FAQs for School Partners

General Admissions (for school direct partners) International DBS and safeguarding

General

I would like to get involved in hosting Reading Partnership Teachers (RPTs) in my school but haven’t done so before. What do I do next?

We would be delighted to have you on board! We would talk placements through with you to make sure that your school has the capacity to support students, and you would need to sign our Partnership Agreement. Please email IoE School Placements if you would like to become involved.


I have an experienced teaching assistant in my school who would like to do their training with us. Where do I start?

It sounds like our School Direct programmes might be the right way forward. Identify one of the School Direct Partners listed on our Primary or Secondary pages, and identify the one that is closest to your school. We would be happy to talk with you about what it means to host a School Direct student and how to become part of a training consortium.


I am interested in hosting RPTs in my school but I’m concerned about the workload for my staff. What advice do you have?

We offer extensive support to mentors in all of our programmes. This includes initial and ongoing training, regular meetings and visits from a university supervising tutor to quality-assure the placements and provide support and reassurance that everything is on track.

Please email IoE School Placements if you would like to become involved with Primary placements, or PGCE Secondary Placements if you would like to become involved with Secondary.


How can I be confident that any RPT placed in my school will have been fully vetted?

As part of recruitment and enrolment, we have robust processes for ensuring that all students meet the entry requirements. This includes not only checking conditions such as GCSE or equivalent qualifications, and first degrees for those on postgraduate courses, but undertaking the DBS and childcare disqualification checks. Students are provided with documentary evidence to confirm that these checks have been carried out. For students on employment-based courses, the employing school or setting has the responsibility for making sure the DBS check is completed.


I have concerns about an RPT based in my school, who should I contact?

Your RPT will have a supervising tutor who is your first port of call to discuss their placement. In addition, there is a Handbook for every placement containing contact details for the Programme Director, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions or concerns.

Admissions (for School Direct partners)

I need some advice on the admissions process. Who should I contact?

Please contact the admissions team at teachertraining@reading.ac.uk


Who checks the qualification certificates of potential RPTs? 

All students are asked to scan and send us a copy of their qualification certificates as a condition of their offer. We check that certificates match the qualifications entered on the application and attach copies to the application record so that they are available if required for external audit/inspection purposes. We also ask applicants to bring their certificates when they come to enrol at the university so that we can see the originals.


I have interviewed a prospective RPT and would like to offer a place. What do I do next? 

Please send a copy of the completed interview form to teachertraining@reading.ac.uk. We will then check the application and send a formal offer email to the potential RPT with details of all academic and non-academic conditions attached to the offer, along with details of fees payable. We will also communicate the decision to UCAS.


I have sent confirmation that I would like to offer a place to teachertraining@reading.ac.uk. How long will it take for the formal offer email to be sent to the applicant?

We aim to send the offer emails within 5 days of receiving the form.


An applicant has contacted me to say they’ve received their offer but can’t accept their place. What should I tell them?

Applicants aren’t able to accept their places until they have had decisions from all of their application choices.  They will need to either wait for decisions from all providers they applied to or, if they don’t want to wait, they can withdraw from the choices they haven’t heard back from via the UCAS track.


I wish to offer a place to an applicant that has been ‘rejected by default’ as the 40-day decision window has expired. Can I still offer a place?

Please contact teachertraining@reading.ac.uk with the details. In most cases, if the applicant has not accepted a place elsewhere, we can re-instate the application and make an offer.


One of my offer holders has been ‘declined by default’ as they didn’t accept their offer within the 10-day deadline. However, they still wish to accept our offer. What should they do?

The university is unable to re-instate the applications in these cases. However, the applicant can ‘re-add’ the course as a choice in “Apply 2” and the offer can then be re-issued by the university. Please contact teachertraining@reading.ac.uk for assistance.


I have an RPT who wishes to defer their offer to next year. What should they do?

We do not defer offers for teacher training and ask potential RPTs to submit a fresh application at the start of the next cycle. For university-based PGCE courses, we ask potential RPTs to attend another interview and will issue an offer for the new entry point on receipt of the new application.


I have a potential RPT who has accepted a place with another provider but now wishes to train with our school. How can we make an offer?

The applicant will need to withdraw from the course choice that they have previously accepted. They can do this through the UCAS track. The applicant should then be able to add another choice in “Apply 2” (but beware of providing this advice unless you are certain you are going to make an offer!).


A potential RPT has advised me that they won’t receive their degree result until after the programme starts. Is this a problem?

There may be a small amount of flexibility if the results are received within 2-3 weeks of the start date but the student-teacher won’t be able to fully enrol until all conditions are met. If it is likely to be later than this we would advise the applicant to apply for the next year instead. 


An offer holder has been offered a place for the “QTS only” route but now wishes to follow the “with PGCE” route (or vice versa). What do I need to do?

Please complete the form available on our course change request page. We will then update the record and issue an amended offer email with the new details.

International

I have an applicant with overseas qualifications. How can I check if these meet the degree/GCSE requirements?

Please ask the applicant to provide a certificate or transcript showing details of their awards. Then forward this to teachertraining@reading.ac.uk.  We have a range of resources we can use to check qualifications. If we are unable to determine eligibility we may ask the applicant to obtain a NARIC comparability statement. 


I have a candidate who is not a UK national. How can I check whether they will pay home or international fees?

UK nationality or UK residency alone does not necessarily guarantee home fee status eligibility and fee status assessment can often be complex. All offer emails to applicants initially assessed as overseas include details of how they can request a re-assessment if they think they should be eligible for home fees. If you need advice on possible fee status before making an offer please contact teachertraining@reading.ac.uk and we will provide guidance on possible fee status or any issues.


I have an EU applicant. Are they still eligible for Home fees?

Following the UK’s exit from the EU, the government have confirmed that EU nationals will now be have to pay overseas fees. However, EU nationals that have been granted pre-settled or settled status under the EU settlement scheme may still be eligible for home fee status. We have contacted relevant offer holders with this information but please feel free to direct any queries to teachertraining@reading.ac.uk


I have an RPT who will need a visa to enter the UK. Who will act as a sponsor for the visa?

The university arranges the student visas and acts as sponsors for tuition fee trainees and we will contact offer holders in June with the CAS number that they require for their visa application. Salaried RPT will need a work visa sponsored by the training school.

DBS and Safeguarding

Who carries out the DBS check for School Direct RPTs?

The university is responsible for DBS checks for Tuition Fee RPTs. We cannot accept checks carried out by schools or other third parties unless they are registered with the update service (see below).  Further instructions for applying for the DBS are sent to offer holders from March onwards and can also be found on our DBS details page. We do not carry out the checks more than 6 months in advance of the course start date.

The DBS checks for salaried RPTs are the responsibility of the training school.


I want to check whether a current student undertook a DBS check before starting the course.  Where can I get this information?

We do not allow any students to fully enrol for the course unless they have met all safeguarding conditions including an Enhanced DBS check and medical assessment. DBS certificates are the property of the trainee (we don’t keep a copy on their record) and they can also self-serve a letter from their university student RISIS portal which confirms their DBS certificate number and issue date. 


Does the university accept DBS checks through the update service?

Yes – provided it meets specified criteria. Further details can be found on our DBS webpage.


How do my RPTs find out about the medical fitness to teach procedure?

Details and instructions are included in the offer email. Further details are available here.


What other safeguarding checks do the university undertake for new RPTs?

We will check all School Direct Tuition Fee students against the DfE Teachers prohibition order register. We will also ask all Primary School Direct Tuition Fee students to complete a Childcare Disqualification Regulations declaration form.
For Salaried RPTs these checks are the responsibility of the training school.