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Information for Secondary Teacher Training Applicants

Welcome to Secondary Initial Teacher Training

Our teacher education programmes have been designed for graduates who are passionate about the idea of becoming secondary teachers. 

Our schools partnership network covers a wide range of areas: inner city, suburban, mixed and single sex, inclusive, non-selective and selective and high achieving, as well as those in more challenging circumstances.

The teaching year begins in September and ends in July. You’ll attend five days a week and spend the equivalent of 24 weeks in schools. You will find this year challenging and intensive but myself and my team are here to support you on your journey to becoming a teacher.  

We are one of only a few institutions that provide a range of Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) programmes to prepare you for teaching your subject. Find out more about SKE programmes.

Please read the welcome information by selecting your subject on the right hand side of this page and important information below and keep an eye on this webpage as we will be adding information to it up until September.

  1. You are strongly encouraged to have completed a minimum of two days observing in a secondary school, or to have attended a School Experience programme.
  2. As part of your preparation for the interview, please draw up a lesson plan for a Year 7 lesson, lasting for an hour, on any topic appropriate for the subject. You will not actually have to make a formal presentation of the lesson but the programme tutor will ask you about your ideas for this lesson and how you intend to teach it.

Important Update:

Due to the ongoing situation in the UK we are aware many of our applicants are facing difficulties in attending appointments scheduled on campus. UEL has therefore decided to move to online assessments until further notice. Please see your interview invitation email for further information.

You are REQUIRED to bring the originals and a photocopy of the following documents to the interview:
  • A copy of the email inviting you to the interview with the date and time to show Cass Helpdesk staff
  • Completed PGCE Student Agreement Form
  • Completed PGCE Student Declaration Form
  • Your original passport. You will not be permitted to attend your interview without photo ID.
  • Degree certificate [if obtained] and degree transcript*
  • GCSE Level certificates [or equivalent] for Mathematics and English Language*
  • Observation notes [if you have carried out any school observation]
  • ‘A’ Level certificates [or equivalent] if applicable
  • Your marriage certificate, if your educational certificates are in a maiden name.

*If your qualifications were gained overseas, you will need to verify their equivalence with UK Naric. They can be contacted on 0870-990-4088 and either at interview or as a condition of offer written verification will need to be provided.

You should allow approximately half a day for the entire interview process. It will consist of the following tasks: 

  • a written task to assess your literacy skills in English
  • a task to assess your subject knowledge 
  • documentation check
  • an individual interview.
  • a collaborative group activity
Written tasks

You will be asked to write in response to a text. As well as assessing the content of what you write, we will consider the legibility of your handwriting, and the accuracy of your spelling, grammar and punctuation. You will also be asked to complete a subject task.

Documentation check

Our administrators will check that we sight your original documents as listed above, retain copies and make a note of any outstanding items.

During the interview you will present your lesson plan. You will be asked questions which relate to the selection criteria below. The tutor will also question you in some detail about your subject knowledge. You may need to remind yourself of the topics or texts you studied, particularly if you completed your degree some time ago. You will also be given an opportunity to ask the interviewer(s) about the programme and any other issues that are relevant.

Interview - selection criteria

Throughout the interview process you must demonstrate that you have:
  • The ability to communicate effectively in spoken English
  • The ability to communicate effectively and accurately in written English (the candidate must have completed a written task to assess the standard of written English)
  • Subject knowledge/any other particular requirements of the specialist subject
  • Enthusiasm and interest in the specialist subject and the ability to convey this to learners
  • Intellectual qualities and the ability to reflect creatively and critically
  • Positive attitude to, and involvement with, young people: an understanding of the importance of establishing respectful, supportive and constructive relationships with them.
  • High expectations of children and young people and a commitment to their achievement
  • An understanding of the scope of a teacher’s professional skills and responsibilities
  • Ability to cope well in highly pressurised and demanding contexts
  • Commitment to collaboration and co-operative working as part of a team
  • Commitment to teaching and to the programme
  • Positive attitude to equal opportunities and towards education in and for an inclusive society
We will notify you of the outcome of your interview through UCAS Teacher Training. You will be required to accept/decline your place within 10 working days. If you receive and accept a place at UEL you will be given additional tasks and reading to do over the summer term in preparation for the start of your training programme in September.
If you have any special access or communication requirements for your visit, please let us know prior to your visit.
Teacher trainees may be entitled to receive a bursary over the duration of their ITT study, ranging from £4,000 to £28,000.  The level of bursary that trainees are entitled to is dependent on the subject in which a trainee wishes to teach and the grade of their highest, relevant academic qualification.  

PGCE Guidance Notes
PGCE Bursary form 

Completed ITT Bursary application forms should be sent to: Student Money Advice & Rights Team (SMART), University of East London, 4-6 University Way, London E16 2RD, to be assessed.  

Should you wish to contact SMART in regards to ITT Bursary queries; please call 020 8223 4444.