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School Experience

Having the opportunity to visit and spend time in a classroom will help you be sure that teaching is the right career choice for you. The experience will also support and help you in the application process.



All programmes require you to have gained some experience in school observing classes of the appropriate age range. Gaining such experience will strengthen your application and support your interview answers. 

The amount required varies between different programmes and so it is important that you check the requirement in the relevant programme document which you can access through our vacancy tables or on UCAS.



There are two alternatives ways of getting school experience.

Approaching Schools Independently

You can approach schools independently to try to get some experience days.  It may be sensible to start by approaching the relevant host school for the programme you wish to apply to, but you will need to approach several schools. 

Telephone the school in question and ask who would be best to contact. You should (if relevant) mention that you will be applying for their advertised School Direct training vacancy. 

Schools are very busy places, so may not always reply immediately. They also have to be careful about welcoming visitors. Schools may require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check as a matter of policy – so don’t leave things until the last minute as these can take four weeks or more to complete. Some may be happy to take you without such a check but on the understanding that they need to accompany you at all times while you are in school. This takes up staff time and they may therefore only be able to offer you one or two days.

The DfE School Experience Programme (SEP)

You should also be aware of the DfE’s School Experience Programme. This is a portal where some schools upload available dates for giving candidates school experience. So long as you have registered on the DfE’s Get Into Teaching website, you can book experience days through the SEP for many subjects. See more information through the following link: