Impact of COVID-19 on teacher training

This page was updated on 14 January 2021, and will continue to be updated as new guidance is issued. Please check back regularly.

For more information about the government response to coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit GOV.UK.

If you have another question, not covered here, please get in touch.

If you are an ITT provider, and have further urgent questions, please email our dedicated COVID-19 inbox.

Advice for current trainees

If you are a current trainee teacher and have questions about your course, please contact your provider. This also applies if you are on an assessment only route.

ITT is covered in the updated guidance for schools.

Advice for applicants

Do I need to have school experience?

Getting some classroom experience can help you decide whether teaching is right for you. It is not an entry requirement for Initial Teacher Training.

You can search and sign up through our Get school experience service.

Can I get school experience?

Some schools are offering the opportunity for ITT candidates to undertake school experience both in school and virtually.

Candidates can search and sign up through our Get school experience service.

Does the 40-day rule for making decisions about ITT applications still apply?

The 40-day rule for making decisions about ITT applications still applies.

Do I have to have a face-to-face interview?

There is no requirement for a face-to-face interview. These can take place electronically, ideally by Skype or similar. Documentation such as degree and GCSE certificates may be scanned and sent electronically.

Applicants should wait to be contacted by the providers for specific guidance.

I am studying a GCSE in maths/English/science to be eligible to start ITT later in 2021, however GCSE exams have been cancelled. What should I do?

Details on assessment for GCSEs in summer 2021 are due to be confirmed after consultation in the spring term. In the meantime you should speak to your chosen training provider to discuss your situation.

Are the planned Train To Teach events going ahead?

Spring events have now been confirmed, please check the events page for more information.

What if I’m an overseas applicant?

Although global travel, including to the UK, is affected by coronavirus, we still encourage you to take the steps to becoming a teacher in England.

You should check your country’s advice as well as the UK’s advice to keep up to date with travel restrictions and self-isolation requirements. The UK government has also published guidance about what to do if you need a visa to travel to the UK and has a coronavirus immigration help centre.

Further information is available if you are affected by changes to UK immigration and borders due to coronavirus (COVID-19).


For more information about the government response to coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit GOV.UK(https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus).

If you have another question, not covered here, please get in touch.

We have been working closely across government to develop guidance on COVID-19 and its impact on Initial Teacher Training, the amended ITT criteria and assessment for QTS.