ITT – Initial Teacher Training

As your local Teaching School Hub, we are here to support all schools across our region to have factual information around the ITT reforms and support you to continue or to become involved in Initial Teacher Training – supporting our prospective teachers to enter the profession successfully.  

To find out more information about the accredited providers from September 2024 go to: List of providers accredited to deliver ITT from September 2024 – GOV.UK (  

The Government produced a response to the ITT Market Review which could be very helpful to you to read more about the landscape of ITT ready for September 2024: Government response to the initial teacher training (ITT) market review report ( 

The Government have agreed Reform Funding for schools and ITT providers. Find out more information about the grants your school qualify for here: Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Reform Funding Guidance ( 

NEWS 30th January 2024 – DfE Publishes Newly Updated ITTECF

The Department for Education has today (30 January 2024) announced a new framework which will help ensure high quality teaching and improve pupil outcomes. The new initial teacher training and early career framework (ITTECF) combines and updates the initial teacher training core content framework (CCF) and the early career framework (ECF). It will ensure that all new teachers receive three or more years of training underpinned by the best available evidence.

Northern Lights ITT Offer

The ITT provision at the Northern Lights Teaching School Hub is provided in partnership with Durham SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training) and is based in the lead school Benedict Biscop CE Academy which is an Outstanding Primary School, part of Northern Lights Learning Trust.   

We provide ITT for the region of Sunderland, Gateshead and South Tyneside as well as wider partners in Durham and the Tees Valley.  We work closely in partnership with our partner schools and provide a unique school-based learning opportunity.   

You will be trained in a highly supportive and aspirational environment and will develop the rigour, professional knowledge, understanding and skills necessary for the delivery of creative, purposeful and challenging teaching and learning. We believe that our innovative model will provide the perfect platform to develop the outstanding teachers of the future.   

Our staff are our most valuable resource and have a proven track record in training and professional development. Our teachers are outstanding practitioners with exemplary behaviour management skills and are eager to share their skills, knowledge and practice with the next generation of teachers.   

Choosing which route to take into teacher training can be a difficult decision, however, we are here to help you every step of the way to help you decide what it right for you! Please get in touch with us if you have any queries.   

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the course last?

Your training programme will be a full time, 1 year course. Upon completion of the programme, you will be awarded with Post Graduate Certificate in Education (Level 7) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). We have an excellent track record in professional career support to enable you to progress to your first teaching post. 

When will I start?

The course is full time and runs from September until the end of June. The majority of that time will be spent in schools and classrooms, putting theory into practice through engaging with pupils and staff.   

Will I have a home school where I will spend most of my time?  

You will spend a substantial amount of time in your ‘home’ school where an induction programme will ensure that you understand the key systems and processes and help you to feel part of the school. You will be treated as a member of staff from the first day, joining in with the routines set by the school. Alongside being school based, trainees also attend Professional Studies sessions to develop their knowledge of theory behind classroom practice.  

How will I access my study?

At the start of the year, you will receive extensive training to prepare you for your time in the classroom. Throughout your training year you will take part in school-based sessions and workshops with fellow trainees to embed the key pedagogical strategies that underpin the work of successful teachers. Your mentor will support you with bespoke feedback and guidance that will help you to reflect on what you have learned and develop further your understanding of effective classroom practice.  

Will I have a mentor to support me?

Yes! You will be assigned a mentor within your training school who support you, offer advice and act as a further source of professional advice.   

More about Northern Lights ITT Offer

All of our teachers who work with trainees are experienced practitioners who have undergone extensive training in coaching, lesson observation and feedback. Their work is supported by Durham SCITT who provide outstanding professional studies programmes as well as quality assuring the assessment of trainee’s performance through regular observations within school.  

Trainees are placed in our host primary and secondary schools, all good or outstanding, working with a training provider also graded as outstanding. We all share the same vision – excellence in education and life experiences. We provide the highest standards of education and care and encourage our trainees to have high aspirations for themselves and the pupils they teach.  

We create an environment in which staff, pupils and trainee teachers alike feel valued and supported. We have worked with trainee teachers for many years and we fully recognise how much vibrancy, enthusiasm, and drive they offer to a school community.  

Our partnership of schools are mixture of secondary schools, large and small urban primaries, infant schools, faith schools, maintained schools and academies. All of our schools are conveniently located, which means trainees can engage with more than one school in the partnership. We provide a unique opportunity to experience a diverse and contrasting range of teaching and training experiences.  

Pupils across the partnership are happy, friendly and well behaved and are at the heart of everything we do. Both staff and pupils are ambitious and confident. Many consistently out-perform their national peers and make significantly more progress.  

Apply NOW for both Primary and Secondary ITT for September 2024 with Northern Lights!

Special Features 

All schools have comprehensive intakes and you will receive experience of working with pupils of all abilities aged 3-16 years. At least one of your placements will give you access to the Early Years Foundation Stage (Primary only). This will enhance and deepen the learning experience for trainees within the partnership. Our schools are all highly successful in their own right with excellent track records in developing teachers from trainees to headship.  

Student Facilities 

Our School Direct courses are aimed at embedding the trainee in the heart of a school. The trainee will start the year in school on the first day of term and work the life of a teacher for three terms. Trainees are treated as members of staff and expected to behave in line with the conditions and expectations of a teacher, this includes duties, meetings and extra-curricular activities. Trainees benefit from a professional and social life that reflects the school community. Most trainees are selected by schools that have at least one other School Direct Trainee.  

Myth Busters

MYTH – The increase in mentor training hours will be costly to schools to accommodate.

This is not the case. The government have confirmed that from September 2024, as ITT providers are required to provide up to 20 hours of mentor training to all mentors, schools will receive a ‘General mentor training grant’ from the DfE.

The funding, which will apply to mentors working with ITT trainees between September 24 and May 25, will help with the cost of teachers being away from the classroom while they train and could include:

  • paying for someone to take over lessons while a teacher is training
  • paying for someone to teach if a teacher takes time off in lieu to train
  • overtime payment to the teacher, if they are training outside of normal working hours (teacher workload should be carefully considered in such cases)
  • paying for any costs that come from reducing a teacher’s other responsibilities so they have time to train

Find out what funding is available to your school here:

To find out more information about the General mentor training grant for your school, go to: Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Reform Funding Guidance (

MYTH – Experienced mentors need to complete all 20 hours training, starting from scratch!

Absolutely not! Mentors prior learning will be taken into consideration before the mentor training begins. All mentors will be required to complete 6 hours of training and then after completing an audit of their current experience and knowledge, will select the most appropriate modules for them to support their trainees that year.

MYTH – Mentors will have to repeat their 20 hours training if their school partners with more than one ITT provider for placements.

Not true.  Although ITT providers will require general mentors to complete the initial mentor training (which is specific to the provider), there will consideration over which additional modules a mentor has completed with other ITT providers so that this can be transferable between providers.

MYTH – If a mentor has completed ECF mentor training, they will not have to complete general mentor training for ITT.

Mentors for ITT do have to complete the ITT training, even if they are an ECF Mentor. Providers may consider the knowledge and understanding mentors have if they are an ECF mentor and have completed the programme. This will support the mentor audit being completed and the units of training it is suggested they complete, up to 20 hours maximum.

Grants and bursaries are available for many students, including to support with childcare if required. Please contact us to find out more. 

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