Aspire Academy Trust

Train to Teach: FAQs

Cropped children

If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please feel free to get in touch with us at

Why should I choose Aspire Academy Trust?

What would I get from Aspire that others might not offer?What route does initial teacher training Aspire take?

How will I be assessed?

What support will I have?

How many schools will I train in?

Can I choose which age group I would like to train with?

What are the entry requirements?

What happens after I complete initial teacher training?

How do I apply?

How can I get school experience?

What if I am not yet sure if teaching is for me?

What does the interview and selection process involve?

How much does it cost to train with Aspire?

Where can I get more information about training with Aspire?




Why should I choose Aspire Academy Trust?

  • We provide teacher training across our multi-academy trust of schools in Cornwall. Training with Aspire offers a unique opportunity to be part of a forward-thinking, dynamic multi-academy trust.

  • We work in partnership with Cornwall SCITT to deliver and verify our programme, so everything they offer on their own courses is included in our offer, plus more!

  • Part of our strength as a Trust is how collaboratively we work across our academies, which offers invaluable experience and insight to trainees who can access a wealth of ideas and best practice.

  • Our growing number of academies means we are continually expanding our breadth of innovative ideas and teaching practice, with a wealth of highly-skilled, qualified and experienced staff.

  • We are all passionate about achieving the best outcomes for our pupils. 

What would I get from Aspire that others might not offer?

  • Career prospects. Training with us could be the start of an Aspire career. Where vacancies are available and circumstances allow, if our trainees pass the training year and achieve Qualified Teacher Status, we will seek to place them as Early Career Teachers (ECTs) in our Aspire schools, taking away the stress of applying for jobs and interviews whilst training.

  • personal-issue laptop for the duration of training to connect and be fully integrated into the Aspire networks and our online community of resources.

  • Dedicated mentor time with excellent class teachers to develop practice.

  • Our class teachers working with trainees also have access to mentoring themselves to help them give the best support.

  • All placements in Aspire schools, carefully chosen to give trainees the best experiences.

  • Support from a wide range of expert practitioners and teachers across a range of areas.

What route does initial teacher training with Aspire take?

  • Training is full-time for one year, with successful completion leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) with PGCE (validated by Bath Spa University) via the postgraduate fee-funded route. Unfortunately, we don't offer any paid training. 

  • Three quarters of the training is spent in Aspire schools, with the remaining 25% spent on centre-based training with Cornwall SCITT, where trainees build knowledge of the curriculum and methods of teaching and learning. Time at the centre is spread evenly throughout the year. Some providers structure the course so one day each week is out of school for course learning – our course is structured so that whole weeks are either in school or at the training centre for course learning as we think this works better for our trainees and their learning. 

  • Students will begin by observing lessons, getting to know the children and working with small groups, before undertaking teaching practice with whole classes under the guidance of school-based mentors. This is interspersed with a series of assignments and evidence gathering.


How will I be assessed?

  • Trainees will undertake whole class teaching practice which is observed by either the school-based trainer and/or the programme tutor.

  • Trainees will also complete a series of tasks, assignments and collect evidence of practice.

  • Ultimately, trainees are assessed against the Teachers’ Standards.


What support will I have with Aspire Academy Trust?

  • Trainees are assigned a specially trained school-based trainer (the class teacher) within each school they are placed in. This person is responsible for supporting and guiding the trainee’s professional development and ensuring they have the opportunities they need.

  • Trainees will have joint PPA (Planning, Preparation and Assessment) time with their school-based trainer to develop these skills.

  • Trainees will have weekly mentoring sessions with their class teacher, which is dedicated time for trainees to develop their practice. 

  • Trainees are able to reach out more widely across the Trust to access wider support and to develop skills and practice. For example, if a trainee would like to see phonics teaching in another Aspire setting, this could be arranged. 

  • An additional layer of mentoring is in place for our school-based trainers, to ensure that they are able to best support their trainees. 

  • Trainees also have support from an assigned tutor from Cornwall SCITT, as well as access to a pastoral mentor. 

  • Through the personal-issue laptop given for the duration of the training, trainees are able to access online communication and support networks to connect with other trainees, mentors and early career teachers within the Trust. 


How many Aspire schools will I train in?

  • At least two. Students are placed in an Aspire academy for the Autumn Term, before moving onto a second Aspire academy during the Spring Term. Trainees will either then move onto a third Aspire academy or return to their first placement school for the Summer Term.

  • There are also plenty of opportunities to visit other Aspire settings to expand skills and experience - something that other training routes may not be able to offer.


Can I choose which age group I would like to train with?

  • Yes. We offer two courses - Primary (3-7) and Primary (5-11).

  • The 3-7 course specialises in the early years, with placements in Reception and Key Stage One.

  • The 5-11 course specialises in the broader primary setting, with placements in Key Stage One and Key Stage Two.

  • Both courses qualify trainees as a primary school teacher, and you can still teach any phase, even if it is not one of those you trained with. This allows you to train in a phase that may be more comfortable or familiar. 


What are the entry requirements?

  • A first degree from a UK Higher Education institution of a 2:2 or above (achieved or pending), or an equivalent qualification.  

  • GCSEs in Maths, English and Science at grade C or 4 or higher. Candidates without the required GCSEs are advised to complete equivalency tests prior to application – or

  • School experience is not an entry requirement, however we strongly recommend this as a way of helping to confirm your chosen career. If you would like help in gaining school experience, we have some opportunities available in our schools. 


What happens after I complete initial teacher training with Aspire Academy Trust?

  • Following successful completion and achieving Qualified Teacher Status with us, where vacancies are available and circumstances allow, we hope to place you as an Early Career Teacher (ECT) in an Aspire academy.  

  • We want our trainees to spend their training year developing skills and practice, without the added stress of job applications and interviews.  (Although you would of course be welcome to apply for roles outside of the Trust should you wish to.)

  • During the first two years of teaching after training, the ECT Induction must be completed as part of the Early Career Framework.  All ECTs employed within Aspire academies will complete the ECT Induction. We work with Best Practice Network to deliver the Full Induction Programme in Cornwall - find out more here.  


How do I apply?

  • Applications must be submitted DfE's Apply Service for teacher training (UCAS is no longer used for ITT applications). Recruitment opens in October each year, remaining open until places are filled.

  • Visit the Get Into Teaching website, for useful information and further details of how to apply. 

  • When completing your application, remember to follow the application guidelines. If you completed academic study within the last 5 years, one of your referees must be an academic tutor. You must include a reference from your current employment or voluntary work placement - ideally somebody who can vouch for your suitability to teach.  

  • The work experience/history section of the application must be comprehensive, detailing all of your work history. This must include all employed or voluntary school roles, as well as other work. All gaps in between roles must be accounted for. 

  • Ensuring applications are correctly completed helps to speed up the process through shortlisting, as we will request missing information which will delay proceedings. 


How can I get school experience?

  • If you wish to build on your experience within a school setting, we would welcome prospective trainees to come to one of our schools -  contact us at to arrange this.


What if I am not yet sure if teaching is for me?

  • Get experience - the more, the better! We welcome volunteer placements from prospective trainees, just get in touch with us. You can see an example of our schools, talk to staff and spend time in our classrooms to help you decide.

  • Securing a paid role as a Teaching Assistant can also be an excellent way of gaining experience and helping to decide if teaching is the right choice for you.


What does the interview and selection process involve?

  • Once you have submitted your application, if successful, you will be invited to an interview. This includes an applicant-led activity with a small group of children, observed by panel members. This is followed by a written task and formal interview.

  • During this process, we are looking for the qualities and potential to train to become a teacher – not the finished product!


How much does it cost to train with Aspire?

  • Fees are currently set with Cornwall SCITT at £9,250 which can be funded through a student loan or self-finance. Visit Student Finance England for more information.


Where can I get more information about training with Aspire?

  • We hold a series of information briefings for prospective students who may be interested in training with us. Dates of these should appear on our website here, or email us via for details. You can also drop us an email with your questions, or give us a call on 01726 438613.