Ask Tes Institute: how to arrange your second school placement

Ask Tes Institute: how to arrange your second school placement for Straight to Teaching

In order for you to be assessed for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), either through our Straight to Teaching programme or via the Assessment Only route, you will need to have spent time teaching in two contrasting schools. The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) set this criterion and we specify that at least one of the schools are publically funded.

If you have not already taught in another school in the same age ranges that you are training in, then you will need to complete a school teaching placement of at least 20 days. Ideally you should complete these days consecutively, but where this is not possible you should ensure that you are teaching the same classes and have responsibility for a distinct unit or piece of work. This will help you to demonstrate that your pupils have made the expected amount of progress during the time you have been teaching them.

Arranging your second school placement

This must be organised by your school manager in charge of teacher training, who should have links with other schools in your local area that could host you. They might even have a member of staff in the same situation, meaning that a reciprocal placement could be set up.

If you are teaching in an SEN setting then you will need an extended teaching placement (at least 30 days) in a mainstream school, teaching pupils in the same age ranges as your SEN classes but of nationally expected ability levels. Therefore, if you are teaching pupils of age 11-16 in your special school you must teach full classes of pupils in a mainstream secondary school with expected grades up to levels 7-9 GCSE.

Before you start your placement, we recommend that you visit the school to meet the staff and the classes that you are going to teach. The school must be able to provide you with at least 50% of a normal timetable, teaching whole class lessons for the entirety of your time at the school. Ideally, you will teach the same classes over the placement so that you can maintain consistency and track pupil progress. They must also provide an appropriate mentor who will be able to give you regular feedback, undertake lesson observations and host mentor meetings.

Why is it important to teach in different schools?

Working in another school will provide you with an excellent opportunity to compare and contrast different approaches to all aspects of teaching and other wider areas of work that teachers are involved in such as accountability, governance and meetings.