Bishop’s Stortford Education Trust (BSET) SCITT Biology (AT54)

QTS full time

Accredited body
Bishop’s Stortford SCITT
Financial support
Bursaries and student finance are available if you’re eligible

Qualified teacher status (QTS) allows you to teach in state schools in England and may also allow you to teach in other parts of the UK.

It may also allow you to teach overseas, though you should always check what qualifications are needed in the country you’d like to teach in.

Age range
11 to 16
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

This course is offered for fee paying trainees.

As a Trainee you will observe and teach across Key Stages 3 and 4, including experience of pupils in years 7 and 11. During the first few weeks you will observe or team teach. This may develop into a contact timetable of up to 40% of a full time teacher during the first placement school (approx.8 lessons), building up to 65% of a full time teacher during terms two and three (approx. 13 lessons).

Trainees work in their placement school Monday- Wednesday and Fridays. Thursdays are training days where trainees will attend Professional Studies with all the other SCITT trainees at Leventhorpe and occasionally at one of our Primary Partner Schools.

During the training year trainees will complete two assignments. The first focuses on the skills of medium term planning. It requires trainees to focus on the needs of their pupils and the way sequences of lessons need to be planned and evaluated for pupils to make the best possible progress. The second assignment focuses on the skills of action research and requires trainees to think about the needs of different groups of pupils within the classroom and how they might respond in different ways to learning activities.

Assessment of trainees against the QTS standards will be overseen by the Training Manager, who will be supported by quality assurance through the External Moderator.

Judgement and moderation will take place in late June of the training year. The External Moderator will attend Leventhorpe and visit some Trainees in their placement schools to observe the teaching of the standardisation sample of trainees.

Trainees must meet the Teacher Standards as a minimum expectation. There will be a number of sources of evidence used to assess Trainees against the Teacher Standards. These will be: Trainee Teaching Portfolio, lesson observation records and accompanying Professional Learning Conversations ,the academic assignments and school placement assessments (completed each term by the Teacher Mentor and Professional Tutor), as well as the Subject Mentor and Professional Studies Assessments.

If you would like any further details or information, we would be very happy to hear from you. Please contact Liz Smith on 01279 603104

School placements

The BSET SCITT Partnership currently comprises seven secondary school and three primary schools. In addition, we also work with a number of placement schools. All of these schools at present are within the Sawbridgeworth- Bishop’s Stortford region. Our aim is to spot and nurture the outstanding teachers of the future, giving them the best possible training and support in their early career. Our training is led exclusively by serving practitioners in our family of schools and training takes place entirely in school settings. Trainees will spend both their placements in local schools, where they will be supported by Teacher Mentors in each school.

Fee-paying trainees spend one term in their first placement school and two terms in their second school. We will always try to accommodate trainees’ preferences when making decisions about placement schools.

Salaried trainees are employed by their main placement school, and undertake a short 6 week placement at a second school in the Spring term.

Trainees must gain experience in two consecutive age ranges. This depends on the age range applicable to the subject in which you are training to teach. For those subjects in the secondary age range 11-16, trainees will teach across Key Stages 3 and 4, Year 7-11. We also aim to offer all trainees the opportunity to observe and teach in the Sixth Form.

For those subjects in the secondary age range 14-19, trainees will teach across Key stages 4 and 5, Years 10-13). In addition, trainees may be given the opportunity to teach outside of the age ranges for which they are being trained.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree at class 2:2 or above, or equivalent.

Your degree subject should be in biology or a similar subject. Otherwise you’ll need to prove your subject knowledge in some other way.

Grade 4 (C) or above in English and maths, or equivalent qualification.

We’ll consider candidates with pending GCSEs.

We’ll consider candidates who need to take a GCSE equivalency test in English or maths.

Personal qualities

We wish to recruit people from a diverse array of backgrounds and experiences, whether you are straight out of university or a career changer.

A genuine enjoyment of working with young people and a keen interest in making a difference to their life chances is essential.

Other requirements

At BSET safeguarding of children is our first concern and so in addition to DBS checks we reserve the right to make additional checks of former employers.

We do not make school experience a condition for application but it is a good idea if you have a good understanding of the school setting and knowledge of curriculum.

Experience of working in a school or with young people is an advantage but not essential.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for UK students in 2023 to 2024 are £9,000.

About the training provider

We are a partnership of schools in the Bishop’s Stortford, Sawbridgeworth and Harlow area who collaborate to provide teacher training for graduates who would like to teach in either the primary or secondary schools.

Our aim is to spot and nurture the outstanding teachers of the future, giving them the best possible training and support in their early career. Our training is led exclusively by serving practitioners in our family of schools and training takes place entirely in school settings.

We offer training in a wide range of secondary school subjects and primary age groups leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Our training pathways are tailor made, with salaried and fee-paying options to gain QTS and the possibility of gaining experience in a second subject area to improve employability.

You can depend on the best support in BSET schools. Training is hard work and you will need the support of an excellent mentor. All of our Teacher and Subject Mentors are excellent practitioners and they are very experienced as we are used to working with over fifty teacher trainees every year.

You will also get to work with fantastic, positive young people - our area is culturally diverse and educational aspirations are high amongst young people and their parents. Our BSET placement schools are some of the highest achieving in the country.

Visit our website for further details -[]

Interview process

We have a rigorous recruitment and selection process. Candidates will be interviewed by the SCITT Training Manager and a Headteacher for Primary, and Subject Lead for secondary.

As part of our interview process, candidates will be required to:

  • Present/teach a lesson on an engaging aspect of their subject for 20 minutes.
  • Attend a panel interview with the Training Manager and Primary Headteacher or Subject lead.
  • Complete both a written literacy and numeracy task.
  • Take part in a student panel.

Candidates who are choosing to undertake Teacher Training in a subject different to their degree course, may be asked to complete a subject knowledge test.

Candidates will be informed of the outcome of their interview on the same day.

International candidates

You’ll need the right to study in the UK. You already have this if, for example, you:

  • are an Irish citizen
  • have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (you may still be able to apply)
  • have indefinite leave to remain in the UK

If you do not already have the right to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa. The main visa for fee-paying courses (those that you have to pay for) is the Student visa.

To apply for a Student visa, you’ll need to be sponsored by your training provider.

Sponsorship is not available for this course.

If you need a visa, filter your course search to find courses with visa sponsorship.

Alternatively, check if you’re eligible for a different type of visa, such as a Graduate or Family visa, that allows you to train to be a teacher without being sponsored.

Find out more about training to teach in England.

International qualifications

If your qualifications come from a non-UK institution, we may want to see a ‘statement of comparability’ from UK ENIC. This will show us how they compare to UK qualifications.

You can call Get Into Teaching on 0800 389 2500 for:

  • guidance on the UK equivalents of your qualifications
  • a free statement of comparability once you’ve submitted your application (if we ask you for this)

Training with disabilities and other needs

Our SCITT welcomes all with out prejudice and as such caters for a wide range of trainee disability. The SCITT recognises it has a duty to make reasonable adjustments to prevent a disabled person from being placed at a substantial disadvantage by any physical feature of the premises, or by any provision, criterion or practice of the school. Provision is made through occupational health referral for Trainees who need additional support.

Contact this training provider

01279 603 104
Leventhorpe School
Cambridge Road
CM21 9BY

Support and advice

You can speak to a teacher training adviser for free, dedicated advice. They are all experienced teachers who can give you one-to-one support with your application. They can also help you get school experience, and find events where you can speak to training providers and teachers.

Call Get Into Teaching free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or chat online Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm (except public holidays).

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