DfE Apply

We welcome applications from candidates via the DfE Apply system.

Applicants need to provide details of two referees; DfE Apply obtains each reference as part of the application process. If you are still at university, or gained a degree within the last five years:

– One reference must be from someone at your university who can comment on your academic ability and potential as a teacher.

– The other reference can be from someone who knows you from work or can comment on your character and potential to be a teacher.

If you left university more than five years ago, you can choose two referees who know you from work or can comment on how suitable you are for teaching. You can still use an academic referee if you think it is suitable.

Once the application has been received and processed by DfE Apply, it is made available online for training providers to consider.


Fraudulent Applications

All applications are checked against the DfE Apply database for fraud, and personal statements are vetted through their similarity detection device. If you omit any compulsory information we reserve the right to withdraw or amend our offer.

An Enhanced Disclosure Check is required for entry into initial teacher education and training. DfE Apply asks applicants to confirm that they agree to a check by the UK Disclosure and Barring Service. The application also requires applicants to disclose any spent or unspent convictions or any past criminal activities.

How To Apply

Please click here to go to the DfE Teacher Training website for more information on applying. All applications should be made through the DfE website.

KNSTE is the provider that acts on behalf of a large partnership of schools across Stoke-on- Trent and Staffordshire. This includes the Golden Thread Teaching School Hub (GTTSH) (https://www.goldenthreadtsh.co.uk/). You need only submit one application to us so if you are electing for the Flexible or SEND routes please select KNSTE: for all other specialisms there is no difference between KNSTE and GTTSH in terms of the programme.

Once we receive your application, we will read and review it carefully to assure ourselves that you meet our entry requirements (have a look at the information on the Entry conditions page) and that your personal statement illustrates that you share our passion and commitment to the transformative power of primary education. We recommend that you read and consider our ‘what are we looking for’ tab.

If you are successful, we will then invite you for an interview day, the morning will be hosted on Zoom and the afternoon will be held in one of our partnership schools. Our partner schools are all within easy traveling distance and you will be given the information about where the interviewing school is well in advance of the interview day to enable you to plan your journey.

We will let you know whether or not we are in a position to offer you a place very promptly following your interview day. You will then have some time to make your choice as to which provider you feel best suits you. Of course we hope that it is us!

Can we remind you that early application is desirable. DfE Apply opens in October and allows applicants to choose up to 3 training programmes at a time. Once applications are processed and received Training providers will have 40 working days to decide if they want to interview a candidate and offer them a place post interview or to decide if an applicant is unsuccessful. Successful applicants then have 10 working days from when they have heard from their final provider in which to accept or reject an offers of a places. Please check the DfE website for updates to this information and the application process.

Entry Conditions

  • Achievement of at least a 2:2 and preferably a 2:1 honours degree (or recognised equivalent). In highly exceptional and very occasional circumstances an application with a Third Class degree could be considered.
  • The relevance of an Honours degree content and /or A Levels or relevant experience in relation to the chosen specialist subject(s) see below also;
  • Passes at GCSE in English Language, Science and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent).Please note that Level 2 Adult Numeracy and Literacy are not an acceptable equivalence to the GCSE requirement for teacher education. To find out more about equivalent qualifications please read this document Equivalency-Guidance.
  • If you do not yet have a GCSE Grade C/4 or above or recognised equivalence, then please get in touch and we can discuss equivalency options with you. Tests will be through BCU and available from February 2021.
  • Selection on to our course is based on the information provided on the DfE application and on a successful interview.
  • A medical report which is deemed satisfactory;
  • A completed DBS enhanced disclosure which is deemed satisfactory by the SCITT;
  • Successfully demonstrating the potential to evidence the Fundamental Mathematics and English requirements associated with the profession of being a teacher.

UK citizens who have qualifications obtained abroad will be required to obtain a NARIC verification to inform the judgement as to the suitability of the degree for our programme.

As specialist pathways in Art and Design, Early Years, English and the Performing Arts, English & Communication (SEND), Mathematics, Geography and History, PE and Science are offered, there is an expectation that candidates will have relevant prior study and attainment in at least one of these subjects/areas. This will relate to either a related A level, and element of your degree or appropriate prior experience in relation to your specialism.

Prior School-Based Experience.

If you are applying for either our Primary programme or English & Communication (SEND), prior school experience is not required. However, if you would like any help in applying for our programmes please do get in touch with us. Our Back to School and insight days may provide you with an opportunity to see if teaching is for you.

English Language Requirements

If your first language is not English then you must have IELTS 7.0 or equivalent with a minimum of 6.5 in each sub-test or equivalent.

What We Are Looking For?

We are looking for applicants who have a passion for primary education and the transformative role that it plays in the improvement of children’s lives.  Our programme foregrounds the aims and principles of the Cambridge Primary Review Trust. Like them, we believe in a broad and balanced curriculum that foregrounds:

  • equity, both social and educational;
  • empowerment of children and teachers;
  • expertise in childhood, pedagogy (learning, teaching, curriculum, assessment) and leadership;
  • excellence in learning and teaching.

Some of our trainees had this to say about the course…

"The course is great and really enjoyable. I certainly think that this course is for me. it is hard work but i feel as though all of the sessions have increased my effectiveness."
"The course has been exceptional in providing support for knowledge, skills and pastoral needs which enabled me to feel very confident in my teaching practice….and I know which aspects need to be developed next."
“The course is organised very well and all tutors have really good subject knowledge and are all approachable.”

How We Select

Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education co-ordinates recruitment across our partnership of primary schools in Stoke, Staffordshire and east Cheshire. Initially we review your DfE Apply application to ensure that you meet our entry requirements and that your personal statement reflects the capabilities that we are looking for.  If your application meets these stringent criteria then you will then be invited for an interview.

During your interview you will hear more about our programme, engage in a group discussion, be invited to teach a 15 minute lesson and you will also be interviewed by a SCITT tutor alongside a school-based colleague.

We recognise that this is a demanding process. It is one that involves considerable commitment from you.  Our experience suggests that this rigorous process enables us to best match applicants to the places available.  Ours is an intense, high quality programme and we need to both assure ourselves, and to give you the confidence, that you are best placed to make the most of the opportunities that we have on offer.

It might also be worth noting the DfE advice about offers of places on a course, which is to wait until you have heard from all your providers before making any decisions.  This is to help you choose the provider that is best for you.  No provider should ask you to withdraw from your other choices or to make a decision before then.