The personal statement is your opportunity to let training providers know about your qualities, skills and expertise, and why you want to teach.
You can only complete one personal statement for all the choices you make in both Apply 1 and Apply 2. You can’t change it or create different ones for university or school-based choices. The providers you’re applying to understand this, so they won’t be expecting you to say specific things about them or their programmes. However, if you’re applying for programmes in a particular subject or age group, it would be helpful to explain why you have chosen them, and the skills and attributes you have that make them appropriate for you.
I read hundreds of UCAS applications for teacher training every year, and I cannot stress how important the personal statement is.
Claire Harnden, Director of Initial Teacher Training at Surrey South Farnham SCITT
What to include
You do need to think carefully about the things that all your chosen providers will want to know about you. You’ll probably want to include things like:
- your reason(s) for wanting to teach
- evidence that you understand the rewards and challenges of teaching
- details of your previous education and how you have benefitted from it
- any other work with young people, such as helping with a youth club, working at a summer camp or running a sports team
- the range of relevant abilities and skills you can bring to teaching, for example, practical experience, managing people, working with or leading a team, and communication skills
- any reasons why there may be restrictions on your geographical mobility
- why you want to study in the UK, if you don’t currently live here
- whether you’ve taken part in the School Experience Programme (SEP) organised by the National College of School Leadership (formerly the Teaching Agency)
These are the things all training providers want to know – whether they’re School Direct, a university or a SCITT – so there’s no need to worry that you can’t write different personal statements. Read what SCITT director, Claire Harnden, looks for in a teacher training personal statement.
In addition to the details you give in the school and work experience section, you can also expand on your experience of teaching, such as visits to schools, classroom observations or working as a teaching assistant. To help, read Chris Chivers' tips for completing your teacher training application.
Whatever the route, the process will have similar elements, which are worth considering, so that the appliation has the greatest chance of making an impression.
Chris Chivers, experienced ITT tutor and mentor
How to write it
You can use up to 4,000 characters or 47 lines of text (including spaces) – whichever comes first. Some word processing packages calculate character and line counts differently from the UCAS Teacher Training system, so you might need to redraft your statement if there’s a discrepancy between the counts.
- Write in English (or Welsh if you’re applying to Welsh providers) and avoid italics, bold or underlining.
- Get the grammar and punctuation right and redraft your statement until you’re happy with it.
- It’s a good idea to write your personal statement in a word processor first, then copy and paste it into your application.
Don’t copy anyone else’s personal statement or from statements posted on the internet. Make sure your personal statement is all your own work.
We screen all personal statements across our Copycatch similarity detection system. If we find any similarity, your application will be flagged – you and all your choices will receive an email alert and this could have serious consequences for your application.
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I am hoping to apply for the PGDE in Scotland for 2018 entry. I know I am early but want to get myself organised to put myself in the best position when it comes time to apply at the end of the year.
I was wondering if anyone who has applied for entry this year would be able to give any advice on what I should be doing job wise to put me in the best position.
I began working as a Pupil Support Assistant for Edinbugh Council in October 2016 and intend on staying there until it is time to got to Uni, but is there anything I can be doing in the evenings, weekend or holidays to get me more expereince that would help.
I left my undergrad in 2005 and have since then been working in childrens nurseries and as a support worker for vulnerable kids and families but I feel this has made my expereince pretty limited and I obviously want to make my application stand out as much as possible.
I was not able to apply for 2017 entry as I do not have the level of Maths needed so will be applying to do that open learning 2017/18.
Any advice would be great.
Your everyday job doesn't really matter. On my course we had an ex-solicitor, ex-nurse and ex-police.
I'd shadow at any primary age group you haven't worked with. A day or two to put on your application would be fine.
If you wanted to do something in the evenings then a youth group, Brownies, cubs etc are also useful but again certainly not mandatory.
I'd recommend plenty of reading- whatever the current curriculum docs are plus any books you can get from your local library on teaching. Prep for the interview. Get a fair all round view of what the job entails, good and bad and how you might deal with difficult children. Watch some documentaries online- The Secret Life of 5 Year Olds is great for developmental understanding.
Also, don't worry if you don't get in first time. Not everyone does. Use that time to improve your quals- take the next level of maths units you can. But very good luck for this year coming!
I think it sounds to me like you have plenty of experience already! Most uni's seem to be asking for 'experience working with children of primary age' so anything you can get will go in your favour. I started the PGDE secondary teaching a few years ago but left due to problems at home and to get in all I done was volunteer 1 day a week in my local school.
I will also be applying for 2018 entry so hopefully we are giving ourselves a good head start! The uni's are also asking for knowledge of the current education curriculum so I would read up on that. I already have some knowledge on this as we also used this us secondary teaching but that was in 2012 so I'll need to remind myself about it all.
Where are you hoping to study? I'll be applying to Strathclyde, glasgow, UWS and edinburgh but Strathclyde is my number 1 choice x