North Dorset Teaching School Alliance
Religious Education (2YFR)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
Mid Somerset Consortium for Teacher Training
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

We have a strong and successful longstanding partnership with schools across North Dorset. We are friendly and supportive aiming to get the best out of each of our trainees and make them the best teachers that they can be. The training course has a simple structure. Trainees spend Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday training on the job in their schools. They then meet together as a group on Tuesdays with the MSC at Crispin School for Professional Training. Professional Training is run by current practitioners and MSC staff and is tailored to ensure that trainees have appropriate pedagogical input at the different stages of their development as teachers. We practice what we preach ensuring a balance of modelling techniques and strategies with current research. We also visit other partnership schools which are leaders in their particular fields of expertise so that trainees get a great breadth of training and are fully prepared for their first year in teaching. Our trainees are able to build up their teaching hours from the beginning of the course at a pace which suits them. A mentor in school is at hand to offer advice and support to each trainee. Our programme starts on 1st September and ends on 30th June. Trainees are in school from day 1 and are regarded as full members of the school community. Trainees are able to gain QTS and PGCE with us. Assessment for QTS is through weekly lesson observation and portfolio tasks which are specifically designed to allow trainees to showcase their practice. Our PGCE is delivered through the MSC’s Professional Training (accredited by Bath Spa University). Assessment is in the form of three written assignments at Masters’ level. We have excellent outcomes for our trainees; we were ranked 27 out of 153 secondary trainers across the UK in the Good Teacher Training Guide 2017.

Interview process

From your application, potential trainees will be selected for interview and will be informed in writing of their interview date. The interview will include some or all of the following:

  • A teaching episode – potential trainees are asked to teach a short lesson (20-30 mins) either to other interviewees and the Selection Panel, or to a group of students.
  • A meeting with the subject department – a subject specific group exercise where the potential trainees meet the Head of Department, their future mentor and 1 or 2 members of the department. Through a subject based discussion, this task will assess suitability to work with the whole subject department.
  • Student panel – potential trainees will be interviewed by a panel of students.
  • Generic lesson observation (1/2 lesson).
  • Formal interview – panel interview with members of the Selection Panel and if available a member of the appropriate HEI / ITE provider.
  • Short written task - you will be asked to complete a short written task, the details of which are given on the interview day.

Trainees are also required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service form, once the position has been offered.

How school placements work

If more than one of our schools is offering a subject training place, candidates will be required to express a preference at the point of interview. If the first preference cannot be met, candidates may be offered an alternative place within the Alliance. We will discuss the best option for the most suitable placement for both the trainee and our schools.

For an informal chat by phone or in person, please contact: Isabelle Rawlings, Teaching School Manager on 07741 578699, 01935 811066, or

Trainees have to spend 6 weeks in a second school. The trainee is free to choose where this is as long as it provides a complementary experience from the home school. This placement takes place straight after Christmas. The trainees then return to their home schools for the final term and a half.

We work schools in and around South Somerset and North Dorset. The majority of our schools are 11-16 although some do have sixth forms. We try and ensure that all trainees have some experience of post sixteen during their course.


The course fees for UK students in 2021 to 2022 are £9,000

Financial support

You may also be eligible for a loan while you study – note that you’ll have to apply for undergraduate student finance.

Find out about financial support if you’re from outside the UK.



GCSE Maths and English (or equivalent) grade 4 (Grade C) or above. A first degree of a UK Higher Education Institution or equivalent.

Personal qualities

Well Organised. Resilient. Hard working. Patient. Creative. Good communicator. Passionate about working with young people. Enthusiastic about your subject area.

Other requirements

DBS clearance. Satisfactory References. Eligibility to study in the UK. Proof of adequate subject knowledge to teach your subject if your degree is in another subject.

About the training provider

Why train with us? It is quite simple: our provision is outstanding. You will train with Ofsted Outstanding Initial Teacher Education providers and schools. Across our partnership you will encounter exceptional learning environments and experienced staff; you will work with awesome young people as you hone your skills and learn to teach.

We are a well-established provider with long-standing relationships. You will be given the opportunity to not just work towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), but also to study for the Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE). This additional qualification is worth 60 credits towards a Masters degree and is widely recognised across the world as a prestigious addition to being a qualified teacher.

You will have two mentors throughout your training, both based in your home school. You will also have the chance to explore a second school during a six-week placement in a different partnership school. We will also ensure you are part of our on-going professional development programme, designed especially to support our School Direct trainees.

One of our trainees explained that “It was an easy decision to choose NDTSA. Throughout the application process everyone I spoke to was very organised, well informed and honest. I was able to discuss my particular wants and wishes from my training; they have chosen my placement schools based on this, even allowing me to visit the school for a day to make sure both parties were happy. The larger programmes do not offer such a good service.”

About the accredited body

The MSC has excellent outcomes; they were ranked 27/153 secondary trainers across the UK in the Good Teacher Training Guide 2017. It has successfully been training teachers in Somerset’s Secondary Schools for 11 years.

It trains between 35 and 50 trainees each year. School Direct Salaried trainees make up a small but significant proportion of these.

Training with disabilities and other needs

The North Dorset Teaching School Alliance welcomes candidates and trainees and does not discriminate on the grounds of physical ability or mental health.

We support trainees with their specific learning needs to achieve their dream of becoming a teacher and will ensure appropriate support throughout the recruitment process and training year.

As an experienced provider of Initial Teacher Training, we are proud to have supported students with a variety of additional needs to become fantastic and successful teachers. We will aim to tailor our support to make sure that the course is both accessible and achievable.

We encourage all candidates/trainees with any disability, or additional needs to discuss this with the North Dorset Teaching School Alliance. We would advise that you contact us on 01935 811066 or for a further discussion about the support we can offer.

Contact details

01935 811066
The Gryphon School
Bristol Road


Apply for this course

Choose a training location

You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.

Choose a training location - List of locations, vacancies and codes
Location Vacancies Code
North Dorset Teaching School Alliance
c/o SAST, Bristol Road, Sherborne, DT9 4EQ
Yes X

Support and advice

For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.

Get support and advice about teaching

Register with Get Into Teaching, the Department for Education’s free support and advice service, for personalised guidance from teaching experts. They can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events. You can also call them free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or speak to an adviser using their online chat service, from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.

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