Information about subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) support for initial teacher training (ITT) recruitment.
This information is for initial teacher training (ITT) providers and School Direct lead schools.
If you’re an applicant to an ITT course, visit our subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) pages on the Get into Teaching website.
The Department for Education (DfE) funds SKE programmes in:
- design and technology
- religious education
As a School Direct lead school, or an ITT provider, you may see applicants who have the potential to become outstanding teachers but who need to increase their subject knowledge before the Teachers Standards can be met. An SKE programme can help you to feel confident that they can be recruited.
Choosing your SKE provider should be part of your recruitment plans. Use the Subject knowledge enhancement (SKE): course providers directory to find a suitable provider. If you’re a School Direct lead school, you may want to discuss SKE with your partner ITT provider.
How to know if an applicant needs SKE
The need for SKE is usually identified by a school or provider during the recruitment and selection process. This could be:
- when the applicant is undertaking school experience
- during discussions with an individual before they apply
- from the application form
- during the applicant’s interview
Applicants may need more specific subject knowledge to begin an ITT course if they have:
- a degree that’s related to the subject rather than an exact match for it
- studied the subject at A level, but not degree level
- an unrelated degree but relevant professional knowledge in the subject
- studied for a languages degree, but need a second language at an acceptable level for teaching in schools
- a degree in the subject but have not used their degree knowledge for many years
Applicants who have a degree in their chosen ITT subject awarded in the previous 5 years are not eligible for a funded SKE course.
How SKE programmes are provided
SKE courses can vary in terms of duration, from an 8 week refresher or booster programme through to a 28 week programme, and can be undertaken by trainees on a full-time or part-time basis. All SKE programmes must be completed before qualified teacher status can be recommended and awarded.
SKE can be offered by a wide range of providers depending on your applicant’s needs. Providers may include:
- a university education or subject department
- another school
- another ITT provider
- a third party supplier
SKE courses can be:
- completed before or alongside ITT courses
- offered online, through distance learning, face-to-face or a mixture of these approaches
SKE for additional languages
If an applicant for ITT specialising in languages is already adept in a language other than English, you can use our SKE funding to refresh their skills in any additional language. This includes modern foreign languages, community languages, Latin and Ancient Greek. Through the selection process you should:
- identify suitable applicants who will benefit from an SKE programme
- concentrate on their level of existing and previous language knowledge
- make their offer of teacher training conditional on undertaking a language SKE
SKE programmes listed on the Subject knowledge enhancement (SKE): course providers directory are usually for French, German and Spanish. However, you can develop and offer tailored SKE programmes in other languages to meet the needs of your applicants.
Funding is available for physics SKE programme costs and training bursaries from January 2021.
For all other SKE courses in the 2020 to 2021 academic year, funding will be available from April 2021.
For all SKE courses in the 2020 to 2021 academic year:
- programme costs are funded at a unit fee up to £200 per week per participant
- the participant bursary funding is £175 per week per participant
We are planning to replace grant funding for SKE with a multi-provider framework agreement, appointed by tender.
We have launched the tender to deliver SKE. Read the tender for further information.