What is SKE?

Our 100% online subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses are designed to help improve the subject knowledge of your trainee teachers before or during their teacher training. Available in Biology, Chemistry, Computing, English, French, Geography, German, Maths, Physics and Spanish, these pre-initial teacher training courses will build your trainees’ confidence in their subject by providing them with access to online learning modules and pathway tutor support.

These flexible online SKE programmes can be studied before or alongside ITT, and can help increase your recruitment of high quality candidates with non-specific subject degrees or low subject confidence. On completion of the SKE course, you will also receive detailed feedback about your trainee’s strengths and area for further development as part of their teacher training. Furthermore, your trainees can access course funding (subject to eligibility criteria) to pay for the course via the National College for Teaching and Leadership.

SKE course outcomes for schools and ITT providers

TES Institute’s subject knowledge enhancement teaching courses enable you to recruit high quality candidates with non-specific subject degrees to your initial teacher training courses. Providing your trainees with the opportunity to develop their subject knowledge prior to or alongside teacher training will ensure that your trainee teachers are confident and ready for the classroom.

Our online SKE courses help initial teacher training providers and School Direct partnerships by:

  • Widening your pool of potential candidates to include those with lower subject knowledge, a non-specific subject degree or lower classification of degree
  • Helping you to recruit more trainees in shortage subjects that are difficult to recruit for
  • Providing your trainees with a boost in subject knowledge, pedagogy and confidence before they begin ITT

Our online subject knowledge enhancement course will help your postgraduate trainees to:

  • Prepare for your initial teacher training course
  • Achieve a better understanding and knowledge of their subject
  • Gain the skills they need to be able to critically reflect on learning
  • Build some of the skills they need to become an outstanding teacher
  • Develop ideas and activities that they can use in the classroom

SKE course delivery

All of our SKE courses are delivered 100% online, making it easier for your trainees to fit learning around their other commitments. They can study at a time and place that suits them, and they can overlap their SKE with their initial teacher training if necessary.

We recommend that each trainee spends around 20-25 hours per week learning, but this will depend on individual learning speed. Your trainees are supported by a pathway tutor who will guide their progress and support them throughout this teaching course.

We will continually assess your trainees throughout the course, with a final summative assessment based on a portfolio of tasks undertaken over the duration of the course. You will also receive regular, detailed feedback reports on your trainee’s strengths and areas for development throughout their time on the SKE course.

Part-time learning now available

We are now able to offer our SKE courses as a part-time learning option. Typically we would recommend trainees spend 20-25 hours per week on a full-time SKE course, however a part-time option allows your trainee to spend 10-12 hours per week learning, so for example an eight week SKE course would take 16 weeks to complete, but cover the same material as an eight week course. This option may be particularly useful for candidates who are overlapping their SKE with their teacher training.

Back to back SKE courses in Languages

As most language teachers are required to teach two languages, the NCTL are now offering funding for up to two modern language SKE courses. The aim is to refresh your trainee's main teaching language and gain a more in depth understanding of a second language, with the SKE of their main language taking eight weeks and the second, weaker language taking up to 24 weeks.

Assessment

The trainee's subject knowledge will be assessed throughout the SKE course. There are compulsory SKE assessment points to ensure that they are engaging with the SKE course and making expected progress.

Regular reports

As their training provider you will receive regular checkpoint reports that will outline your trainee's progress, a review of their work for that period and suggestions of areas for improvement before the next checkpoint report. This is designed to structure their development and update you regularly on their progress. Each report is issued on average every four weeks and is also sent to the trainee. You will both receive a final detailed report upon their completion of the SKE course.

How can your trainees enrol on an SKE course? 

To be eligible for a National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) funded place on our subject knowledge enhancement course your trainees must have accepted a conditional offer of a place on your postgraduate or School Direct initial teacher training (ITT) programme.

Start dates

Your trainees can start a TES Institute SKE course during the month that suits them best until August 2017, which is when the NCTL has guaranteed course funding until.

Please note that for a Biology, Computing or Modern Languages (French, German or Spanish) SKE the longest course available is 24 weeks. Currently English and Geography SKE courses are available in 8, 12 and 16 week lengths.

 

Maths, Physics or Chemistry for the 2016/17 academic year

 

Length of SKE

SKE application deadline

SKE Start date

8, 12, 16, 20, 24 or 28 weeks 20th March 27th March
8, 12, 16, 20, 24 or 28 weeks 10th April 26th April
8, 12, 16, 20, 24 or 28 weeks 1st May 15th May
8, 12, 16, 20, 24 or 28 weeks 5th June 19th June
8, 12, 16, 20, 24 or 28 weeks 17th July 31st July
8, 12, 16, 20, 24 or 28 weeks 7th August 21st August

 

Biology, Computing or Modern Languages for the 2016/17 academic year

Length of SKE

SKE application deadline

SKE Start date

8, 12, 16, 20 or 24 weeks 20th March 27th March
8, 12, 16, 20 or 24 weeks 10th April 26th April
8, 12, 16, 20 or 24 weeks 1st May 15th May
8, 12, 16, 20 or 24 weeks 5th June 19th June
8, 12, 16, 20 or 24 weeks 17th July 31st July
8, 12, 16, 20 or 24 weeks 7th August 21st August

 

English and Geography for the 2016/17 academic year

Length of SKE

SKE application deadline

SKE Start date

8, 12 or 16 weeks 20th March 27th March
8, 12 or 16 weeks 10th April 26th April
8, 12 or 16 weeks 1st May 15th May
8, 12 or 16 weeks 5th June 19th June
8, 12 or 16 weeks 17th July 31st July
8, 12 or 16 weeks 7th August 21st August

If a trainee has already begun their teacher training course with you, they can run the subject knowledge enhancement alongside it.

SKE Funding and Fees

Funding is available from the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) to cover the full cost of the course as long as you include a condition in the trainee’s offer letter that states that they must complete a subject knowledge enhancement course.

If your trainees meet the SKE course funding criteria they may also be able to access a tax-free training bursary of up to £5,600 (depending on the course length and availability of supplementary funding).

You can request bursary funding from NCTL on behalf of the trainee or you can nominate TES Institute to request the SKE course and bursary funding directly from the NCTL. We will then administer the training bursary in-line with the NCTL guidelines.

Bursary payments are generally issued in arrears in equal monthly instalments for the duration of the SKE programme.

 

 

Subject

Programme Length

SKE Course Fees 

(funding available through the NCTL)*

SKE Training Bursary SKE Training Bursary with Supplementary funds

Biology, Computing, Chemistry, English, French, Geography, German, Maths, Physics or Spanish

8 weeks

£1,600

£920 £1,600

Biology, Computing, Chemistry, English, French, Geography, German, Maths, Physics or Spanish

12 weeks

£2,400

£1,380 £2,400

Biology, Computing, Chemistry, English, French, Geography, German, Maths, Physics or Spanish

16 weeks

£3,200

£1,840 £3,200

Biology, Computing, Chemistry, French, German, Maths, Physics or Spanish

20 weeks

£4,000

£2,300 £4,000

Biology, Computing, Chemistry, French, German, Maths, Physics or Spanish

24 weeks

£4,800

£2,760 £4,800

Chemistry, Maths or Physics

28 weeks

£5,600

£3,220 £5,600

 

Supplementary bursary funding

Supplementary bursary funding is available for trainees who need additional financial support and would otherwise be unable to undertake an SKE programme. Trainees will gain the equivalent to a maximum of £85 per week and in addition to the standard rate of £115 per week. All bursary payments will be paid in arrears in equal monthly instalments for the duration of the SKE programme.

 

*Please note that NCTL funding is subject to conditions and not guaranteed. For full entry criteria and funding details, view the NCTL SKE Funding Manual 2016/2017, click here.

 

Get Advice

If you would like to find out more about how TES Institute’s subject knowledge enhancement courses can help you recruit more trainees and improve their knowledge click the 'Get Advice' button, complete the form and we’ll be in touch. Your trainees can contact us directly to discuss their individual programme, or they can read more about it by click here.

Stuart Russell - Kent and Medway Training

"As an established large and successful SCITT, the past few years have lead to us achieving our highest ever levels of employment and trainee teacher outcomes at the end of the training period. We feel that one of the key contributors to this has been our developing partnership with SKE and the TES Institute. Outstanding teachers have to have excellent subject knowledge for teaching so enabling trainees to have access to the SKE courses at an early stage provides them with a really strong foundation to build on. Whilst the courses are subject specific, they are always clearly linked to pedagogy and the trainees are constantly able to link theory with practice.

We have recommended an increasing number of trainees to the SKE courses each year and the communication and prompt responses that we receive enable our trainees to register and get going really quickly once they have accepted our conditional offer. The fact that the SKE courses have a monthly start date also fits very nicely alongside our on going recruitment procedures. The pathway tutors carry out the monitoring and assessment of the modules and all progress is shared with the subject specialists at our SCITT and myself as Course Director. Such clear communication enables us to have a clearer insight into the trainees’ potential and it also enables us to intervene where necessary.

Whilst deadlines are firmly in place, the SKE courses are very flexible and bespoke to the trainee needs so that a range of modules can be completed prior to or by the beginning of the ITT period.

We have no doubts that as we expand that we will continue to work with the TES Institute SKE courses and I am confident that this will also lead to other collaborative workings in the future."