Press release

Talented service leavers encouraged to consider teaching

Expansion of Troops to Teachers programme offers armed service leavers a school-based training route into a classroom career.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Former armed service personnel interested in a career in the classroom will today (11 February 2015) be able to apply for a unique school-based teacher training route through the expansion of the Troops to Teachers programme.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan today announced that the University of Brighton has been chosen to lead the expansion of the programme, which will be delivered in partnership with selected higher education institutions and schools across the country.

Troops to Teachers allows eligible service leavers without degrees, but who have gained qualifications or experiences in the services - for example: teaching, instructing, mentoring and coaching - to enrol on a salaried, 2-year, school-based initial teacher training programme. Trainees will receive benefits including bespoke training and mentor support, and will gain a degree and qualified teacher status on successful completion of the programme.

The expansion of the scheme follows feedback from headteachers on the positive impact trainees from the first 2 cohorts are already having in their schools.

Troops to Teachers is one of a range school-based routes into teaching intended to make it easier for career changers to enter the profession, bringing with them the personal skills and experiences gained through their previous careers, including in the armed services.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said:

As part of our plan for education we need excellent teachers in every classroom to prepare children for life in modern Britain.

At a visit to a recent study week, I was able to see for myself the high calibre of the current trainees and the wealth of skills they can bring to teaching, including leadership, teamwork, resilience and the ability to inspire and engage.

The feedback from headteachers on the positive impact career changers can have in their school has been outstanding, and I am pleased that Troops to Teachers is offering a route for talented service leavers to continue making an important contribution to their country by inspiring the next generation.

Professor Julian Crampton, Vice Chancellor, University of Brighton, said:

I am absolutely delighted that the University of Brighton is leading the expansion of the prestigious Troops to Teachers programme.

Career changers make an essential contribution to the teaching profession and this unique route into teaching allows trainees to benefit from the best combination of employment-based and blended learning experiences that exceed the capabilities of traditional on-site training.

Beverley Martin, Executive Principal, ISCA Academy, said:

We’ve been so pleased with our involvement with the Troops to Teachers programme. It’s helped us strengthen some of our teams with high-quality trainees in shortage subjects like computer science and maths. Our Troops to Teachers trainees have proved themselves adaptable, flexible and passionate about teaching and learning.

Whether they stay with us as home-grown talent or move on to other schools, their focus and range of experience have made an important contribution in classrooms at ISCA.

Following a rigorous selection process, the expansion of Troops to Teachers will see a further 2 cohorts of highly skilled trainees begin their employment-based teacher training in September 2015 and September 2016 respectively.

The programme has been specially designed to support the particular needs of those leaving the services and will focus on developing trainees’ knowledge and skills through classroom experience, school-based training and dedicated study days.

Trainees will spend 2 years employed in schools that have been chosen for their strong record of delivering initial teacher training, including through other employment-based routes.

Troops to Teachers forms part of the Department for Education’s commitment to the Military Covenant, which helps ensure service leavers get the support they need to make a successful transition back into civilian life.

Notes to editors

  • Former service leavers who meet the eligibility criteria (below) can apply to the Troops to Teachers programme on the University of Brighton website
  • To be eligible for the Troops to Teachers programme, applicants will need to be:
    • an undergraduate - ie, not already have a degree. Service leavers who already have a degree can access other initial teacher training (ITT) and may be entitled to additional incentives subject to their chosen route if they meet the relevant eligibility criteria
    • eligible for resettlement support (having served for 4 years or more), and need to be leaving the armed services within the next 2 years or have left the armed services within the last 2 years
    • provide a Ministry of Defence (MOD) certificate of service as evidence that they have left the armed services - for those about to leave the armed services or who have recently left, confirmation in writing from their manager can be provided until the MOD certificate of service comes through
    • meet the appropriate initial teacher training (ITT) eligibility criteria (subject to route)
    • pass the professional skills tests before they enter training. Those graduating from the programme will need to meet the teachers’ standards fully and attain qualified teacher status (QTS) before they can be employed as qualified teachers
    • demonstrate that they hold either a minimum of 120 subject specialist classroom assessment techniques (CATS) credits (or equivalent) or a minimum of 240 subject-related CATS credits (or equivalent) for entry onto the programme - these may include previously gained qualifications or additional vocational qualifications, such as defence train the trainer (DTTT) or defence instructional training (DIT)
  • Full details of ITT entry criteria are available
  • Service leavers with degrees can apply to a number of initial teacher training graduate courses, which lead to QTS:
    • school direct (tuition fee) or provider-led teacher training courses - eligible graduate service leavers will receive an additional £2,000 uplift to their training bursary where existing training bursary eligibility has been established. Please note tuition fees are chargeable
    • school direct (salaried) - to apply, service leavers need to have served for 3 or more years. They’ll receive a salary and be given additional, bespoke training during the newly qualified teacher (NQT) year to ensure their teaching makes the most of their unique skills and experience. In addition, schools will receive a £2,000 uplift to the training and salary grant for eligible graduate service leavers, which will be paid to lead schools shortly after the end of the ITT year in August
  • Troops to Teachers is run by the University of Brighton as the lead in a consortium of higher education institutions comprising:
    • University of Brighton
    • Bath Spa University
    • Canterbury Christchurch University
    • University of Huddersfield
    • University of Reading
    • University of Southampton
    • University of Staffordshire

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Published 11 February 2015