Frequently Asked Questions

I’m not a recent graduate – can I still apply?

Absolutely! Great schools are made of great teachers and we are looking for the very best – whether graduate or career changer. Our current trainees have been nurses, soldiers, lawyers and doctors, and bring some incredible skills and life experience into the classroom.

Do I have the right academic qualifications to join the Ark Teacher Training programme?

Since you’ll be studying for a post-graduate qualification alongside teaching full-time, we look for a 2:1 or above in a Bachelor’s degree with Honours, as well as A*, A and B grades at A level and GCSE (or equivalents). You’ll need at least a C grade in GCSE Maths and English language to meet the national requirements for teacher training.

Primary teaching

To be eligible to apply, your degree or equivalent qualification* may be in any subject. You must also have a GCSE in a science at C grade or above to meet the national requirements for teacher training.

Secondary teaching

To be eligible to apply, your degree or equivalent qualification* will ideally be in the subject you want to teach. However if you have a strong A Level (B+) in the subject you wish to teach, or a degree in a related subject, you are also eligible to apply.  

What if I have a 2:2?

 If you have a 2:2, we will be happy to consider your application if you can demonstrate strong academics in other areas i.e. A levels and GCSEs and strengths across our other criteria.

Do my GCSEs matter?

It is a national requirement that teacher trainees have at least grade C in English language, maths and, if you want to teach at primary level, science* so yes, they do. We are looking for candidates to demonstrate consistent academic rigour throughout your education (see our eligibility criteria for more details). Unfortunately, we are not able to process your application until you have met the minimum GCSE grade requirements for teacher training.

If you don’t currently have one of the above GCSEs or your result was below C, you can complete an equivalency test. These tests take place throughout the year and are offered by a variety of providers.

What if I did my qualifications overseas?

If your undergraduate degree and/or school exams were not taken in the UK, you will still be eligible to apply as long as your qualifications are deemed equivalent to the UK counterparts.

We will need you to provide us with a NARIC certificate of equivalency for both types of exams, at the time of your application (this is a national requirement).

The NARIC certificate for your degree must state that you have the equivalent of a UK Bachelors degree with Honours.

For your GCSE equivalents, English language is usually deemed to be a second language and therefore not equivalent to GCSE level. In this case you will need to pass an English ‘GCSE equivalency test’. We don’t accept other qualifications e.g. IELTS, Cambridge English Assessments etc.

Unfortunately, we won’t be able to consider your application until you have your degree and GCSE equivalencies on file to show us when you apply.

You must be a UK or EU national to qualify for any government funding (i.e. a bursary or salaried position).

We will be happy to help you assess your eligibility for our programme. Simply call us on 0203 1166 353 or email our team on

Do I need work experience?

By the time you decide to apply to Ark Teacher Training, we really want you to be certain that teaching is the right career for you. That is why we ask you to have some experience with young people, even if it’s not in the classroom. This is something we will ask you about at interview, so do be prepared.

How can I get more school experience?

The best way to find out what it’s like to be a teacher is to experience a working classroom yourself! If you would like to spend some time in an Ark school, we would recommend getting in touch with the school directly to arrange this. Please look here for a list of our schools.

What age groups will I be working with?

Primary trainees will work with children aged between 5-11 years. Secondary trainees will work with pupils between 11-16 years.

I’ve already done a teacher training course - can I still apply?

If you have already trained and achieved Qualified Teacher Status, you don’t need to train again. We’re only looking for people who haven’t yet achieved Qualified Teacher Status. If you are already qualified and are interested in working for Ark, have a look at our careers page to see if we have any vacancies that suit you.

I have a disability. How will you support me?

We want to make sure that our training programme is open to everybody, so if you do have a disability we will do everything we reasonably can to make special arrangements. If you would like us to do so at the interview stage, please provide details on your application form. This will in no way affect your application.

Ark Teacher Training is committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging diversity amongst our employees and trainees. Our aim is that our cohort will be truly representative of all sections of society and that each employee and trainee feels respected and able to give their best. To that end we are committed to provide equality and fairness for all in our recruitment and employment practices and not to discriminate on grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage/civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation. We oppose all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination.

If I’m selected, when would I start?

Ark Teacher Training always begins in September at the start of the academic year; there will be several days of induction and a two week summer school taking place in the summer.

Can I defer for a year?

Unfortunately, no. We can only take on trainees who are ready to start their training next year. However, we would love to talk to you about your career path and how to make a strong application when you’re ready to apply.

If I’m not accepted first time round, can I apply again?

Absolutely. For some candidates who aren’t accepted this time round, it might be helpful to go and spend some time getting more work experience before trying again. Unfortunately we’re unable to offer feedback due to the very high volume of applications we receive, but we will decline your UCAS application so that you can apply to other programmes.