Frequently Asked Questions
DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service)
What documents do I need to provide you with to complete my DBS identity check?
We will need sight of 3 original documents to confirm both your name and current address. The following documents are acceptable.
- Your name: Current Valid Passport, UK Driving Licence, UK Birth certificate or Biometric Residence Permit. One or two of these documents can be used
- Your address: This must be a document sent by post to your address and must be dated no earlier than 3 months before the check is carried out by TSE (exceptions listed below). One or two of these documents can be used provided they are not from the same institution.
The following address documents are acceptable;
- Bank or building society statement (3 months)
- Credit card statement (3 months)
- P45 or P60 (for the current year)
- Council tax statement (for the current year)
- Utility bill (not mobile telephone bill) (3 months)
We will check and process the DBS after 1st June (3 months before the course commencement e.g. if the check is carried out on 1st July the document must be dated no earlier than 1st April.
I do not receive any utility bills or bank statements through the post, what should I do?
Please request a one-off printed statement or bill to be posted to you from your bank/credit card company or service provider. We are unable to accept documents downloaded from the internet and must have sight of an original statement which has been posted to you.
When do I need to apply for a DBS?
You should register online for your DBS before 1st June, or as soon as you have been offered a place on the course if later. We will provide you with a document which will take you step by step through the DBS process, along with the website link to register your details and start the process. Once you have supplied us with the documents we need to check your identity, we can then confirm to the DBS authorities that we are happy with the documents you have provided, and you will be issued with a DBS certificate.
I already have a DBS; why do I need another one?
Teach SouthEast is responsible for ensuring all eligibility checks are carried out and the trainee is suitable for work with children. This is regardless of any previous DBS checks. TSE will then inform your training school that the checks have come back clear.
Should I enrol for the Update Service?
We recommend that trainees register with the updates service as this will mean you are not required to reapply for a new certificate for each school that employs you in the future. Users of the online DBS application service will be given the opportunity to subscribe to the DBS update service on receipt of their electronic (e) reference number or when their new certificate is issued. You only have 19 days from the date of issue of your certificate in which to subscribe. Please note that if you apply for the update service you will be liable for the annual fee of £13.
Further information on how to apply for the update service can be found at https://www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service.
I have lived overseas during the last 10 years, will I require any additional checks?
Yes, all trainees who have lived overseas during the last ten years are required to obtain a police check from their previous country of residence. This is in addition to the standard DBS check.
Information on obtaining a police check from other countries is available via the website for guidance on criminal record checks for overseas applicants at the DBS website:
I will have some disclosures on my DBS, how will this affect my application?
Any disclosures will be assessed on an individual basis in strict confidence within 28 days of your receipt of the DBS certificate. A risk assessment will be carried out and the result notified to you in writing. If you are aware of any information which may affect your application, please notify us immediately.
Government Literacy and Numeracy Skills Tests
When should I take the skills tests?
The sooner the better! It is a government requirement that you need to have passed the skills tests in literacy and numeracy by the start of the course. You will not be eligible for ITT training until you have passed the tests so we strongly recommend that you do not delay booking them as sometimes there is a wait for appointments. For more information on how to book the tests, please follow the link: http://sta.education.gov.uk/
I am worried about passing the tests. Is there any help available?
Yes. There are several sample tests available online and we recommend the following books to help trainees pass their skills tests;
- Passing the Numeracy Skills Tests - SAGE
- Passing the Literacy Skills tests - SAGE
- Teachers' Skills Tests for Dummies - John Wiley & Son's Ltd
Teach SouthEast also host numeracy & literacy support sessions for trainees who feel they may require additional help. Please contact us for further information.
You are strongly advised to practise the tests before taking them to familiarise yourself with the functionality of the tests.
For more information on the specification and how to access sample tests, please follow the link to http://sta.education.gov.uk/.
I have special needs: are there any special access arrangements for sitting these tests?
You may be eligible for special access arrangements. Visit the website at http://sta.education.gov.uk/professional-skills-tests/access-arrangements for more information.
What happens if I fail the skills tests?
Candidates may take no more than 2 resits per subject. Before booking a resit you should consider any areas of weakness which were highlighted on the score report of your previous attempt. If you fail 2 resits (3 tests in total) in either numeracy or literacy you won't be able to book any further resits for 24 months from the date of the last failed attempt.
We recommend that you allow plenty of time to revise before you resit a test. Practice materials and guidance to help you prepare are available on the http://sta.education.gov.uk/ website.
I would like to get my skills test completed early. Is this possible?
Yes. You can take your skills tests once you have evidence of having submitted your application through UCAS Teacher Training. You can book your tests in advance of this, as long as your UCAS application is submitted before attending the test centre.
For more information on how to book the tests, please follow the link: http://sta.education.gov.uk/
I was educated overseas, how will this affect my application?
Your overseas qualifications will need to be sent to NARIC (National Academic Recognition Information Centre) who will complete a statement of comparability. This process can be lengthy, so apply as early as possible. For further information visit the NARIC website: www.naric.org.uk.
What should I do if I don’t have English / Maths GCSE equivalent?
If you do not have Maths and English GCSEs or a recognised equivalent, you will need to sit an equivalency test with Equivalency Testing. For more information, please visit their website: http://www.equivalencytesting.com/ PLEASE DO NOT DELAY SITTING THE TEST as this may jeopardise your eligibility to join the course
I will be finishing my degree this summer so can’t provide certification of my degree class. Will this be a problem?
No, this is not a problem. You will need to inform Teach SouthEast of your degree classification as soon as it has been awarded and present your original degree certificate once you have received it.
I can’t locate my qualification certificates. what should I do?
We will need to see your original degree, A-level and GCSE certificates. If you do not have these, you will need to contact the appropriate examination board for duplicates. The following link to the Department for Education provides advice on how to request replacement certificates:
If you have misplaced your degree certificate, you will need to contact your University to obtain a certified letter confirming you degree classification.
Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE)
My conditional offer includes a requirement to complete an SKE. How long should the course be?
Course lengths vary between 8-32 weeks and unless specified within your conditional offer, an SKE duration is your own choice. However, please note that courses must be completed prior to commencing your ITT training in September.
Can I choose my own SKE provider?
Yes. You are free to find a suitable course from any provider subject to our approval. We do recommend the TES Institute which offers fully online courses of a variety of lengths. https://www.tes.com/institute/ SKE courses are fully funded by the government and you may be eligible for a training bursary of up to £7,200 to support you throughout the course.
I have a disability, how will Teach SouthEast support me?
As a team, Teach SouthEast will support you to fully access the course taking into account any disabilities you may have. Please ensure we are fully aware of any special needs and it will be arranged that you meet with a senior member of the team to discuss how best we may support you.
I am a salaried trainee. What difference does this make to the admin process?
Please contact your employing school as soon as you can. They will be responsible for obtaining your DBS and Fitness to Teach checks, therefore it is very important that you liaise directly with them as early as possible.