North Somerset Teaching Alliance Religious education (M081)

Postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS)

Accredited body
University of Bristol
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
11 to 18
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

You will do a combination of subject and pedagogical learning in School and with your HEI link.

Formal assessment for the School Direct programme takes place throughout the year in partnership with your HEI link partner.

Assessment takes the form of assessed practical teaching against the Teachers’ Standards and course work assignments set by your HEI link partner.

Successful completion of the programme requires passes in practical teaching and in all assignments; the marking criteria for both scales are against a comprehensive range of criteria explicitly linked to the standards for Qualified Teacher Status. (QTS).

School placements

If you are successful in being offered a School Direct placement with the NSTA you will choose which school you would like to be your ‘home school’ from the range of partner schools wishing to train in your subject.

For more information relating to subjects on offer in schools please check the detail of this on our website NSTA Website

All of our schools are easily commutable from Bristol; two schools are slightly further south and situated on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills. Seven of our nine partner schools are 11-18 provision. All of our schools provide a highly supportive and aspirational environment in which to train. One that offers the rigour, professional knowledge, understanding and skills necessary for the delivery of creative, purposeful and challenging teaching and learning.

Each School Direct trainee will undertake two placements, a longer placement starting in their ‘home school’ and a second shorter placement usually taking place in one of our other partner schools.

For more information about the general nature of placements please check our website NSTA Website

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

Your degree subject should be in religious education 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.

Equivalency tests may be considered through a third party provider. Please contact us for further information.

Personal qualities

We are looking for ambitious trainee teachers who are passionate and enthusiastic about their subject and have a desire to share that with young people of all abilities in the secondary age range. You are looking to enter an exciting and demanding career and you will need to be resilient, honest and brave. Your commitment should be demonstrated by meaningful, recent experience of working with young people of this age. For example, you may have been involved with some experience in schools through visits you have organised.

Other requirements

We expect applicants to come from a wide range of backgrounds and, therefore with a wide range of skills. This is a strength of the programme as it allows us to use your differences to learn with and from one another.

All applicants will be subject to suitability checks. This includes a full enhanced disclosure and barring check for child and adult workforce, as well as clearance by your HEI Link Occupational Health department.

Fees and financial support

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

Your tuition fees are paid to our link HEI.

Financial support from the training provider

For information about financial support please refer to the information shared by our link HEIs.

About the training provider

The North Somerset Teaching Alliance is a fantastic place to work and learn; located as it is close to Bristol City centre and surrounding area.

A trainee’s thoughts: ” A big thank you! I have had an incredible experience. Everyone was very welcoming, helpful and encouraging which made the hardest part of this year easier for me. I feel very lucky to be part of a wonderful team.”

This is an inspirational partnership of nine secondary schools, some of which have achieved outstanding ratings. Our vision is to ensure a clear pathway of the highest quality training and succession opportunities for School Direct trainees in partnership with our HEI partners.

The NSTA website address is (

The NSTA guarantees successful School Direct trainees an interview in its partner schools should a vacancy arise in a suitable post.

We create an environment in which staff, students and trainee teachers’ feel valued and supported. We have a strong track record of working with trainee teachers for many years and fully embrace the energy, enthusiasm and drive they offer to a school community.

Students across the partnership are happy, friendly and well-behaved and are at the heart of everything we do. We believe that our staff are our most valuable resource, ambitious and confident, and therefore provide access to high quality on-going training and professional development opportunities. Our teachers are excellent practitioners with exemplary behaviour management skills and are eager to share their skills, knowledge and practice with the next generation of teachers.

About the accredited body

The University of Bristol is a valued partner in providing our NSTA School Direct programme. It’s education programme is rated outstanding by Ofsted. You will benefit from full access to a dynamic facilitator of both innovative and traditional approaches to teaching and learning. You will spend time studying your subject specialism with peers at the University and then developing these skills with training in the school setting. You will have two mentors, one at your home School and a University based mentor to guide you through your year.

Interview process

Backwell and Churchill schools lead the North Somerset Teaching Alliance recruitment in ITT. Its partner schools; Broadoak, Chew Valley, Chilton Trinity, Clevedon, Gordano, Kings of Wessex and The Blue School will be hosting subject based interviews on behalf of the Alliance.

If you are invited for interview you will receive full details of what will be expected of you in a letter of invitation. You will experience a programme which will include: you taking a small group of students through an activity that interests you (20 mins), time spent with subject staff, students and a formal interview process.

We work closely with our HEI link partner in the selection process. You will be expected to be familiar with key issues and developments in secondary schools - especially those in your subject area. It will help you to read the educational press and to talk to teachers and those currently undertaking teacher training. Our interview procedure is a rigorous and thorough process, designed to get the best match of applicant to the School Direct places available.

The best preparation for interview is a visit to a school or schools where possible. Talk to teachers and students, try to evaluate what is being learned and how the teachers encourage the learning to take place. You will be expected to discuss these observations in your formal interview; where we will be looking for your ability to analyse your experience and show a deeper understanding of the learning process.

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 for the duration of this course, you may need to apply for a Student visa.

To do this, you’ll need to be sponsored by your training provider.

Before you apply for this course, contact us to check Student visa sponsorship is available. If it is, and you get a place on this course, we’ll help you apply for your visa.

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

We welcome applications from candidates with disabilities and other needs and with our HEI partners make reasonable adjustments to ensure that the training programme is accessible to all.

Please find detailed information about the support we provide in conjunction with our HEI partners below

University of Bristol: Student health and wellbeing

Plymouth Marjon University : [Disability and Inclusion Advice Service] (—inclusion-advice-service/

Contact this training provider

Backwell School, Station Road, Backwell, Bristol, BS48 3BX
North Somerset
BS48 3BX

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

Is there something wrong with this page?

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