Subject Knowledge Enhancement: how to get ahead and impress before starting teacher training

TES Institute Team

24th November 2015 at 18:30

Subject Knowledge Enhancement: what you need to know

You’ve received an offer on an Initial Teacher Training or School Direct programme and your provider has suggested you need to improve your subject knowledge. Now is the time to act and apply for a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) programme.

Do not panic, it is actually quite common for a provider or school to ask a trainee teacher to undertake a minimum amount of Subject Knowledge Enhancement as part of their conditional offer. In this blog post we’re going to tackle the most common questions asked about Subject Knowledge Enhancement and why it is important to get ahead of the game.

How long does your Subject Knowledge Enhancement course need to be?

One way to help you decide how much Subject Knowledge Enhancement to complete is to look at the curriculum for your subject area and to complete a couple of GCSE or A-level papers and see how you do. The more areas of development identified, the longer your course needs to be.

SKE courses vary in length from a four-unit course, which can take eight weeks to complete up to a 16-unit course, which can take up to 32 weeks. Starting a course earlier means you can enrol on the programme length that is most appropriate for your needs, allowing you to develop your knowledge in a steady manner when there are no other demands on your time as far as teaching is concerned. The later you start a course, the more likely it is that you will have to overlap it with your teacher training, which can be quite demanding.

SKE bursary and funding

If you’re training to teach a shortage subject such as Biology, Chemistry, Computing, French, Geography, German, Maths, Physics or Spanish you could be eligible for an SKE bursary of up to £7,340 to cover the cost of your Subject Knowledge Enhancement course and you could gain an additional teacher training bursary of up to £6,400. This will help you support yourself during the programme and is available so long as you meet a number of criteria that include having received an offer of a placement on an Initial Teacher Training or School Direct programme (for course funding) and a minimum level of degree qualification (for bursary). You can find a full list of criteria here.

Plan ahead and be prepared for Initial Teacher Training

Analysing your Subject Knowledge Enhancement needs now will give you the time to find a suitable course and to plan exactly when you will start your SKE course so you are able to devote all your time to your studies and make good progress to become fully prepared for the start of your Initial Teacher Training.

Planning and time management are skills that you will need to have to cope with the demands of an Initial Teacher Training course and career in teaching. Beginning your learning now will ensure that you are doing all it takes to be a successful Initial Teacher Training trainee and teacher, and will also show your provider that you are proactive when it comes to developing as a teacher.

Ready to apply for Subject Knowledge Enhancement?

Our 100% online SKE courses in Biology, Chemistry, Computing, French, Geography, German, Maths, Physics or Spanish. Courses range from 8 to 32 weeks, depending on the subject that you're going to teach.

Find out more about these programmes here.