New year, new career?

Jan 4, 2024

If you have always wanted to become a teacher, now is the time to apply

Are you thinking of retraining as a teacher?

Applications for the School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) course at Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust (BCCET), which starts in September 2024, are now open.

The 12-month course provides high quality training and support and hands-on experience working with children and young people. BCCET has 25 primary schools and five secondary schools across Sunderland, South Tyneside and East Durham.

Katie Robertson, 27, from Sunderland, has always wanted to be a teacher.

The former teaching assistant started the BCCET’s SCITT course in September and is enjoying her time in the classroom doing what she loves.

“As a young girl, I always wanted to be a classroom teacher and then over the last few years I’ve seen myself becoming more confident,” said Katie, who is currently on placement at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Sunderland.

“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher; I love working with children. I want to be the person at the front of the classroom knowing I can help 30 children. My aspiration is to become a deputy head.”

Suzanne Robbins, BCCET’s director of teacher development, said: “We are determined to be a highly aspirational organisation with the highest quality professional development opportunities at the heart of our work.

“Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust wants to ensure that all teachers are provided with opportunities to be the best version of themselves right from the start of their career. We want to strengthen recruitment and retention to make us the employer of choice.”

The Trust’s SCITT programme is run in partnership with Teach First and gives people hands-on experience in the classroom while they train. Trainee teachers interact every day with pupils and work as a member of teaching staff in a school local to them. The intensive and weekly training was developed in partnership with curriculum design experts at Teach First to ensure a quality research-led programme.

Their approach includes online and face-to-face training; subject and phase specific training combined with effective teaching methods; support from skilled and knowledgeable mentors; Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) on graduation.

For some subjects, bursaries and scholarships of up to £30,000 are available. Tuition fees and maintenance loans are also available, even if an applicant already has a student loan. To find out more, visit


Photo captions: Trainee teacher Katie Robertson, pictured in the classroom.

Video link of Katie Robertson – Video | Facebook


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