Step 3: Gain school experience

As part of obtaining a training place, we will invite you to undertake a short placement in one of our schools to build your experience in the classroom and to help strengthen your application for teacher training.

A UCAS requirement is at least ten days’ experience in a school; the School Experience Programme (SEP) gives you the chance to watch lessons and see for yourself what it’s really like to be a teacher and allows you to draw on your own examples in any future applications or interview.

We appreciate that not everyone can complete in this in one go so we are able to break it down for you.  We typically start with two days and build on it from there at times to suit both you and the school.


Throughout your placement, you’ll have the opportunity to observe teaching and pastoral work and to talk to teachers about day-to-day life in a school. You will get the chance to see a range of different lessons and age groups being taught – but if you have any specific requests, you can talk to us about accommodating these. For instance, if you already have experience of observing lessons with younger secondary students, you might want to focus more on lessons with an older age group.

While your experience will focus on observation, you may have the chance to plan and deliver part or all of a lesson. Your time in the school might also include the opportunity to meet a member of senior management.


Before you gain a place, a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check may be required. This will be organised by Leigh Academies Trust and can take up to four weeks or more to complete – please contact us directly for further clarification (01634 412 240).

We advertise our School Experience Programme dates on the DfE website, where you may need to apply – register with the Department of Education.  If you’re eligible for the programme, you will receive an email with a registration number indicating what you need to do next.  Alternatively, you can contact the Teaching Line on 0800 389 2500 for more information.  After this, you’re ready for the next step.