Don't hold back from applying for teacher training in maths, physics, chemistry, computing, design and technology, or a language because of your subject knowledge confidence. You may still be able to train to teach these subjects (and be eligible for the bursaries they attract) by building up or refreshing your existing knowledge with a subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) programme.
Subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses
The school(s) or university you apply to may ask you to take an SKE course if they feel you have the right qualities to become a teacher, but they think you need to complete additional subject training first. If that’s the case, they’ll offer you a place that's conditional on doing an SKE course.
This could be for several reasons, including:
- your degree wasn’t in your chosen subject, but it was closely related
- you studied the subject at A level, but not at university
- you have relevant professional experience, and an SKE course will show you how to apply that to the curriculum and your teaching
SKE courses are fully funded – so you won’t have to pay any tuition fees – and you may be eligible for a training bursary of up to £7,200 to support you throughout the course.
SKE programmes are available all over England at universities, schools, or third parties such as Science Learning Centres. They can be completed before your teacher training or could be delivered in parallel with some or all of your teacher training. The length of SKE varies depending on your need – from eight-week ‘refresher’ or ‘booster’ programmes, through to more extensive 36-week courses.
SKE can be offered as full-time classroom-based study, part-time and evening/weekend study, or delivered online. It could also be a combination of these approaches.
With so many options available, SKE provides an opportunity to choose the subject you want to teach and not feel limited by your degree.
Please speak with your chosen teaching training provider for more information before you submit your application.
Many trainees take subject knowledge enhancement courses for all kinds of reasons – find out how doing an SKE helped boost Darren's confidence before teaching physics.More about this case study
In a fast-moving subject like computing, teaching can be daunting. Find out why doing a subject knowledge enhancement course changed all that for Wahida.More about this case study
Realising how much she loved working with young people, Sarah switched from mental health to maths trainee teacher.More about this case study
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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