Merton Special Teaching Alliance Primary (Special Educational Needs) (2VM3)

PGCE with QTS full time with salary

Accredited body
London South Bank University
Financial support

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.

Age range
5 to 11
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
13 October 2020
Date course starts
September 2021


About the course

Candidates join the lead school at the beginning of the academic year and will join all school training and have other CPD opportunities that the school offers throughout the year. The School Direct (salaried) trainee teacher will spend much of the year at the lead school with 1 - 2 days at University per week for much of the first two terms. The student will have a placement in a local mainstream school and a shorter placement at another school for their AES placement. The final teaching practice will take place in the lead school. Trainees are assigned a university -based tutor and school-based mentor at the start of the course who will schedule regular observations and professional feedback during the training period. Trainees are provided with a training plan at the start of the year outlining their school experience and mentors. In addition, students are given opportunities to observe examples of outstanding practice. MSTA has an excellent record of employment post qualification with 100% of trainees finding employment within the alliance in the previous three years. All trainees entering the course have the possibility of gaining up to 60 credits at Masters level, which can be used by trainees to count towards the award of full Masters qualifications (such as the LSBU MA in education) gained via further study after graduation.

The University based sessions are taught through lectures, workshops, seminars and tutorials. The aim throughout is to encourage creativity, reflective pedagogy and sensitivity to educational issues, aims and objectives. LSBU aims to provide a learning community that actively challenges inequality and injustice. In particular the module on Equality, Inclusion and Citizenship allows you to reflect on key issues such as equality, diversity and sustainability in the Educational context. You are encouraged to make links between the theoretical and practical elements of the course.

We will look for applicants who can demonstrate a real passion and commitment not only to teaching, but also to working within a special educational needs setting. Please consider how you can provide relevant examples of this in your personal profile. In addition, we value applicants who can demonstrate, with clear examples, the following personal qualities: Flexibility, creativity, resilience, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, excellent organisational skills and ability to manage one’s workload and time effectively, ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team and a positive outlook.

School placements

Placements are arranged by the lead school. School Direct (salaried) trainee teachers will have one mainstream primary school placement (likely to be 6 weeks) at a local school that we have strong links with. This is usually in term autumn 2 or spring 1. There is an AES placement which is a week long and will be in another local school. The final teaching practice takes place at the lead school.


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

List of locations and vacancies
Location Vacancies
Park House School
48 North Side Wandsworth Common, London, SW18 2SL

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

  • A 2:2 (or above) UK undergraduate degree or a recognised equivalent qualification
  • GCSE grade 4 and above (or C and above for examinations taken prior to 2017) in mathematics, English and science. Equivalency tests will be considered from recognised institutions if GCSEs are not held. However, you need to show on your application that these qualifications will be obtained before the course begins in September.

Personal qualities

The skills and aptitudes that we expect from candidates are:

  • Very high standards of written and spoken English
  • Strong standards in numeracy
  • Strong standards in ICT
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Excellent organisational skills and ability to manage one’s own workload and time effectively
  • Knowledge and experience of working with learners with special educational needs and disabilities

Other requirements

When applying for School Direct places with MSTA, ensure that you take every opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with the realities of teaching, as well as your enthusiasm for using your creative and intellectual skills in the classroom. You can do this by including examples of any experience you have working with young people with special educational needs - perhaps as a teaching assistant, youth worker or as a volunteer in a school. MSTA wishes you every success with your application!


The salary is paid at unqualified teacher status.

Fees and financial support

About the training provider

MSTA works collaboratively with partners within Merton and beyond in order to bring about the best possible outcomes for pupils in our schools, especially those with special or additional needs. MSTA is led by two Merton (special) schools, Perseid and Cricket Green, along with (mainstream) primary schools Bishop Gilpin, Melbury College and the Smart Centre (special) and one (mainstream) high school, Ricards Lodge, in collaboration with Merton Local Authority. This complement provides a unique context for our Teaching School, led as it is by special schools working in close partnership with mainstream colleagues to ensure that our offer meets local need. MSTA offers trainees access to outstanding schools and outstanding teachers within our network, providing experience in local mainstream primary and specialist settings across Merton. A range of high quality professional development opportunities are available via this training route enabling trainees to fulfil their teaching and learning potential with us. 100% of MSTA ITT trainees who completed School Direct from 19-20 secured employment for 2020. For further information, please visit our website

About the accredited body

We have built up a strong relationship with LSBU. Our LSBU School Direct (salaried and training route) teacher trainees are based at one of our special schools within the Alliance, with one teaching practice in a mainstream setting and the other in a special setting. The programme is unique and has been constructed especially for our Alliance in collaboration with LSBU. This is an ideal, innovative route for high quality individuals who wish to gain a PGCE within a special needs school, and who already have a range of experience with learners who have special educational needs.

Interview process

Perseid school is the lead school in the partnership. LSBU and Perseid School will coordinate the recruitment process for the School Direct (salaried) training programme. The interview may include the following: classroom observation, presentation, interviews and tests. If shortlisted you may have an interview at LSBU and a second interview at Perseid or another school (dependent on schedules.)

Training with disabilities and other needs

MSTA welcomes applications from candidates with disabilities and other additional needs. We will work with candidates individually to accommodate their needs.

Contact this training provider

Perseid School
Middleton Road

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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