Getting school experience

Getting school experience

School experience is essential if you’re interested in becoming a teacher. Before you apply for your training, you’ll need to gain as much experience in the classroom as possible in order to strengthen your application and prepare you for potential interviews. 

There are also lots of ways to arrange school experience independently at both primary and secondary level. You can use this section to find out more, and update your profile’s progress bar if you’ve already got some experience under your belt or have a placement lined up.

About the programme

The School Experience Programme is available exclusively to candidates who have registered with us. It offers you the chance to observe teaching and pastoral work, and the opportunity to talk to teachers about day-to-day life in a school.

You should get the chance to see a range of different lessons and age groups being taught – but if you have any specific requests, you can talk to your school about accommodating these. For instance, if you already have experience of observing lessons with younger secondary students, you might want to focus more on lessons with an older age group.

While your experience will focus on observation, you may have the chance to plan and deliver part or all of a lesson. Your time in a school might also include the opportunity to meet or shadow a member of senior management.

How to join

Getting experience in a school is an essential part of a good application for teacher training. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to register your details with us before you can participate in the School Experience Programme. 

As part of your placement, a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check may be required. This will be organised by the school and can take four weeks or more to complete.

If you have any questions about the programme, you can call us on Freephone 0800 389 2500.

Arranging school experience independently

There are lots of ways to independently arrange school experience – find out how.

Get up to


days in a school on the School Experience Programme

More than


placement days were arranged through the School Experience Programme in 2014/15

Find out how the School Experience Programme can help you make decisions and get a greater understanding of teaching. Transcript (PDF, 202KB)

Get as much experience in schools as possible to obtain a realistic idea of what teaching is like.

Hasina Nizamee, newly qualified biology teacher

We think you may be interested in

  • Get started

    Register with us to get tailored advice and information about teaching.

    Register now
  • How to become a teacher video

    Watch this video for helpful tips on getting into teaching, from real trainees and experienced teachers. Transcript (PDF, 118KB)

  • Registering allowed me to get my school experience arranged. I even used some of the techniques that I had observed at the school for my teacher training interview.

    Chloe Wells, trainee MFL teacher
  • Make a difference to young people

    Realising how much she loved working with young people, Sarah switched from mental health to maths trainee teacher.

    More about this case study

Upcoming events

View all events