Merton Special Training Association Primary (Special Educational Needs) (332W)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
London South Bank University
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.

Age range
5 to 11
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

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 (training route) 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. 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. 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 host school. School Direct (training route) 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. The final teaching practice takes place at the host school.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree at class 2:1 or above, or equivalent.

Grade 4 (C) or above in English, maths and science, or equivalent qualification.

We’ll consider candidates with pending GCSEs.

We’ll consider candidates who need to take a GCSE equivalency test in English, maths or science.

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!

Fees and financial support

The course fees for UK students in 2023 to 2024 are £9,250.

Financial support from the training provider

For information about bursaries that you may be eligible for please visit LSBU website.

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, Wimbledon Chase, and one (mainstream) high school, Rutlish School, 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 2021/22 secured employment for 2022. For further information, please visit our website

Interview process

Perseid school is the lead school in the partnership. LSBU and Perseid School will coordinate the recruitment process for the School Direct 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 the lead school or the host school (dependent on schedules.)

International candidates

You’ll need the right to study in the UK. You already have this if, for example, you:

  • are an Irish citizen
  • have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (you may still be able to apply)
  • have indefinite leave to remain in the UK

If you do not already have the right to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa. The main visa for fee-paying courses (those that you have to pay for) is the Student visa.

To apply for a Student visa, you’ll need to be sponsored by your training provider.

Sponsorship is not available for this course.

If you need a visa, filter your course search to find courses with visa sponsorship.

Alternatively, check if you’re eligible for a different type of visa, such as a Graduate or Family visa, that allows you to train to be a teacher without being sponsored.

Find out more about training to teach in England.

International qualifications

If your qualifications come from a non-UK institution, we may want to see a ‘statement of comparability’ from UK ENIC. This will show us how they compare to UK qualifications.

You can call Get Into Teaching on 0800 389 2500 for:

  • 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

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 teacher training 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 chat online Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm (except public holidays).

Find out about the different ways to train if you do not have a degree, or are already an experienced teacher.

If there is something wrong with this course listing, contact us by email.