About the course
We have a strong and successful longstanding partnership with schools across Somerset. We are friendly and supportive aiming to get the best out of each of our trainees and make them the best teachers that they can be.
The training course has a simple structure. Trainees spend Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday training on the job in their schools. They then meet together as a group on Tuesdays with the MSC at Crispin School for Professional Training.
Professional Training is run by current practitioners and MSC staff and is tailored to ensure that trainees have appropriate pedagogical input at the different stages of their development as teachers. We practice what we preach ensuring a balance of modelling techniques and strategies with current research. We also visit other partnership schools which are leaders in their particular fields of expertise so that trainees get a great breadth of training and are fully prepared for their first year in teaching.
Our trainees are able to build up their teaching hours from the beginning of the course at a pace which suits them. A mentor in school is at hand to offer advice and support to each trainee.
Our programme starts on 1st September and ends on 30th June. Trainees are in school from day 1 and are regarded as full members of the school community.
Trainees are able to gain QTS and PGCE with us. Assessment for QTS is through weekly lesson observation and portfolio tasks which are specifically designed to allow trainees to showcase their practice. Our PGCE is delivered through the MSC's Professional Training (accredited by Bath Spa University). Assessment is in the form of three written assignments at Masters' level.
The TTA operates a two stage interview process.
Stage 1 Interview-
Successful applicants will be invited to an initial interview at the MSC Training Centre after which shortlisting will take place. The interview will be conducted by MSC/TTA personnel and representatives from the partnership. This will generally take place at the MSC's lead School, Crispin School, Street. The interview will include
- a general panel interview
- a 30 minute written task
- a pupil activity
As a trainee teacher, teachers will be expected to deliver aspects of the Personal, Social and Health Education/Citizenship programme with pupils. Part of the selection process during interview 1 will involve applicants leading a 12 minute activity on a pre-chosen topic.
Stage 2 Interview-
If successful at stage 1, an offer of a second interview will be sent to successful candidates. The second stage of the interview takes place in a partnership school and is subject specific; candidates will normally be expected to work with a group of pupils. It aims to match the candidate with an appropriate department for training. In this way a "best fit" for the school, department and trainee can be established which results in the best possible outcomes for all parties. The interview will include
- a general panel interview
- approximately a 30 minute micro teach (subject specific)
Candidates should be prepared to attend 2 interview dates.
How school placements work
We try and match candidates with their home schools at second interview; this enables both the school and candidate to make informed decisions before they offer/accept a place to train. We try to ensure that travel times are kept as low as possible between trainees' schools and home. Getting it right before the training course starts ensures a more successful placement.
Trainees have to spend 6 weeks in a second school. The trainee is free to choose where this is as long as it provides a complementary experience from the home school. This placement takes place straight after Christmas. The trainees then return to their home schools.
We work schools in and around the Taunton area. The majority of our schools are 11-16 although some do have sixth forms. We try and ensure that all trainees have some experience of post sixteen during their course.
The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
You could be eligible for either:
- a scholarship of £22,000
- a bursary of £20,000
With a scholarship or bursary, you’ll also get early career payments of £5,000 each in your third and fifth year of teaching (£7,500 in some areas of England).
To qualify for a scholarship you’ll need a degree of 2:1 or above in maths or a related subject. For a bursary you’ll need a 2:2 or above in any subject.
You can’t claim both a bursary and a scholarship - you can only claim one.
Find out how to apply for a scholarship. You don’t need to apply for a bursary - if you’re eligible, you’ll automatically start receiving it once you begin your course. Find out how you’ll be paid.
Financial support if you’re from outside the UK.
GCSE Maths and English (or equivalent) grade 4 (Grade C) or above.
A first degree of a UK Higher Education Institution or equivalent.
Skills tests in English and Maths.
Passionate about working with young people.
Enthusiastic about your subject area.
Eligibility to study in the UK.
Proof of adequate subject knowledge to teach your subject if your degree is in another subject.
About the training provider
Through our programme of Initial Teacher Training, Taunton Teaching Alliance aims to draw in and retain the best graduates and strongest aspiring teachers to train in schools within the partnership, including in shortage subject areas.
Working with our partner ITT providers – the Mid-Somerset Consortium, Exeter University and the Somerset Primary SCIL (Somerset Centre for Integrated Learning) – we provide School Direct courses leading to PGCE where trainee teachers are nurtured and supported across our partner schools.
About the accredited body
The MSC has excellent outcomes; they were ranked 27/153 secondary trainers across the UK in the Good Teacher Training Guide 2017. It has successfully been training teachers in Somerset's Secondary Schools for 11 years.
It trains between 35 and 50 trainees each year. School Direct Salaried trainees make up a small but significant proportion of these.
Training with disabilities and other needs
The TTA welcomes all candidates and trainees with disabilities, health conditions, metal health conditions or learning difficulties and aims to support all candidates and trainees throughout the recruitment process and training course.
We support trainees with their specific learning needs to achieve their dream of becoming a teacher and will ensure appropriate support throughout the recruitment process and training year.
As an experienced provider of Initial Teacher Training, we are proud to have supported students with a variety of additional needs to become fantastic and successful teachers. We will aim to tailor our support to make sure that the course is both accessible and achievable.
We encourage all candidates/trainees with any disability or health conditions to discuss this with the TTA/MSC. If you wish to discuss any of the above, please contact the office.
We work closely with trainees and schools to ensure training is accessible and personalised to an individual's needs.
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Support and advice
For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.
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