Selection Process


After completing the online application we shortlist applicants based on qualifications, experience and evidence of being ready to train to make a good teacher. Stage 1 interviews are held in our Hub Schools across the partnership and consist of trainees spending time in a classroom, then working in a group, where they are given a group task to carry out - taking it in turn to lead an activity. The tasks not only assess awareness of educational issues, but also allow the applicants to demonstrate the inter-personal and communication skills that are needed by good teachers.

Success at Stage 1 leads to Stage 2 interviews. These take place in our partnership schools and are led by senior leaders. These will include subject knowledge tests, an observed session working with children, and a formal interview.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for the next generation of outstanding teachers and subsequently those who will lead our schools in the future. They will be passionate about children and education, but also care about our schools and the communities they serve, and the special ethos each of these schools has.

Applicants will have experience of working with young people - perhaps voluntarily in areas such as youth groups, sports teams, church groups, community groups. Ideally they will have some experience working or volunteering in schools, showing a good awareness of how schools operate and teachers work. They will be able to talk about how they have engaged, communicated with and inspired the young people they have worked with. They might have non-education work and life experience that they can draw on to show they will be a great role model, communicator and professional team player in a school. They might have experience that shows they can work under pressure, learn quickly and take constructive feedback to improve performance.


Upon receipt of your application, it will be looked at closely by the School Direct Lead for Mercia Learning Alliance and the Admissions team at the University of Sheffield along with your references.

As well as making sure that all of your personal details are accurate, your personal statement which supports your application is of utmost importance and is central to deciding whether or not to call you to interview: make sure that it reflects exactly what you have to offer, including relevant experience, and why you are interested in a career in teaching.

If your application is successful, you will be asked to attend an interview with representatives from the Mercia Learning Alliance, including Curriculum Leaders and University of Sheffield colleagues.

On the interview day, you will be involved in a carousel of activities including a teaching activity with a small group of pupils, a written task and a formal interview.

It is a rigorous and thorough process designed to make sure that you are suited for a career in teaching, and we get the most suitable applicant for the places available. 

 What are we looking for?

We are looking for enthusiastic, energetic graduates who are passionate about their subject. 

You must have excellent communication skills, be well organised, hardworking and able to work successfully as part of a team. 

You need to be resilient, reflective and willing to evaluate and learn from your mistakes. 

You need to be emotionally intelligent, approachable and empathetic.

Candidates should be confident, creative and inspire effort and trust in their pupils. Candidates will demonstrate a strong desire to teach at an outstanding level and continually improve and develop as a practitioner. They must have the ability to deal with a heavy workload; be able to meet deadlines and enjoy working as part of a team.

Above all, you need to enjoy working with young people and be committed to making a difference to their lives.

Some experience of working with young people would be of advantage.