Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

by Academy Admin
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Please take a look at the questions and answers below for more details on the Scholarship scheme.

General

Does the BCS Scholarship cover teacher training in Primary schools?

No, this Scholarship has been designed to support trainee Computing teachers at Secondary school level.

What are Computing teachers expected to know?

The Department for Education has recently published an indicative set of subject knowledge requirements for trainee Computing teachers. Download the requirements  You may also find it useful to review the computing curriculum.

What are Master Teachers?

With our partners at Computing At School (CAS), we are running a project to provide training and development opportunities for existing teachers that need further Computing subject knowledge and skills. As part of this project, we are creating a network of Master Teachers to drive these development opportunities on a local level. Master Teachers will help us to champion the subject of Computing, potentially take a leadership role in a school, and be involved in professionally-developing other teachers. Further details about Master Teachers can be found here.

How does the Scholarship work?

BCS is facilitating an application and selection process for the very best Computing trainee teachers in English Secondary schools. The application process is separate to the application for a place on a teacher-training course, but the Scholarship will only be paid at the commencement of a Computing / Computer Science ITT course that leads to QTS at Secondary level.

If you are successful with your Scholarship application, BCS will make a recommendation to the Department for Education for the award of a £27,500 Scholarship. The Scholarship is a replacement for the standard teacher-training bursary and will be paid to you in instalments by the Department for Education during your ITT course. Most teacher-training courses will require the payment of tuition fees; these are completely separate and the Scholarship is not designed to cover these fees.

Further information on funding arrangements can be found on the Get Into Teaching website.

Besides the Scholarship, will I receive any other support?

All Scholars will be provided with Associate membership of BCS (AMBCS) during their training year. This will provide many opportunities for networking and continuous professional development (CPD).

In addition, you will be encouraged to engage with your local Computing at School (CAS) hub so you can meet regularly with a network of practising Computing teachers and university Computing departments.

We will also be establishing a series of occasional informal mentoring activities with existing Master Teachers and, potentially, employers, to support Scholars through their training and into their early teaching careers.

What will be required of me if I am awarded a Scholarship?

We will be seeking successful Scholars to assist with future training and recruitment initiatives, where appropriate. Once qualified as a teacher, you will be required to provide occasional support to others applying via the Scholarship route.

We may also seek your views in order to improve our future Scholarship recruitment process.

Are you doing anything to support existing teachers?

The Scholarship scheme is one of our activities designed to support the building of capacity in schools. In addition to encouraging new Computing teachers, we also recognise the need to provide support to existing teachers and to help them with the transition from ICT to Computing. With our partners at Computing at School (CAS), we have created a Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science. The Network will provide this support by brokering CPD activities between teachers and university Computing departments. The Network is supported by a range of partners such as the Department for Education (DfE), Microsoft, Google, the Council for Professors and Heads of Computing (CPHC), OCR and AQA. Further detail about the Network of Excellence.

Eligibility

What qualifications do I need?

You will need to hold an honours degree with at least a 2:2 classification. If you have yet to graduate, you will need a conditional award of at least a 2:2. If your first degree classification is lower than this, but you hold a PhD or Masters qualification (or a confirmed equivalent), you will be eligible.

On an exceptional basis we will accept applications from those with a 3rd degree classification. In order for us to accept such applications, there must be strong evidence of subject knowledge and considerable industry experience.

Do I need a degree specifically in Computing?

No. However, it will be advantageous for your application if your degree contains significant Computing content.

If your degree does not have a significant amount of Computing content, we will accept applicants who are engaged in a Computer Science SKE course. If you are in this category, you are advised to submit your Scholarship application towards the end of your SKE course, because your subject knowledge will be tested as part of the application process. Your training provider will determine whether or not you need to do an SKE course as part of the application process for the ITT course you have in mind.

Extensive professional experience in the Computing industry will also be considered, in addition to a degree of the appropriate classification as defined above.

I have an overseas degree - will this count?

Yes, as long as your degree is equivalent to the degree requirements we have listed above. You are advised to check the equivalency of your degree with NARIC before applying. The grade you received for your degree is also important, as you will need to demonstrate that this is equivalent to at least a UK 2:2 degree classification. Click here for the NARIC website. We also use an overseas degree comparison chart published by the DfE to equate specific grades to UK classifications.

I have a Masters and/or PhD - will this count?

Yes, higher degrees are accepted. In the context of the Department for Education’s training bursaries, Masters degrees equate to a 2:1 and PhDs equate to a 1st.

I have not yet graduated - can I still apply?

Yes, provided that you have a conditional award of at least a 2:2. If successful, your entitlement to the Scholarship will be conditional based on you achieving the required degree classification.

I graduated some time ago - can I still apply?

Yes. It may also be the case that your professional experience would be valuable towards a career in teaching.

Teacher training courses

Where can I do my teacher training?

Our Scholarships are funded by the Department for Education, and therefore you will need to undertake your ITT with a training provider based in England. Your ITT course must be for teaching at Secondary school level. For further details on where you can do a Computing / Computer Science ITT leading to QTS, please visit the Department for Education's website.

Is the Scholarship linked to specific training providers?

No, the Scholarship is applicable to most Computing / Computer Science ITT courses taken in England leading to QTS at Secondary level. Salaried School Direct and Teach First schemes are not eligible because they are employment-based routes. As the National College for Teaching and Leadership is part of the DfE, the funding is for England only; that is to say, the Scholarships will only be paid where the ITT course is being studied with an English ITT provider. Our scheme is designed to be an additional funding route for existing provision. Please contact the Department for Education for more details on specific providers and the availability of courses.

Who will arrange my teacher training course?

You will need to apply for an ITT course via an appropriate training provider. Our Scholarship scheme is independent of this process. If you are successful, the Scholarship will be paid to you in instalments, starting at the commencement of your course. The Scholarship funding will be paid to you by your training provider as a replacement for any bursary for which you might otherwise have been eligible. Your training provider will be required to notify the NCTL at the point you start your course, in order for you to receive the Scholarship funds instead of bursary funding. It is likely that your teacher training course will require the payment of tuition fees. This can be paid via a tuition fee loan; the Scholarship is not designed to cover the cost of tuition.

If I don’t get the Scholarship, can I still train to be a teacher?

Yes. We have a limited number of Scholarships and we expect there to be tough competition. The Scholarships will be awarded to those who we think best meet or exceed the selection criteria and who perform well at the interview stages. Those who are not successful in their Scholarship application will be encouraged to continue with their ITT course application and will still be eligible for training bursaries provided by the DfE.

How is a Scholarship paid to a successful applicant?

The Scholarship funds will be paid as a replacement to the bursary for which you might otherwise have been eligible. The Scholarship scheme is funded by the DfE and is therefore not BCS money. It will be paid in instalments by your training provider during your course. You will need to ensure your training provider knows you are a Scholar, so that they can claim the funds when you start your course. Please note: you will also likely be liable for tuition fees for your course. Tuition fee loans are available for ITT courses.

I am applying for an ITT course via Teach First or via the School Direct (salaried) route. Am I eligible for a scholarship?

No. Both Teach First and and School Direct (salaried) are employment-based schemes. This means you will be paid a wage whilst undergoing your training. If you are planning to train via this route, you will not be eligible for the standard bursary or our Scholarship funding.

The application process

How do I apply?

The first step is to complete our application form. Once submitted, it will be reviewed and you will receive email notification of whether you have been selected for the interview stage. More information on how to apply.

When can I apply?

Applications are now open. Apply here. You do not need to have a place on an ITT course in order to apply for a Scholarship. However, if your Scholarship application is successful, it will be conditional, based upon your ultimately achieving a place on an eligible ITT course. More information on how to apply.

Should I apply now if I know I will need to do an SKE course?

You can apply at any stage, but all stages of the application process will test your subject knowledge. It would therefore be beneficial for you to apply towards the end of your SKE course.

What happens next?

Upon submitting your application, it will be reviewed and a reference sought. If you are successful, you will be invited to an interview with one of our partner schools. If successful at that stage, you will be invited to a further interview with one of our industry partners. Please see our application schedule for likely interview dates.

How will I find out if I have been successful?

You will be notified of the result at the end of each stage by email. If you are ultimately successful in being awarded a Scholarship, the funding will be validated on the commencement of your ITT course.

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If you have any further queries please contact us: scholarships@hq.bcs.org.uk