New teacher training application portal will replace UCAS service by 2021

The government’s new teacher training application portal will replace UCAS’s system by 2021, ministers have announced.

Nick Gibb, the schools minister, has today announced the launch of “DfE Apply”, an online government-run service that lets would-be trainee teachers and teacher training providers manage applications.

Last year’s teacher recruitment and retention strategy pledged to “radically simplify the process for becoming a teacher” by introducing a “new one-stop application system for initial teacher training (ITT), which will be easier to use and designed to better meet the needs of potential trainees”.

The resulting system went live today, starting with a pilot in the south west that will eventually spread across the country. It will fully replace UCAS Teacher Training service from October 2021.

According to the DfE Apply website, 43 providers are already using the service, advertising 578 courses. The website is also “fully integrated” with the DfE’s existing tool to help find postgraduate courses.

The government said the new service will “ensure universities and schools can make the best decisions on matching applicants with teacher training courses”.

Gibb said there had “never been a better time to become a teacher”, pointing to plans to raise starting salaries to £30,000 by 2022-23.

“We are removing the barriers that can deter some people who could be excellent teachers from applying and that includes making the application process simpler, more straightforward and intuitive. This new service does just that.”

It was revealed last November that the government had failed to meet its secondary school teacher recruitment target for the seventh year running.