Graduate Teacher Programmes (Secondary)

Graduate Teacher Programmes (Secondary) 2019/20

The Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) is an alternative to the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) as a route into a teaching career for Secondary and Primary teachers. Schools employ teachers who are not yet qualified and, in partnership with Bangor University and GwE, support them through an individual training programme leading to qualified teacher status (QTS). The trainees receive a salary from their school that is at least equal to the minimum point on the unqualified teacher scale (currently £17,208).

The programme suits experienced, well-qualified people who can quickly begin to take on teaching responsibilities and who may need to earn a living while they train. Many candidates will already have relevant teaching experience in other sectors, in other countries, or in a support role in a school.

Programme Categories

Bangor University have been allocated a quota of up to 12 Secondary Graduate Teacher programmes in the following categories:

  • 6 salary and training grant places for maintained secondary schools to support new teachers training in the designated priority subjects only (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, MFL, ICT and Welsh), with a salary grant contribution of up to £14,500 (payable to the school via the ITE centre to support the costs of the GTP trainee’s salary) and with a training grant of up to £4,500 toward training costs (payable to the ITE Centre as the employment-based ITE provider - to support the training). Chemistry and Physics can be linked to wider science content in applications, but must be the main component;
  • 6 unfunded places for applicants for overseas trained teachers who do not have Qualified Teacher Status but who have been employed at a maintained school in Wales for at least a year and who are already qualified as teachers from outside the EEA or Switzerland, or who have further education teaching qualification. These programmes are unfunded and do not attract training or salary grants. The University will need to recover training costs of £4,500 from the schools. Schools should be in a position to pay the trainee as a non-qualified teacher for the duration of the programme; Also for applicants wishing to train to teach a vocational subject in the delivery of the 14 -19 local curriculum in maintained schools where an urgent need for a qualified teacher has been identified to help support this teaching in subject areas which are not covered in mainstream ITE. Vocational subjects are those defined as such by the Database of Qualifications Wales. These places may also be utilised for secondary subjects which are not currently available through QTS-bearing ITE courses at accredited institutions. This category may also be utilised for teachers who have obtained a FE teaching qualification but not QTS, and who have been employed at a maintained school for at least a year. The University will need to recover training costs of £4500 from the schools. Schools should be in a position to pay the trainee as a non-qualified teacher for the duration of the programme.

General Advice

The ITE Centres acting on behalf of individual employment-based ITE providers and Regional Consortia will manage the application process and be free to decide which cases to support, including the setting of deadlines for receipt of applications.

It is recommended that potential trainees read the whole of the How the GTP operates in Wales - Roles and Responsibilities section before approaching a school. Also read the GTP Policy and Priorities Statement 2016 and the Employment-based Teacher Training Scheme 2015 which sets out the statutory entry requirements for the GTP.

Details about how to apply under the GTP will be available from ITE Centres. Schools are requested to only approach one ITE Centre, which could be either their local provider or the one with which they have the strongest links. To ensure a more even allocation of GTP places throughout Wales, the maximum number of applications any one school will be able to submit to an ITE Centre will be limited to two.

ITE providers will be free to disqualify any multiple applications. Please note that applications cannot be made direct to the Welsh Government.

As there may be strong local demand for places, schools are required to contact the ITE Centre in the first instance to establish if the employment-based ITE provider considers that an application would in their opinion meet the standards required for a good GTP place and is one which they would be able to consider for support.

ITE Centres are free to decide which cases to support. Once their quota of applications within each category have been filled they can refuse to accept any further ones. The ITE Centre will inform schools and trainees where it is prepared to support a particular application as soon as is practicable after the application process has closed. After successful schools have been informed of the outcome the ITE Centre will finalise the detailed training plan in conjunction with the school.

School Requirments

Schools who wish to participate in running programmes will need to be in a position to employ the Graduate Teacher as an unqualified teacher. The programme will consist of an appropriate but reduced teaching timetable as well as a series of training opportunities delivered by the school and the Centre. The programme will be tailored to meet the needs of the trainee and will include 50 days school based training to be distinct from the trainee’s teaching timetable.

The 50 days school based training will include 10 days teaching experience in a second school. There is also a requirement that the trainee attends an additional 10 days of University led training. The University tutor will work closely with the nominated school mentor to support the trainee. The school and the Centre will sign a Declaration of Agreement to provide training.

GTP trainees are employees of a school and cannot participate in the programme as students or unpaid volunteers. GTP trainees have the rights and duties of an employee and can only participate in a GTP programme if they have a contract of employment with a school and are paid, as a minimum, a salary set out in the unqualified teachers’ pay scale.

Candidate Qualifications

All entrants to employment-based initial teacher training must meet a minimum standard of educational attainment. Candidates for a secondary GTP will need to:

  • hold a first degree, or a qualification of an equivalent standard;
  • have attained a grade B (or equivalent) or higher in GCSE English Language and Mathematics

A GTP applicant’s first degree qualification must be worth as a minimum 300 CATS (Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme) points. This could be in the form of an ordinary/pass degree which is normally worth 300 points. An honours degree is normally worth 360 CATS points. An HND or foundation degree is usually worth around 240 points and the applicant would need to undertake further study worth 60 CATS points at HE level 3 to reach the minimum entry requirement for the GTP. If you are in any doubt as to the value of your qualification please ask the awarding body to give you a written statement of its equivalent value in CATS points.
For further guidance on the minimum degree requirements see also page 135 of the Circular Becoming a Qualified Teacher: Handbook of Guidance Circular 17/2009 issued September 2009.

Further Information

Every secondary trainee undertaking employment-based teacher training must have a specialist subject. That subject should be closely linked to the degree subject.

As a general rule we would expect at least 50% of an applicant’s degree to have been in their specialist subject. If you need to contact the ITE Centre for advice on the suitability of your degree it would help if you first prepare a list of the modules that you took to obtain your degree.

To assess the suitability of your degree you should also ask yourself “Does my degree, and/or any other qualifications/training experience I can evidence, give me a solid foundation to teach my specialist subject at A level?”

If at least 50% of the modules that comprise your degree are not in your specialist secondary subject please contact the ITE Centre to discuss whether you meet the minimum criteria for entry to a GTP programme.

The specialist subject should be the predominant or, preferably, the only subject that the trainee teaches during his/her training. He/she will need to teach his/her specialist subject across one of these age ranges: 11-16, 11-18 or 14-19.
All entrants to employment-based initial teacher training must meet a minimum standard of educational attainment.
Special Educational Needs (SEN)

In determining whether a GTP application from a Special Needs School can be considered the ITE Centre must be satisfied that the school is delivering the full national curriculum across the two learner stages applicable to the phase of study the trainee would be teaching. The applicant and supporting school would be required to meet all other entry requirements including attendance at university-led training and undertaking some training in a second mainstream placement school. Whether to support an application is entirely at the discretion of the ITE Centre.

Pupil Referral Units

Training in a pupil referral unit cannot form part of an approved programme.

Further Education Institutions

Training in a further education institution cannot currently form part of an approved programme.

Part time training

A part-time trainee may train over a longer period. In considering the training plan the ITE Centre will ensure:

i. that the trainee will be given opportunities to become as fully involved as a full-time trainee in all aspects of the work of the school; and
ii. that the trainee will be able to gain as much classroom experience and other training as an equivalent full-timer.

However, it is unlikely that those working less than 60 per cent of the school week, whatever their previous experience of teaching, could achieve QTS in the same period as those working full-time.

Application Process

The first step is to send the candidate’s pre-application form outlining their qualifications and previous experience, personal statement and letter of support, by e-mail to Once we have received the form, and if we feel that the candidate is a suitable applicant, we will contact you for more detailed information. The candidate may then be invited to attend the University for Literacy and Numeracy Assessments and an informal group interview. On successful completion of this stage University tutors will arrange to visit the school to explain in more detail how the Graduate Teacher Programme operates, observe the candidate teaching, interview the candidate and carry out a needs analysis. As the candidate is being interviewed for a teaching post at the school, as well as for the Graduate Teacher Programme, we recommend that a member of the governing body should attend the interview. Formal acceptance to the programme will be confirmed after this visit.

The application form, personal statement, your qualifications certificates and letter of support should be sent to as soon as the application process is live on the GTP website for 2019/20.  It is important to note that we may achieve our targets early and the recruitment process may end before this date. Schools should be informed whether the application has been successful within 2 weeks of the formal interview date.

Application Form

Please send an email to for an application form. All parts of the form should be carefully completed. It includes a number of key personal details including full name, address, home and work contact telephone numbers and an e-mail address. All relevant qualifications including GCSE (particularly in English Language, Mathematics and Science) and degree level qualifications should be included. An application cannot be processed until we have received certificates confirming the candidate’s degree and their GCSE qualifications in English Language, Mathematics and Science.

A more detailed form and needs analysis will be completed by the school and the applicant once we have interviewed the candidate, observed the candidate teaching and ascertained their suitability for entry onto a Graduate Teacher Programme.

Summary of the initial application process:

  1. School and candidate to complete the application together.
  2. Send the application form, personal statement, letter of support and copies of the degree and GCSE (or equivalent) certificates by e-mail to 
  3. Further information may be required on request.
  4. The candidate will be invited to the University for Literacy and Numeracy Assessments and an informal group interview.
  5. Once we are satisfied that the application meets the requirements we will arrange to visit the school to interview the candidate and observe the candidate teaching.