Catholic Schools’ Partnership Religious Education (2HFW)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
King’s College London (University of London)
Financial support
Student finance if you’re eligible

A postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS) will allow you to teach in state schools in England and may allow you to teach in other parts of the UK.

It may also allow you to teach overseas, though you should always check what qualifications are needed in the country you’d like to teach in.

Many PGCE courses include credits that count toward a Master’s degree.

Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
13 October 2020
Date course starts
September 2021


About the course

Located in the heart of London, PGCE courses at King’s are rated Outstanding by Ofsted with excellent tutors on hand to support you through your training. In the last research assessment exercise, the department was rated second in the UK (REF, 2014). You will have the opportunity to work with experienced tutors who are actively engaged in research in their subject and in pedagogy more widely. 94% of 2018 graduates who sought teaching posts were employed within 6 months of qualifying. In our 2019 student survey, 92% of trainees rated the quality of their training as very good or good.

The PGCE RE course offers opportunities to investigate the different religious and non-religious worldviews that are taught in schools, but we still assume that you will come onto the course with significant subject knowledge. This is why we require degree level evidence of such knowledge.

The course is designed to train you to become a skilful and reflective classroom practitioner. To this end we focus equipping you to meet the professional standards required to attain Qualified Teacher Status and these provide the framework for the course. There are two strands to our course: one focuses on RE subject-specific work, the other encompasses an exploration of generic issues related to professional practice and educational policy.

The RE strand is met through subject-specific sessions, in which we explore, debate, and clarify the aims in religious education. We focus on how to translate these aims into effective classroom practice, exploring practically how to devise lesson plans, how to choose or create engaging and appropriate resources, and how to ensure that our planning is shaped by an accurate and responsive understanding of the nature and needs of our pupils. In this way we seek to enable our pupils to become religiously literate.

The other strand is met through our ‘Policy and Professional Practice’ programme, through which we explore and debate the aims, purposes and provision of education in the UK today. This programme is formed of a weekly lecture, followed by seminars in cross-curricular groups, in which you are encouraged to discuss and reflect upon these issues, in light of insights gained from your school placements.

Course information

School placements

With the CTA you can choose the school that you apply to.

All School Direct trainees start at their chosen school during the first week of the autumn term before attending university sessions the following week. School term dates will be confirmed once you have accepted an offer.

Around half of the 38 schools within the Catholic Teaching Alliance are able to offer training placements. Those who are able to support the main placement are listed for each respective course.

Candidates tend to apply to schools that are located close to where they live and we are happy to arrange tours and an observation day in your preferred school prior to application.

At the point of application please select your first choice of school. Once your application has passed our vetting process you will be invited to interview at KCL and if successful at this stage this will be followed by an interview at the school.

We offer an ABA placement route with King’s College London. This involves one long placement with a 6-week placement at another school within the CTA in the spring term before you return to your original school for the remainder of the course.

At the start of the academic year we will contact all registered trainees to confirm the area where you are living and to ask about the type of school that you would like to be placed in for your second placement. Where possible, we will try to accommodate your request and placements are arranged with a maximum commuting distance of 1 hour 15 minutes based upon the address provided. Travel time is usually significantly less than this.

We are able to offer contrasting placements in single-sex or mixed schools and in schools with sixth forms where your main placement school is 11-16. Where you have completed a placement in a single-sex school your second placement will be in a mixed school or a school with students of the opposite sex.

Should you have any questions relating to the placement structure, please do not hesitate to email for more information.


You can select one of the following locations when you apply.

List of locations and vacancies
Location Vacancies
St John Fisher Catholic School
79 Maidstone Road, Chatham, Medway, ME4 6DP
St Michael’s Catholic College
Llewellyn Street, Bermondsey, London, SE16 4UN
St Ursula’s Convent School
70 Crooms Hill, Greenwich, London, SE10 8HN

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

Applicants should have one of the following degrees at 2:2 level or above:

  • a degree in Theology or Religious Studies or Philosophy
  • a joint degree in Theology or Religious Studies and one other subject
  • a degree in a related subject in which Theology or Religious Studies constitutes roughly 40% of the content of the degree
  • a higher degree containing a range of Theological or Religious Studies components such as a Masters or a PhD.

Grade C/4 in GCSE English and Maths. Qualifications classified as equivalent by UK NARIC will be accepted.

Personal qualities

  • an ability to think and reason clearly
    • an ability to interact effectively with pupils
    • an ability to interact with colleagues
  • an ability to present ideas clearly and at an appropriate level
  • an ability to recognise own shortcomings
  • a strong desire to continue to learn
  • flexibility of mind and the potential necessary to improve
  • successful experience with children or clear potential for this
  • clarity and accuracy of written and spoken English
  • evidence of conceptual understanding
  • a successful study record
  • perseverance and stamina
  • a passion for Religious Education

Other requirements

You should provide:

  • a reference which identifies your academic strengths and personal qualities required for teaching
  • a reference with no reservations about suitability e.g. relating to academic achievement, effort, health, commitment, consistency, group working skills, communication skills

The DfE requires the Disclosure and Barring Service vet the background of persons working in their schools. Candidates offered a place on a PGCE course will be asked to complete an enhanced check with the DBS to ensure they do not have a criminal background which might prevent them from working as a teacher.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for 2021 to 2022 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £19,800

Tuition fees: Tuition fee loans are available for those who meet the Government’s criteria for this scheme. Further information is available at GOV.UK

Government Training Bursaries: Please note training bursaries are only available to students who have been classified as Home/EU for fee purposes.

About the training provider

The Catholic Teaching Alliance (CTA) is a strong and growing alliance of 38 schools. It is a cross-phase partnership from primary, through to secondary and sixth form colleges. Our partner schools are based throughout South-East London and Kent covering Southwark, Lewisham, Bromley, Bexleyheath and Chatham. This diversity in type of school and location gives a richness to our shared work. Our shared vision is Growing Teachers, Growing Learners, Growing Schools.

Our schools have a long history of Initial Teacher Education and have offered School Direct places since the initiative began. We have selected several universities that match our ethos. By carefully selecting the right universities to work with we are able to offer you an excellent start to your career in education.

We offer both Primary Salaried and Tuition Fee School Direct places and are able to provide training in a range of secondary subjects. Some subjects are available with a choice of provider.

We run an extensive CPD programme for trainees and most secure an NQT position within the group of schools. We also provide flexibility as your career progresses, with opportunities to move between schools.

We would encourage applicants to contact us to arrange a school tour prior to application and we are happy to answer any questions that you may have. Please contact the CTA Co-ordinator, Clare Barclay via email - for more information or visit our website here to find out more about our schools and the career opportunities that we are able to offer.

Interview process

Please note that at the point of application you can choose the school that you apply to. For September 2021 our schools are in Bermondsey, Greenwich and Chatham.

The selection process normally involves an interview, a short presentation by the candidate, a discussion and a short piece of writing.

We select our trainees when we have evidence of the following qualities:

  • a conceptual understanding of the content of religious education or philosophical thinking
  • an ability to think and reason clearly
  • an ability to interact effectively with pupils
  • an ability to interact with colleagues
  • an ability to present ideas clearly and at an appropriate level
  • an ability to recognise own shortcomings
  • a strong desire to continue to learn
  • flexibility of mind and the potential necessary to improve
  • successful experience with children or clear potential for this
  • clarity and accuracy of written and spoken English
  • a successful study record
  • perseverance and stamina
  • a passion for Religious Education

Training with disabilities and other needs

All School Direct trainees must meet the Secretary of State’s requirements for physical and mental health, but few health problems past or present preclude applicants from teaching.

The activities that a teacher must be able to perform are set out in the Education (Health Standards) (England) Regulations 2003.

We welcome applications from people with additional needs and disabilities. Successful applicants will be asked to complete a fitness questionnaire prior to commencing the programme.

Within our group of 38 schools, we are able to provide support for a range of disabilities and other needs and are usually able to arrange appropriate school placements and additional support as required. We have trained applicants with dyslexia, physical, hearing and visual impairments, as well as students with mental health issues. If you have any questions about health, disability, or the support provided or wish to discuss your own requirements further, please contact the CTA Co-ordinator, Clare Barclay,

For further information on the support provided by our university partners please see the links below.

Goldsmiths University Disability Service

King’s College London Disability Access:

St Mary’s University Student Services

University College London School Direct students can access the services provided by UCL’s Student Support and Wellbeing team. You can find more information here

We also strongly welcome applications from members of black and minority ethnic communities, as we are keen to ensure the teaching workforce is more representative of London’s diverse population.

Contact this training provider

020 7237 6432 ext. 713
St Michael's Catholic College
Llewellyn Street
SE16 4UN

Support and advice

For support and advice, you can speak to a Get Into Teaching adviser for free. They’re all experienced teachers who can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events.

You can also call Get Into Teaching free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or speak to an adviser using their online chat service Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm (except public holidays).

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