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Hosting a trainee

Teacher training would not be possible without school placements. School placements allow trainee teachers to get a variety of experience to enable them to:

By providing school placements, schools enable the pipeline of new teachers to the profession. This may also provide an opportunity for schools to identify talent for their own school recruitment needs.

Most trainees undertake a fee-funded ITT course. This means that your school does not have to pay the trainee during their placement. Only trainees on salaried routes or apprenticeships need to be paid while in school. For the postgraduate teaching apprenticeship and school direct (salaried) route, DfE offers grant funding to contribute to the trainee’s salary and training costs in certain subjects. This is paid to the ITT provider, and they are responsible for ensuring that all funding designated to support salary costs reaches the employing school.

Overview of school placements

ITT trainees must complete at least 2 school placements over 24 weeks. They need to:

  • Teach children and young people:
    • In their specified age range
    • From different backgrounds
  • Gain experience of different approaches to:
    • Teaching
    • School organisation
    • Management.

While on placement, trainees should spend a minimum of 15 hours per week in a classroom setting. This could include:

  • Observing
  • Teaching
  • Co-teaching.

ITT courses must enable trainees to experience teacher contact time at 80% of a full teaching timetable (as is typically defined in the school where the placement is taking place) for 6 weeks during their school placements.

Placements take place at different times during the school year. They typically last between half a term and a term in length. Your ITT provider will discuss the different placement options with your school.

Placement schools also provide the trainee with a school-based mentor to support their learning and development, who can spend at least 1.5 hours with their trainee per week. Each school-based mentor must complete up to 20 hours of initial mentor training with an accredited ITT provider, time for which you can claim funding at the end of the school year. 

During the ITT placement

Every trainee will receive 1.5 hours per week of mentoring support. This is to ensure that a trainee's in-school, practical experiences are coherent with the training curriculum.

Mentors have a critical role in providing trainees with feedback on a particular approach. Mentors should use evidence to provide a structured process for improving the trainee’s practice and understanding of key concepts.

Your ITT provider will allocate a lead mentor to support the delivery of their ITT course. The role of a lead mentor is to:

  • Support and train school-based mentors
  • Supervise school-based mentors
  • Make sure all trainees are receiving sufficient mentoring and support during their placements
  • Check placements align with their trainee curriculum and the ITT core content framework.

If your school is part of a multi academy trust and can provide a lead mentor for schools in that trust, contact your ITT provider and let them know.

What happens to the mentor funding if our trainee drops out?

Schools can claim mentor funding if a mentor works with a trainee who:

  • Deferred in a previous academic year and then returns to their course in the 2024/25 academic year for any time on school placement
  • Defers or withdraws after a mentor has started their initial mentor training: mentors can continue with their training if they commit to being a mentor in the following academic year.

Schools cannot claim funding if a trainee withdraws or defers before a mentor starts their training.

What happens to the mentor funding if our mentor drops out?

A school can claim funding when a mentor does their initial training between 1 April 2024 and 31 May 2025, starts mentoring a trainee but then cannot continue mentoring due to unforeseen circumstances. The school should arrange a new mentor for the trainee. The school can also claim funding for both mentors if they both did their training between 1 April 2024 and 31 May 2025.