All applications for our teacher training programmes need to be made through UCAS. Please search UCAS Teacher Training using “The Downs School” and the post code RG20 6AD or our UCAS provider code which is 236. This will show you the current programmes available in all schools across our partnership.

Typically our trainees have a degree in a relevant subject, possibly have work experience (not necessarily linked to teaching or education), are motivated to teach and are truly enthusiastic about their future working within schools. We are looking for trainees who have what it takes to become the outstanding teachers of the future.

You must hold a UK Degree (or equivalent with NARIC paperwork to support), preferably at a classification of Lower Second Class Honours or above.

We will of course consider applications from you if you are in the last year of your studies; any offers made will be conditional based upon your obtaining predicted degree classification.

We expect you to understand a little about how young people learn and know something about the skills teachers need to be successful.

It is also expected that you will have already registered for or sat your Numeracy and Literacy skills tests.

You will be observed working with young people as part of the interview process.

In summary:


  •  Degree
  •  GCSE – Applicants must hold a C / Level 4  grade or above (or standard equivalent in GCSE Maths and English. Primary applicants must also have Science GCSE.

These qualifications must be gained before entry to the training programme.

Applicants who have studied outside of the UK must check their qualifications  with NARIC (National Academic Recognition Information Centre) before making an application and confirm their qualifications are of an equivalent level to UK GCSEs, A Levels and undergraduate degrees.

Professional Skills Tests

All applicants must successfully complete the Literacy and Numeracy skills tests before entry onto the training programme. Whilst we will interview applicants who are yet to complete the tests we may set deadlines for completion following a successful interview.

Information regarding this can be found at:

There have been some recent changes to the arrangements concerning these – further information is available here.

School Experience

Having school experience will help you make a strong application, but don’t worry if you don’t have any – it isn’t a mandatory requirement. When preparing your personal statement, make sure you demonstrate the great qualities you have that would make you an effective teacher, highlighting any experience you’ve had with children.

The experience of working with children in an educational setting will give you a clearer insight into life in a school and to observe up to date teaching methods.

The schools in our partnership are often able to arrange School Experience placements.

DBS Checks

The Downland Alliance is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. On acceptance to the programme you will need to complete a declaration regarding any criminal convictions.  All trainees must undertake an enhanced check from the Disclosure and Barring Service regarding suitability to work with young people and a fitness to teach before commencing training.

Fees and financial support

There are government bursaries available based on your class of degree and training specialism. Trainees can also apply for student loans to support them. Our tuition fees are based on the standard university rate. Trainees will receive both Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

Further information on the UCAS application can be found here.