Hopefully, you will all have seen the email (below) which should have landed in your inboxes yesterday afternoon.  Those of you who have seen the demonstrations of the Search Service (this was showcased at the last NASBTT administrator meetings as well as as having been piloted for business studies) have, for the most part, fed back that it is far more intuitive and user-friendly the the current system and is therefore a welcome change.  We must hope that the transition period is as painless and bug-free as possible but please do let us know if you experience any difficulties so we can feed these back to the team at DfE.

It is worth casting an even closer eye than usual over the information entered in UCAS as much of this will be ported across to the new system.  I am sure this is all in tip-top order ready for the rollover in any event but it might be worth taking the opportunity to triple-check everything to avoid incorrect information ending up in the new search tool.


Dear Colleague

The Department for Education (DfE) has been working on a new Search Service to help potential teachers find postgraduate teacher training courses in England. This service is currently being tested with Business Studies courses only within the current 2018/19 recruitment cycle. 

From October this year, this new service will be available to all potential postgraduate applicants, for all primary and secondary courses.

DfE and UCAS have been working together to ensure a smooth transition to the new service.  From October the new DfE Search Service will provide detail for those looking for postgraduate teacher training courses in England for the next recruitment cycle 2019/20.

New course management and search service

Recruiting trainee teachers continues to be challenging and not all of those who currently search go on to apply.  DfE has developed a new dedicated Search Service purely serving teacher training providers and potential teachers to help address the challenge of recruiting new trainee teachers.

We hope that a targeted service will streamline the process for providers and applicants alike, removing any layers of duplication that exist and cause potential drop-outs within the process.


There will be a period of transition between the current UCAS arrangements and the new bespoke DfE service, but we are doing everything possible to maximise your effort, minimise disruption and avoid duplication.

UCAS will begin their routine onboarding activities in July for providers and schools committed to delivering initial teacher training for 2019/20.

We will work with UCAS to take the course information you submit to them into the new Search Service as well as ensuring the correct course codes are applied. This means you won’t need to re-enter all your standard course information (such as the course title and qualification) into the new service.

However, as the new DfE search offers an enhanced service, which allows you to showcase your course information and present much more detail to potential applicants, there will be some further sections that you will need to complete, to improve the information that is displayed to applicants.

Enhanced management and publishing of your course information will help potential applicants find your courses more easily and select the right course for them.

We will contact you week commencing 25 June with guidance on the specific information you will need to add.

Why are we doing this?

For applicants

We have been researching the needs of initial teacher training candidates for this new service since last year. We have firmly established that simplifying the process of applying to become a teacher is crucial. Helping potential applicants find the right course is one aspect of this process that we are working to simplify for the 2019/20 training period.

The new service is regularly tested with users and improved based on their specific needs (such as travel time and financing). By helping applicants make more informed decisions about courses, the service can help to:

  • improve access to and engagement with your courses
  • answer users’ common questions about your courses

We also want to simplify the way you manage and publish your course information, based on feedback that you have given.

What you need to do

We will send you more information on how you can prepare for the new Search Service for managing your course information week commencing 25 June.

We will make the new service for managing your course information available to you in July. We will contact you at that time with log-in details and instructions on how to use it.

We want to make the process of managing and publishing your courses as simple as possible for you. Therefore, this service will already include basic information about each of your courses from web-link, which you will then need to add to.

We will continue to test this service with ITT training providers and lead schools before it fully launches in October, and regularly afterwards.

If you have questions

If you have any questions or want to help test the service, please email becomingateacher@digital.education.gov.uk.


The Becoming a Teacher team

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