Getting school experience

To support your application to train to teach you can visit local schools to get unpaid experience in the classroom before you start your initial teacher training (ITT).

It can help you:

  • Decide if you want to train to be a teacher
  • Discover which setting you’d like to teach in (primary or secondary)
  • Build a relationship with a school you might want to work for later

What to expect

Your experience will either be in a school or joining classes and meeting teachers online. Placements usually last 1 or 2 days, but some can last up to 3 weeks.

During your experience, you will get to do things like:

  • Observe lessons
  • See how teachers manage a classroom
  • Find out how specific subjects are taught
  • Speak to teachers and interact with pupils
  • Learn more about teacher training - including the application and interview process

Find school experience

The Department for Education has a website where you can search for and request school experience in England: 

If you are interested in getting school experience at Saffron Walden County High School, search for 'Saffron Walden County High School' and follow the process to request school experience.

If you have any questions about getting school experience, contact our ITT Lead Angela Rodda at


In-school experience is always on offer within our wide-ranging network of partnership schools. Please contact Angela Rodda for further information on how we could support you in finding some in-school experience both at Primary and Secondary level. 

  • School Experience with West Essex SCITT HERE
  • School Experience with CTSN SCITT HERE

We strongly encourage potential teacher training candidates to take up the offer of school experience, especially if you have not had much previous school experience. It can give you lots to refer to in your interview too.

Some schools may ask you to have a DBS check before attending, others will ensure you are always accompanied during your visit to avoid this.