The Cambridge Training School Network Partnership, CTSN Biology (Z827)

Qualified teacher status (QTS)

Accredited body
Cambridge Training School Network, CTSN SCITT
Financial support

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 - secondary
Course length
1 year - full time
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

As a school based provider of initial teacher training, CTSN SCITT is very much grounded in the life of its local schools. The tutors on the course are experienced, practising teachers and, from the beginning of the course, trainees will spend four days a week (Monday – Thursday) in school and attend Core Training on Fridays, either in Cambridge or Bury St Edmunds. Whilst in school, trainees will have some teaching, including up to two days of contracted teaching as an unqualified teacher, but also have some time to get involved in other training activities: observing expert teachers; working with students in smaller groups, one-to-one tutoring; time for assessment & planning; reading, writing & research into effective learning and teaching. Every trainee will have a dedicated subject specialist mentor, with whom training is planned and evaluated at weekly mentor meetings; these meetings are the hub of the school based training. Most of the Core Training on Fridays will look at issues in learning & teaching common to all trainees, but there are also regular (approx. monthly) subject afternoons to look at more subject specific pedagogy. In addition, each trainee will be assigned to one of the senior tutor team, who act as personal tutors throughout the course. This course leads to the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). For further details please follow the link to CTSN SCITT.

School placements

We have excellent relationships with a wide range of good and outstanding schools, across the Eastern region, which gives us considerable flexibility in placing trainees in local schools, within reach from their home. Full time salaried trainees spend most of the time at their employing school, except for a short placement at a contrasting school. One key difference with the salaried training routes is that salaried trainees will have the professional responsibility for teaching classes, for up to two days each week. This means that there is considerably more independent teaching for salaried trainees, right from the very beginning of the course. Applicants who are not ready for this level of independent teaching responsibility might consider a non-salaried training route, for which there might be a tax free bursary available.


You can select one of the following locations when you apply.

List of locations and vacancies
Location Vacancies
Bottisham Village College
Lode Road, Bottisham, Cambridge, CB25 9DL
Sybil Andrews Academy
Rougham Tower Avenue, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP32 7QB

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

You need a degree, usually a minimum of a 2.2 Honours Degree (or overseas equivalent confirmed by ENIC UK). Typically, at least 50% of your degree should be directly relevant to the subject you wish to teach. However, applicants who have a degree in a non-related subject, but have significant experience relevant to the subject they wish to teach, may also be considered. In such cases a subject knowledge enhancement course may be added to the conditions of entry.

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.

In addition to the GCSE English requirement, if English is not your first language, the IELTS Academic test (International English Language Testing System, Academic Test) with overall score of 6.5 is also required. Please note that IELTS Academic certificates are valid for 2 years.

Personal qualities

As a school based ITT provider, CTSN SCITT works very closely with its partnership schools, and the vast majority of our trainees get jobs working in these local schools. We are looking for creative, proactive, positive applicants who share our commitment that students in our local schools should have the best possible teachers, and a desire and determination to make this commitment a reality.

Other requirements

Before applying, you will need to have liaised with a school who is willing to employ you for the duration of the course. The provider may be able to help you to find a school for you. Please do not apply before you have a placement school organised. You will be employed as an unqualified teacher; the rate of pay will depend on the school’s or academy’s pay scale.


Salaried teacher trainees are employed by a school on the Unqualified Teacher scale, usually UQ1. (It is worth bearing in mind that, depending on the subject, trainees might be better off on a non-salaried course; many subjects attract a generous tax free bursary from the DfE.)

Fees and financial support

About the training provider

The Cambridge Training School Network Partnership, CTSN offers school-centred teacher training across the Eastern Region, working with the Accredited Provider Cambridge Training School Network, CTSN SCITT:

  • All applicants are able to choose whether they attend the Core Training in Cambridge or Bury St Edmunds.
  • There is a wide range of placement schools.
  • Most trainees get jobs working in local schools.
  • Course tutors are expert teachers, which means that our training is not only evidence-based, but also informed by current practice.
  • Non salaried (tuition fee) routes lead to QTS plus PGCE, with Anglia Ruskin University.
  • Salaried routes are also available, leading to QTS.

Please see CTSN SCITT for more information.

About the accredited body

The Cambridge Training School Network, CTSN SCITT offers school-centred teacher training across the Eastern Region:

  • Applicants have a choice of training centre.
  • There is a wide range of placement schools across Cambridgeshire, West Suffolk and Essex.
  • Most trainees get jobs working in local schools.
  • Course tutors are expert teachers, which means that our training is not only evidence-based, but also informed by current practice.
  • Non salaried (tuition fee) routes lead to QTS plus PGCE, with Anglia Ruskin University.
  • Salaried routes are also available, leading to QTS.

Please see CTSN SCITT for more information.

Interview process

At interview you will usually be asked to plan and discuss how you might teach a particular topic to students in Key Stage 3. In addition there will be a short written task and an interview with a SCITT Senior Tutor, together with a senior teacher from one of our partnership schools. The employing school (i.e. the one that will pay your salary) might also need to interview you; this could be arranged on the same interview day or, if necessary, on an alternative date.

International candidates

You’ll need the right to work 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 work in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa. The main visa for salaried courses is the Skilled Worker visa.

To apply for a Skilled Worker visa you need to be sponsored by your employer.

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

Teachers with disabilities make an important contribution to schools both in the classroom and in shaping the wider culture and ethos of the schools they work in. Schools value diversity and the unique contribution that all their staff and trainees bring. If you have a disability, you shouldn’t be dissuaded from applying. If you are invited to attend an interview, and have any special requirements, please let us know beforehand so that we may make reasonable adjustments for you. We want all interview candidates to have an equitable and enjoyable experience, regardless of any disability. Full details are on the Department for Education website. All trainees are required to complete a medical check when they receive the offer of a training place. This will identify if there are adjustments required. As a training provider, CTSN SCITT will endeavour to make such adjustments in our training. We encourage all trainees to disclose all relevant information with their placement schools as this will enable them to make suitable provision. Schools have experience of making provisions for their own students and are therefore well placed to offer similar adjustments for trainee teachers. If you receive an offer, but have not yet disclosed a disability or other need, you can disclose at any time.

Contact this training provider

01223262503 ext 223
Comberton Village College
West Street
CB23 7DU

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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