“ The official Graduate Teacher Training Registry website. „
This is the website which accepts applications for Postgraduate Teacher Training in the UK. I have visited it several times over the past few years and have always found it to be very useful and simple to navigate.
For those of you wishing to apply to become a teacher, you need to apply through this site for all full time courses starting in September each year. Just to clear up a bit of 'jargon' there are two main postgraduate routs into teaching that this site caters for:
PGCE - Postgraduate Certificate of Education which is a one year full time course taken at a Higher Education institute. If you take this option your time is split 1/3 at college/university and 2/3 on professional placement (teaching) in schools and is the option that most trainee teachers take.
SCITT - School Centered Initial Teacher Training which is where you learn 'one the job' under the guidance of a training consortium.
In order to apply for either of these courses you must apply via the GTTR website.
The homepage or www.gttr.ac.uk is simple and easy to navigate. You are given several options:
This facility lets you search for courses available. You choose what type of teacher training courses you are interested in my choosing 'Primary', 'Middle Years' or 'Secondary'. You also select your main subject of interest (which is more relevant to those wishing to teach in secondary schools), and the location you are interested in (please note that GTTR is only used for applications to colleges in the mainland UK, those wishing to train in Northern Ireland must apply directly to Queens University or The University of Ulster). A handy feature of this course search is that you can choose to filter the results by highlighting that you are only interested in seeing courses that have vacancies (i.e., those that have not already filled up) as well as seeing full time or part time courses only.
This allows you to narrow down your search as there is a maximum number of courses you are allowed to apply for in any given academic year (at the moment this is 2 courses if you are interested in Primary teaching, and 4 if you wish to do secondary).
This links you to the application form. You must register with the site before you start filling out the form. Registration is simple and you are given an user name and password in order to complete you application. The form itself is not dissimilar to the UCAS form (University and Colleges Admission Service) which you will have filled in when applying for undergraduate courses. The form has 6 main sections:
1. Welcome gives a brief overview to the form and tells you how the online system works, for example, how to mark sections as complete or highlight those which need changes before the final form is submitted.
2. Personal Details - Basic Information Such as your name, contact details and date of birth.
3. Education - where you enter your degree information (expected or achieved) and your GCSEs and A Levels or equivalent)
4. Choices - In this section you list (in order of preference) the courses you wish to apply for. It is important to think carefully about this section because unlike with UCAS, your application is not send directly to all institutions listed. It is sent only to the first one. Should you be successful in gaining a place at your first choice of institution, you accept your place and the process ends. However, should you be unsuccessful you application only then be sent to your second choice. This process continues to the 3rd if your 2nd choice doesn't accept you and to your 4th should your third also be unsuccessful.
5. Referee Details - You will be required to nominate a reference to support your application, if you have been out of university for less than 5 years this must be an academic reference from a lecturer or personal tutor but if you have finished studying more than 5 years ago, an employer is recommended. Make sure that you always check with the person you nominate before providing their details as the whole process can be held up if your referee is not willing or not expecting to write this reference.
6. Personal Statement - Possibly the most dreaded part of the application, you are required to write a summary of your experience and motivations to enter the teaching profession. You have only 47 lines in which to complete this, however, online pro formas on websites such as www.tda.go.uk can assist you with completing this section.
Once you have completed you application form you need to send it off to gttr. This costs £17 (for those wanting to train in 2010/11) which you need to pay with a credit or debit card.
The Apply section also contains answers to some frequently asked questions such as extra allowance for students with disabilities, information on the cost of training and the options for additional student support and bursaries and important dates by which your application must have been received. The official deadline for applications is generally the end of July before the September in which you wish to start your course. However, it is recommend that you apply sooner rather than later as once places fill up, extra space is not made available. For those applying for Primary Teaching - the deadline is 1st December 2009 if you wish to be considered for your 1st choice of university - the reason for this being that Primary is much more competitive than Secondary and places tend to fill up a lot quicker.
One you have completed your application, paid your fee and your reference has been received by GTTR, you can track the progress of your application by logging onto this section of the website using your user name and password used to complete your application. This will tell you the current status of your form, e.g. your form is being considered by your first choice, or your first choice was unsuccessful and your application has now been sent to your second choice. This is useful in that it gives you an idea of how you are progressing and when you can expect to hear from the courses. You have applied for.
Where to Train:
Is the final section of the website, and to be honest, I didn't really see the point of it. It gives information that has already been listed elsewhere on the site such as 'How to Apply', a list of providers and entry requirements (which you should have already found using the course search facility) and a list of FAQ's which again are answered in the 'Apply' section of the website - I presume that it is there so that all the information is condensed in one place hence making the website more user friendly.
Overall, GTTR is fairly straight forward to use, I didn't like having to pay £17 to apply for these courses but unfortunately it is the only option available to us budding student teachers.
If anyone else has any further questions about the application progress, I am not by any means an expert, but am willing to try and help.
GTTR stands for Graduate Teacher Training Registry and is the place to go if you want to be a teacher! Sounds simple but this site contains a wealth of information that I've found useful in my application process as well as supporting the actual form you need to apply for the courses. It's a site that I've used a lot over the past year, especially before Christmas when I was applying for my course, and is one that I've found to be really good.
In order to qualify as a teacher these days you have two main routes, you can either go to University and do a four year course which incorporates a Post Graduate Certificate of Education into either an education or teaching degree or you can follow the more common route and do a one year PGCE course once you have a normal undergraduate degree. I opted for the latter route and so found myself applying for my PGCE in October 2008.
To apply everyone must go through the GTTR site as that's the managing body in a sense, you cannot apply directly to the University you wish to go to. As such the GTTR recieves a huge amount of visitors, especially during the autumn and winter months of the year as this is the key time to apply. So if you fancy a change of career or just want to have a bit of a look the Graduate Teacher Training Registry website is where you need to go!
The homepage of the GTTR is very welcoming and user friendly as well. There are four boxes running along the top of the page and four boxes running down the left hand side of the page which are what you use to navigate the site and provide access to the main areas. In addition there's a little introductory text in the centre of the page as well as a news box on the right hand side which shows the most recent news in connection to the site. Overall it's quite bare looking in a clear sense with a plain white background, links written in red to highlight them and a couple of pictures of happy people to ensure the page isn't too bland looking. It's easy to find the link you want within seconds too, simply by using the four options along the top of the page and the four down the left hand side as well. The menu running down the left of the homepage is probably the most useful and has four different options:
1. Course Search
This basically allows you to search all of the different teacher training courses out there in one simply step. There are five boxes to complete here if you so wish which allow you to narrow down the results you'll receive to ones that you're interested in. You can select age range (primary, middle, secondary, further education), subjects (english, history, maths), providers (north west, south west or individual Universities), course type (full time, part time, with vacancies, without vacancies) and course level (professional or postgraduate). Once you've entered your criteria and pressed search you'll be shown all the results applicable to you. They're displayed by type of course and then the provider. You can then click on them further to find out more about that particular course such as the entry requirements, the interview process, etc. They will often provide links directly to that University's website and the area on the PGCE course so you can find out more. The course search is really easy to use in that it is fairly self explanatory and it takes seconds to produce the results which then provide you with pretty much all the basic information you require.
This allows you to apply for a course on the site. By clicking the register / log in option a new page will open whereby you can either register or log into your application. Registering takes about two minutes and asks for only the most basic of details such as name and address. Once you've registered or logged in you're ready to work on your form which is split into various sections including personal details, course choices, education history, personal statement, etc. You can save your form if you wish to work on it at intervals which I'd certainly recommend as it's easy to get bogged down if you spend too long in one sitting on it. Completing the form takes different amounts of time, it took me about twelve hours in total over a week as I kept changing my personal statement around and deleting bits from it to get it within the space allowed. It's certainly not a quick form to complete at all as you have to be quite detailed in certain parts but it is laid out in a really easy to follow way. I really liked the fact that when you finished a section you could mark it as complete and this would show in a progress diagram everytime you logged in which gave me a sense of progression. As I've already mentioned the GTTR is the only way to apply for a PGCE so this section of the site is absolutely vital.
3. Track Progress
Once you've applied for your courses on the site all that is left to do is wait and of course track your progress. By logging in here you'll be able to see where your application is up to, has it been sent to your first choice yet, have they offered you an interview, have they simply rejected it, has it been sent to your second choice then, and so on. When I was waiting to hear back from my first course choice I was logging onto this area of the site at least once a day if not more! It's an easy way to see what's going on with your application and exactly where you're up to, plus it saves you spending a fortune on ringing up the GTTR and moaning down the phone at them! It's also where you need to go to see if you have recieved any offers after you've had an interview. If you do recieve an offer then you can also choose to accept or reject it on this area as well... I accepted mine the second I saw I'd been offered a place!
4. Where To Train
This is a relatively unimportant area of the site that I didn't actually bother using as I already knew which University I wanted to go to. However if you're stuck it may help you a little although the information provided here can be accessed from other areas of the site as well.
There is a lot more information on the site than that already discussed so I'll try to provide you with a brief summary of what else you can find. By using the menu running along the top of the page and clicking on the first option of students you'll be taken to a new page that includes links to "GTTR Terms Explained" which simplify some of the jargon used on the site, "Before You Apply" which suggests things you need to consider such as the different course types and course entry requirements, "How to Apply" which offers help on the actual online application system including completing it and writing a good personal statement and "After You Apply" which tells you what happens with your application once it's submitted to the site and how the whole process works.
All the guidance on this area of the site was so useful to me when I was applying, it was basically like a really detailed and thorough FAQs containing every possible question I could think of! There is also other key information such as important dates and course funding options. The other three options on the top menu are referees and this is for someone who has been sent a request to be a reference, when you apply you need to give two references. Before your application can be submitted and paid for one of these must provide a reference on the site. There is also a link for providers for course providers and an about us link which gives a little more background information on the GTTR as well as a contact option if you should wish to contact them directly.
I used this site last year to submit my application for a PGCE and it really helped me with the application form as well as providing me with a wealth of information that I wouldn't have found elsewhere so easily. There is plenty more I could say about the site but unless you're going to use it or have used it in the past it probably won't make much sense. Instead I'll just summarise that this site is incredibly user friendly with clear links to everything you need, very easy to navigate using these links and fast to load as well considering the number of visitors it must have. If you're thinking of teaching in the future then this is the place to go, it'll help you out immensely!
Thanks for reading.