The majority of the course will be delivered by the expert teachers in our alliance schools in the Preston area. There will also be full support and academic preparation from tutors and our University programme leaders at the University of Cumbria Lancaster campus, although most of the course will be delivered in school. The programme gives you PGCE and recommendation for QTS; the PGCE is awarded by the University of Cumbria and includes 60 Master’s credits.
Our secondary trainees will complete two placements in two of our partner schools. Following an Induction week in your placement school you will start your teaching practice from Monday through to Thursday and on Fridays you will participate in a Conference Day with the other trainees on a variety of key themes designed to support your developing practice. The Conferences will be run by the experts from our partnership in each field and ranging from Safeguarding, lesson planning, behaviour management, assessment and many more. Our Conference deliverers model the teaching and learning strategies which we know work in the classroom. There will also be opportunities to spend some time in different school contexts in order that you gain a diverse and contrasting range of experiences, for example other Primary, Secondary, Special School and Sixth Form settings, as appropriate. Each partner school has a trained Professional Mentor and Subject Mentor who will oversee your training and assist you with your role in the context of the whole school and, in addition, support you in your classroom practice with subject specific expertise.
During the training there are twelve subject pedagogy days where you will be able to work with other trainees from other school direct programmes with the University of Cumbria on your subject expertise at the Lancaster campus. The programme includes opportunities where you can gain assignment support with your University Programme Leader at Broughton High School, Preston and you will have full access to the University learning and support services throughout the course which will enable you to access library resources and assistance with your academic work. We have allocated time for Professional Reading, Subject Knowledge Enhancement sessions and Assignment Writing Days which will aid both your assignment writing and inform your classroom practice.
The School Direct Alliance consists of over 40 schools - a variety of primary, secondary and special schools that are mostly in and around the Preston area. We select our schools carefully and the vast majority have been graded Good and Outstanding by Ofsted. We pride ourselves on the strong relationships we have developed over the years and are committed to a warm welcome and a supportive environment for all. You will be training in placement schools which are different in context to provide you with a wide experience of how different pupils are taught and learn. We select placement schools very carefully to offer the best and most suitable provision possible, which includes ensuring that trainees do not have to travel long distances or have time-consuming journeys.
Secondary trainees will teach in KS3 and KS4 (ages 11-16). Some trainees may have the opportunity to teach in a Sixth form. All our trainees receive training on A Level courses and have experience in an A Level setting during the year. The first placement runs from September to December and the second from January to June. A typical week involves four days in school when you will spend a great deal of time observing teachers in your subject area and around school, ultimately building up a timetable for your own teaching practice of seven hours by Christmas. On your second placement, following your induction period, you will build up to a time table of twelve teaching hours. Fridays have been allocated for conference training on the key themes in education.
You will also have the opportunity to spend full days in our partner primary schools, special schools and sixth forms.
An undergraduate degree, or equivalent.
Your degree subject should be in biology or a similar subject. Otherwise you’ll need to prove your subject knowledge in some other way.
Grade 4 (C) or above in English and maths, or equivalent qualification.
We’ll consider candidates with pending GCSEs.
We’ll consider candidates who need to take a GCSE equivalency test in English or maths.
We are looking to recruit talented trainees who have the qualities and attributes suited to a career in teaching, together with the enthusiasm, energy and ambition to develop into outstanding practitioners. This is an ideal opportunity if you have just completed your degree or are looking to change career. If you are positive and have good communication and interpersonal skills, if you have a passion for your subject area and a love of learning then we would love to hear from you.
Before applying we do advise you to spend some time or research the daily life of in a Secondary school. We can help you gain this experience in one of our partner schools or on one of our School Experience sessions at Broughton High School. Our programme will give you the experience of a typical day, provide you with the opportunity to talk to teachers and current trainees and allow you to gain valuable guidance and tips on applying for teacher training. The details of our School Experience sessions are regularly updated on our School Direct website.
Fees and financial support
The course fees for UK students in 2023 to 2024 are £9,250.
You could be entitled to a bursary of £10,000 as financial incentives are offered to trainees intending to train to teach in order to encourage the best graduates to enter the profession. There is a wide range of funding available to support your teaching career and, depending on the subject you want to teach, you could receive a generous bursary or scholarship.
For more detailed information on bursaries and scholarships please contact the School Direct Lead Administrator Rod Hedingham, telephone 01772 867210 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org . Further information is also available on the Department for Education Get Into Teaching website.
About the training provider
The Preston Primary and Secondary Alliance, which consists of a variety of primary, secondary and special schools all in and around the Preston area, will provide you with the opportunity of being part of a school team from the very beginning. Working in partnership with the University of Cumbria, the Preston Primary and Secondary Alliance programme provides graduates with a direct route into teaching leading to a PGCE with QTS. We work together to ensure that our School Direct training programme is of the highest quality, providing our trainee teachers with the support and resources that they will need to enable them to develop into the outstanding teachers of the future. As part of the programme you will work alongside excellent practitioners and mentors in schools that have a proven track record in providing outstanding teacher training and professional development opportunities.
Our trainees are trained in a highly supportive environment where, through an exciting and innovative curriculum which we have designed, you will develop your professional knowledge, understanding and skills. We have a long and successful track record of teacher training and the majority of our trainees are now employed in our own or in other schools in the Preston area.
Feedback from our previous and current School Direct trainees has been consistently outstanding with appreciation for the welcome and support received in their host schools and high-quality, popular training from our school specialists on our Conference Days.
Candidates apply through the Department for Education (DfE) and are shortlisted following reference to the entry requirements and if successful are invited for interview. Broughton High School coordinates the recruitment process and the interview will take place in one of the secondary schools in the alliance or online.
Following a welcome by our Partnership Programme Leader Jackie Williams and our Administrator, there are four parts to the interview. Your documentation will be reviewed including examination certificates and ID. A written task is set by the University of Cumbria prior to interview and completed on the day. You can prepare notes for this task and refer to them during the assessment. Candidates also deliver a short mini-teach on a pre-prepared topic. There is an interview with the Partnership Programme Leader and teachers from our alliance schools, this lasts around 20 minutes. Our Secondary candidates also complete a 30 minute subject knowledge audit in their chosen subject.
Researching the Preston Primary and Secondary Alliance and the University that will be leading the training is good preparation for the interview, we will also provide you with plenty of opportunities to ask questions on the day.
Following the interview we will update the DfE and you will then receive the University’s formal offer letter to confirm your place, if successful. Depending on the assessment at interview, there may be a need to complete a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course.
You’ll need the right to study in the UK. You already have this if, for example, you:
guidance on the UK equivalents of your qualifications
a free statement of comparability once you’ve submitted your application (if we ask you for this)
Training with disabilities and other needs
We are committed to ensuring that our trainees are able to participate effectively in all aspects of the course. The University of Cumbria defines disability broadly, including mobility impairments, sensory impairments, medical conditions, autism (ASD), specific learning difficulties (SpLDs such as Dyslexia or Dyspraxia) and mental health conditions. Here at the Preston Primary and Secondary Alliance we recognise that if we provide a fully inclusive working and studying environment, we will enable everyone to perform to the best of their ability.
The University has a disability statement that details the adjustments that are available to you. The adjustments detailed in the statement are part of the basic offer and other adjustments are available dependent on your needs.
Support is available to you at interview and on your academic course such as additional time and the University has various specialist advisers who have a range of different roles. On application do make us aware of any particular accessibility needs in order that we can accommodate these during training and on school placements.
All our students have access to University of Cumbria support as well as that offered by our school direct partners. Much of this university-based support is available online and electronically and so accessible at a distance.
Preston Primary and Secondary Alliance Broughton High School Woodplumpton Lane Broughton, Preston PR3 5JJ
Support and advice
You can speak to a teacher training adviser
for free, dedicated advice. They are all experienced teachers who can give you one-to-one support with your application. They can also help you
get school experience, and find events where you can speak to training providers and teachers.
Call Get Into Teaching free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or
Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm (except public holidays).