Being a teacher is one of the most rewarding jobs on the market. The ability to shape young minds and help them grow is the most fulfilling task a teacher can have. But what if you want to teach a subject that has always interested you but don’t know enough about it?
SKE courses are considered to be great routes into teaching. SKEs are financially supported and time-effective and they provide you with an invaluable source of experience and knowledge.
What is an SKE?
The SKE is the subject knowledge enhancement course, sometimes known as the subject knowledge enhancement for qualified teachers. SKE courses aim to ensure people have greater access to teaching courses and that it is a viable career path for them to follow.
Generally speaking, SKEs are for people who wish to teach at a secondary teaching level. Eligibility for a subject enhancement course is as follows:
- Your degree isn’t in a subject you want to teach or related to it.
- You have studied the subject you wish to teach at A-Level (but not degree level).
- You have relevant professional experience (for example, if you were an accountant looking to teach maths).
Despite this, SKE courses are not offered for all subjects. Most SKE subjects are based around secondary education, so you won’t have the same variety that you have at university level.
The SKE subjects offered are:
- Design and technology
- Mathematics (primary and secondary)
- Modern foreign languages
These are also the subjects that are considered the most “in-demand” by schools. Some education providers may offer an SKE course in other subjects, but this is rare.
For those applying for an SKE as part of a conditional offer for an ITT, there are no tuition fees.
How do I apply for an SKE course?
You can apply for SKE courses through the Department for Education’s teacher training application portal. Once the provider you choose has accepted you, you will then choose where to study from a list of institutes.
Some applications ask you to provide proof that the course is part of a conditional offer for teacher training (ITT). Many teacher training programmes require you to have completed an SKE prior to or alongside their training, so it is important to keep this in mind. Even if the provider doesn’t ask for proof, it’s worth having it anyway, just in case.
Where do I do my training?
SKE courses are generally very flexible for people to study. They can be studied either remotely or in-person and can be studied either before your teacher training or as a post-ITT SKE.
The provider you register with will specify where you are expected to work. Most courses will have elements of distance learning as well as face-to-face sessions.
The SKE is the subject knowledge enhancement course, sometimes known as the subject knowledge enhancement for qualified teachers.
Are there funding options for SKE courses?
For those applying for an SKE as part of a conditional offer for an ITT, there are no tuition fees. In this instance, all training is funded by the Department for Education (DfE). In fact, you will be issued an SKE bursary of between £175 and £200-a-week throughout the course, this is for those who do not have qualified teacher status or are teaching without a PGCE degree.
However, there are still criteria to meet for the bursary. You must complete a module of a minimum of 25 hours each week. Those who have QTS are not eligible for SKE funding.
What do you do on an SKE course?
Course length will depend on whether it is a refresher course or an entirely new subject. Refresher courses generally take around eight weeks, while new courses can take up to seven months.
Each unit of your course will have assessment tasks for you to complete. This will include written examinations, essays and practical lesson delivery with a small group of students. You will be expected to complete homework and coursework and you will need to carry out independent research.