin their training.

Booking the Skills Tests:

Candidates can book their skills tests once they have submitted their application through UCAS Teacher Training.  They can book in advance of this as long as an application is submitted before they attend the test centre.

Skills Test Charges – You are now able to sit the skills tests three times for no charge.  It also used to be a system whereby three failed attempts would then automatically lock you out for two years, however  this is no longer the case and you can take unlimited tests through to success, so long as you have passed prior to the commencement date of your chosen course.

Please note the Skills Centre in Hull is closing soon and our nearest centres will therefore be Leeds & Sheffield.

What they need to bring:

Two forms of identification – a primary ID such as a passport, and a secondary ID this can be, for example, a debit card.  More information can be found on the STA website:

Students will also need to bring proof of their teacher training application.  The evidence that will be accepted are:

  • a welcome email from UCAS Teacher Training
  • correspondence from your school or university
  • a copy of a completed UCAS Teacher Training application form
  • confirmation of, or an invitation to, an interview from your school or university.

Fees and Funding

The fees and funding arrangements for School Direct trainees can be found at:

The cost for registering on UCAS, from 1st April 2018, is reduced to £1.

 You can only complete one personal statement for all the choices you make in both Apply 1 and Apply 2. You can’t change it or create different ones for university or school-based choices.

The providers you’re applying to understand this, so they won’t be expecting you to say specific things about them or their programmes. However, if you’re applying for programmes in a particular subject or age group, it would be helpful to explain why you have chosen them, and the skills and attributes you have that make them appropriate for you.

What to include

You do need to think carefully about the things that all your chosen providers will want to know about you. You’ll probably want to include things like:

  • your reason(s) for wanting to teach
  • evidence that you understand the rewards and challenges of teaching
  • details of your previous education and how you have benefitted from it
  • any other work with young people, such as helping with a youth club, working at a summer camp or running a sports team
  • the range of relevant abilities and skills you can bring to teaching, for example, practical experience, managing people, working with or leading a team, and communication skills
  • any reasons why there may be restrictions on your geographical mobility
  • why you want to study in the UK, if you don’t currently live here
  • whether you’ve taken part in the School Experience Programme organised by the National College of School Leadership (formerly the Teaching Agency)

These are the things all training providers want to know – whether they’re School Direct, a university or a SCITT – so there’s no need to worry that you can’t write different personal statements.

In addition to the details you give in the school and work experience section, you can also expand on your experience of teaching, such as visits to schools, classroom observations or working as a teaching assistant.

How to write it

You can use up to 4,000 characters or 47 lines of text (including spaces) – whichever comes first. Some word processing packages calculate character and line counts differently from the UCAS Teacher Training system, so you might need to redraft your statement if there’s a discrepancy between the counts.

  • Write in English (or Welsh if you’re applying to Welsh providers) and avoid italics, bold or underlining.
  • Get the grammar and punctuation right and redraft your statement until you’re happy with it.
  • It’s a good idea to write your personal statement in a word processor first, then copy and paste it into your application.

Be aware that your 2 chosen referees need to have completed and uploaded their references before your application will go live on UCAS.  Please allow enough time!

Don’t copy!

Don’t copy anyone else’s personal statement or from statements posted on the internet. Make sure your personal statement is all your own work.