Science at Central Foundation


At CET we understand that trainees can be at different stages of their career when they first decide to begin teaching; we have applications from those just graduating, through to those who have spent a number of years in other industries.

There is not a ‘one size fits all’ course, so we have developed a suite of pathways tailored to the needs of all applicants. In this section you will be able to find out more about the various options available to you. Whether you want to dip your toe in the water, or you already know teaching is the career for you, we have a programme that will support you to achieve what you want.

On top of this, the CET’s ESPS Training Module (enhanced shared professional studies) that is followed by all trainees, regardless of route, is what sets us apart from other providers.

ESPS Training Module

ESPS is a training module that all CET trainees benefit from. It is the cornerstone of what makes us unique. Experiencing and learning from ESPS will make you a highly attractive candidate for your first teaching post, and with school places increasing across the boroughs we work in, applications from CET trainees will be welcomed for any vacancies in the cluster in the near future.

Further details on our distinct ESPS Training Module can be found here

ESPS Training Module

What is ESPS (enhanced shared professional studies)?

Our mission is to ensure high quality teacher education with a specific focus on teaching in a global inner city context. We are incredibly proud of the education we provide for young people and are keen to work with trainee teachers who share our passion and commitment to ensure the best quality teaching for inner city children.

ESPS is fundamental to achieving this. It is an innovative one year school-based Initial Teacher Education (ITE) training module devised and facilitated by expert practitioners from CET primary and secondary schools. All trainees, regardless of which CET programme they are on, benefit from being a part of this.

As part of ESPS, all trainees come together at various stages throughout the year to discuss and share best practice. We believe this collaborative approach enables our trainees to further develop both their pedagogical and practical skills as classroom practitioners.

Whichever route you decide to undertake, we promise ESPS will provide you with fantastic professional development through an intellectual, research-informed approach to driving up standards for all learners – both pupils and teachers.

What does ESPS look like?

ESPS begins with an induction day in July prior to the start of the academic year. This provides all trainees with the opportunity to find out which schools they will be working with, meet members of the CET training team and hear from current trainees who are working within the cluster. It’s an excellent opportunity to meet your peers and ask any questions you have.

Below is an outline of the shared professional studies programme:

Theme 1 Planning for success within an inner city context
Theme 2 School Based Project – trainees conduct a small-scale action research project and share their findings with their peers
Theme 3 Purposeful dialogue
Theme 4 Literacy across the curriculum
Optional sessions Trainees choose from a selection of sessions run by CET partner schools. These vary each year to meet the specific interests of each cohort. For example: learning more about Alternative Provision and meeting the needs of severe and complex special educational needs

Other benefits of ESPS

With such a strong network of highly successful schools, ESPS is able to meet trainees’ specific interests by arranging further school visits or matching them with relevant, excellent practice across the CET partnership. This cross-school approach means trainees get to know, and be known by all of the schools, which strengthens their employment prospects across the cluster.

Available training programmes

Please find an outline of each of our programmes below. If you still have questions, we are always available to provide more information and discuss further options with you.

School Direct Salaried

School Direct salaried places are aimed mainly at graduates with 3 or more years’ work experience. However, we can decide to accept applications from candidates with less work experience to attract high quality candidates in hard to fill subjects.

If a trainee is successful in their application for a School Direct Salaried training place, then they are employed as an unqualified teacher by the relevant partner school from the cluster. In some subjects the NCTL provides funding to schools to contribute to training costs and subsidise trainee salaries; in subjects where funding is not available, the employing school covers these costs.

A majority of time is spent training in the employing school with a six week placement at another school, preferably a City Excellence in Teaching partner school. School Direct salaried trainees also fully engage in CET’s ESPS Training Module. Some days are spent at the accrediting HEI. School Direct Salaried trainees have a greater teaching timetable as they are paid as an unqualified teacher.

Candidates completing the School Direct salaried programme will be awarded QTS only. There is an option for School Direct Salaried trainees to gain PGCE accreditation in their NQT year at an additional fee.

Applicants interested in applying for a School Direct salaried place must check that they meet all the entry requirements before they apply.

For more general information about this training route please visit

School Direct Tuition

School Direct Tuition places are open to all graduates and funded by tuition fees paid by the trainee. Trainees are not paid a salary.  However, trainees may be eligible for a training bursary or scholarship.

School Direct Tuition trainees will have two school experiences within the City Excellence in Teaching partnership. These schools are agreed at the beginning of the year and successful candidates will be informed at the beginning of the programme of their placement schools. School Direct Tuition trainees follow their accrediting HEI’s training programme but are expected in their placement schools for an induction week at the beginning of the year and fully engage in the CET’s ESPS Training Module.

Applicants interested in applying for a School Direct Tuition place must check that they meet all the entry requirements before they apply.

For more information please visit

Other ITE Pathways

Provider-led tuition and salaried routes

The recruitment to these places is broadly similar to School Direct places as is the design of the programme. The only difference is that QTS is awarded by an NCTL (National College of Teaching and Learning) recognised provider that is not a Higher Education Institution.  For places at our 3 primary schools, we will be working with a provider called E-Qualitas.


City Excellence in Teaching partner schools also offer school placements for trainees on University Tuition fee PGCE programmes. We have previously supported PGCE students from King’s College London, The UCL Institute of Education, Goldsmiths University and the Royal Academy of Dance. Applicants apply directly to HEIs for a PGCE place and the HEI coordinates the placement schools.

Teach First

Schools within the cluster also work with Teach First, a registered charity and company who recruit graduates to commit to a two year teaching programme across schools in England and Wales.  A Teach First trainee will be employed by a school for two years.  During this period they will train as an unqualified teacher in year 1 working towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).  In year 2 having successfully gained QTS they will complete a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) year where they a further supported and monitored to successfully pass their NQT year. Applicants apply directly to Teach First who then place trainees.

Assessment Only Route (AOR)

This is a teacher training pathway which enables an unqualified teacher to obtain QTS.  This route involves a three month assessment period.  To be eligible to apply through this process there are a number of requirements to fulfil.  For more information please click here.

Teach in the City

Teach in the City is our brand new salaried opportunity, providing talented and ambitious graduates, who are seeking to test whether teaching is the correct path for them, with opportunities for exceptional professional learning. Successful applicants will move a step closer towards a career in teaching, and will be fast-tracked for CET ITE pathways.