A series of teaching images

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. And if you want to teach at secondary level and are eligible, we may be able to help you arrange placements via our school experience programme.

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

If you haven't already, you'll need to register your details with us before you can participate in the school experience programme. If you're eligible for the programme, you’ll receive an email with a registration number indicating what you need to do next. Alternatively you can contact the Teaching Line on 0800 389 2500 for more information.

Before you gain a place, 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 your application to the programme, you can contact the Teaching Line directly by emailing schoolexperience@TA-recruit.education.gov.uk or on freephone 0800 389 2500.

Arranging school experience in a primary school

The programme is not available for candidates who want to teach at primary level.

Don't worry, there are lots of ways to independently arrange to spend time in both primary and secondary schools – find out how

Get up to

10

days in a school on the School Experience Programme

More than

10,000

placement days were arranged through the school experience programme in 2013/14

 
 

Find out about the support that you’ll receive on a School Direct course from both primary and secondary trainees. Transcript (PDF, 47KB)

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

Hasina Nizamee, newly qualified biology teacher

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Upcoming events

View all events

  • School Experience days

    27 April 2015 AT 08:30

    Join us for a day – on any day between 27 April and 1 May – to experience school life and find out more about the School Direct programme.

    Killingworth Open
  • Teacher Training Taster Day

    27 April 2015 AT 08:45

    Find out if Secondary School Teaching may be for you. If you think you may want to become a secondary school teacher then join us to find out more. You will have an opportunity to experience the School in action, observe learning in your chosen subject area and talk to current trainees, teachers and learners. 

    Coggeshall Open
  • Inspiring Leaders Teacher Training School Direct open event

    27 April 2015 AT 15:30

    Please drop into this event to discuss how to apply for school direct, how the course is run, funding avaliable, places within local schools. There will be opportunity to talk to course leaders. We are looking forward to meeting you and answering your questions.

    Nottingham Open
  • University of Reading Information Evening

    27 April 2015 AT 16:00

    The University of Reading hosts regular Information Meetings to explain School Direct and other routes into Initial Teacher Training. 

    Reading Open