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Courses can fill up at any time, so you should apply as soon as you can.

If you’re applying for the first time since applications opened in October 2020, apply no later than 6pm on 7 September 2021.

If your application did not lead to a place and you’re applying again, apply no later than 6pm on 21 September 2021.

Ash Field Academy School Direct Primary (Special Educational Needs) (23BS)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
Leicester & Leicestershire SCITT
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
3 to 7
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
13 October 2020
Date course starts
September 2021


About the course

This OFSTED Outstanding School Direct course, leading to QTS and a full PGCE, is for trainee teachers with an interest in special education and SEND pupils. Trainees undertaking this programme will benefit from attending all the Leicester and Leicestershire SCITT Early Primary training sessions (3-7 yr old pupils), alongside trainees on other SCITT and School Direct programmes. Training includes a training module entitled ‘Meeting Individual Needs’ that takes place in Ash Field Academy, led by a Senior Leader from the school. All trainees will have opportunities to work alongside pupils from the school and trainees on the Ash Field SEN route normally choose to take their final teaching placement in a special school.

Training sessions take place in bespoke training rooms within schools. Sessions are dynamic and engaging. Each of the 30-35 trainees very quickly become known as unique individuals so SCITT trainers and management can mould training and select placements to fit each individual’s needs, working exactly as skilled teachers do with their pupils. This is a key strength of our programme, making the training personalised so that trainees are challenged and supported at every step in becoming the best teacher they can be.

The SCITT trainers are all leading experts in their fields, charismatic and passionate about making a difference in children’s lives. They include excellent practitioners from partner schools and consultants who will ensure trainees will swiftly establish an understanding of early learning and developmental progression and how these are fundamental in teaching in the early years.

Central training includes days spent working with exceptional teachers and their pupils, in exceptional partnership schools, so all trainees are exposed to best practice in teaching creatively and effectively. We want future pupils to love learning and our future teachers to love teaching!

Ash Field SD trainees will also benefit from being full members of the University of Leicester. An integral part of the courses is a full University of Leicester PGCE, with Masters Level credits.  Trainees complete the equivalent of two 5000 word assignments within this internationally recognised PGCE award, receiving additional training at the University and are recognised as students of the University. This includes access to the library, sports and learning support facilities.

Leicester and Leicestershire SCITT has been OFSTED Outstanding continuously since 2008/09 and has the best course retention rates in Leicestershire.

Click HERE for more information about the course design and timetables

School placements

The SCITT and SD partnerships know trainees can only reach their potential if given exceptional support in placements. Teaching is about relationships; and the relationship between a trainee and their class teacher on placement is vitally important.  The trust and loyalty of headteachers and teachers in our partner schools, built up over the last 15 years, is a key strength of our training. The SCITT is proud that ALL of the top four of Leicestershire’s primary schools (The Real Schools Guide 2019) are our partners, offering placements and employing many SCITT trained teachers.

The consistently high quality of support on 3 different school placements, from dedicated and enthusiastic teachers, underpins our success, making us one of the top teacher training providers in the country The Good Teacher Training Guides.  This maximises opportunities for each trainee to learn from best practice in different settings. Trainees on the Ash Field SEN route will be placed in FS and KS1 settings, including two mainstream schools and a final placement in a special school. Trainees on the Ash Field SD route have the support and guidance of a Special School tutor throughout the year.  Our trainees complete training confident in KS1/ FS classes and fully prepared to work in a wide variety of schools, ready to serve diverse pupil populations. 

Placements are carefully matched to trainee’s development needs and SCITT management also take into account the fact that trainees may be using public transport to reach placement schools.  Trainees with children are always thought about carefully so as to best support them as they juggle teaching demands with their own childcare arrangements. 

The autumn placement sees trainees experience foundation stage within an 8 week block.  In spring, you’ll have a further 7 week placement in a different school in KS1. The final 9 week summer placement can be in a Special School. Placements begin with a week-long introduction visit to get to know the children and school.  We have over 80 partner primary schools across the city and county which offers trainees a wide range of schools in which to gain experience.   


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

List of locations and vacancies
Location Vacancies
Main Site
Broad Avenue, Evington, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE5 4PY
SCITT- Dovelands School
Dovelands School, Hinckley Road, Leicester, LE30TJ

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

To apply for a place on the SCITT course, or accredited SCITT SD routes, all applicants must:

  • hold  (or expect to gain before the start of the course), a UK recognised degree (preferably 2:1 or above) or equivalent. 

  • already hold  GCSE Grade C or above in English and mathematics and be able to gain at least a  Grade C in science, or equivalent, before the end of June.

  • demonstrate they can communicate accurately and effectively in spoken and written Standard English.

All degree subjects will be considered, including subjects not directly linked to a National Curriculum subject.

Personal qualities

We are looking for talented, creative individuals, with a passion for teaching across a wide range of subjects within the primary curriculum. Good communication skills are at the heart of effective teaching and all applicants are expected to demonstrate excellent interpersonal and communication skills. 

Teachers in schools know that teaching demands stamina and perseverance. We look for applicants with the resilience and determination required to cope with the demands of teaching. 

We aim to recruit a range of good role models representative of the local population, particularly from minority ethnic communities and men. We also encourage LSAs and career changers.

Other requirements

A commitment to undertake teacher training is a major step. As such it is important applicants make this commitment based on a first hand understanding of the pressures and rewards of working in a British primary school in the twenty first century. Applicants are strongly encouraged to have a minimum of one week’s relevant and recent experience in a primary school. We feel this is advantageous to demonstrate your understanding of teaching and learning in your interview.   

Applicants will need to pass health and DBS police checks and have the physical and mental fitness to teach.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for UK students in 2021 to 2022 are £9,250.

About the training provider

Ash Field Academy is an outstanding special school in Evington, Leicester with pupils ranging from 4-19 years old. Ash Field is also a National Teaching School with one of their key responsibilities being to promote and develop `best’ practice’ in Initial Teacher Training.
The school is passionate about supporting the highest quality training for new teachers and has chosen to work with the Leicester and Leicestershire Primary SCITT and Leicestershire Secondary SCITT.

The Ash Field SD primary programme is for trainees with an interest in special education and SEN and all primary trainee teachers attend the full training programmes provided by the L&L SCITT and are managed through the SCITT management team. Trainees are supported by tutors with specialist SEN knowledge and placed in primary SCITT partnership schools across the City and County, in addition to a final placement in a special school.

The Ash Field SD Secondary English programme is managed through Leicestershire Secondary SCITT

All SCITT trainees on both the primary and secondary programmes are also full students at the University of Leicester, gaining an internationally recognised PGCE, with Masters level credits.

Interview process

The primary SCITT and School Direct partner alliances, will use a two stage interview process for candidates called to interview, normally held on two separate days. It may be possible to hold both interviews on the same day for candidates who need to travel further or candidates who will find attending interview for two half days particularly difficult.

As part of our selection process all candidates will be asked to complete written audits in English and mathematics.  The written audits assess whether each candidate’s personal subject knowledge in English and mathematics is sufficient to form a secure base to underpin high quality teaching of these subjects in the primary school.

Audit Information and Preparation Advice

The interview process will also take place in our partner schools and will involve a combination of tasks including:

  • a presentation, connected to current educational issues;

  • a task working with a small group of early primary or primary pupils;

  • a formal interview;

  • a reading task.

Each part of the selection procedure will be graded to agreed criteria. The interview questions will be largely based on elements that will contribute to the Teachers’ Standards. Equal opportunities procedures will be followed to ensure that the selection procedures are open, fair and assessments are to agreed criteria.

Training with disabilities and other needs

Education and training providers have a duty under the Equality Act 2010 to anticipate the adjustments that disabled students may need. The SCITT is committed to actively promoting equal opportunities in employment and to encouraging participation by disabled people in public life.

If you would describe yourself as having a disability, in accordance with the Equality Act (2010), and need any adjustments made to promote equality of opportunity, please contact us, as soon as possible, so we can discuss your requirements. The best place for you to do this is on your UCAS form. However, you can also do it at any time during your studies, either by telling a member of SCITT Management.

As we are partnered with the University of Leicester, our students can access the Student Support Services offered. The AccessAbility Centre offers support and advice for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties as well as working with students who have sensory disabilities, mobility difficulties; mental health conditions and autism. The Centre offers study skills support.

The AccessAbility Centre

Contact this training provider

0116 254 3187
Broad Avenue
Leicester, Leicestershire
East Midlands

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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