LiFE MAT and Partners School Direct
Geography (28CX)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
University of Leicester
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

The LiFE MAT and Partners School Direct PGCE, in partnership with the University of Leicester, is divided into two halves, Phase A and Phase B, each with clearly delineated priorities to guide towards successful completion. The partnership offers experience of teaching Key Stages 3,4,and 5.

The course is a combination of subject knowledge days and school placements. A pack of materials incorporating designated tasks and recommended reading enables student teachers to make the most of these experiences and prepare them for their first teaching placement. Placement A consists of 8 weeks in school before Christmas, before a similar format is repeated in the second half of the year - Placement B.

In total 21 weeks in school out of a total of 36, working with experienced teachers who will be skilled and trained mentors, subject specialists, passionate about sharing their knowledge and expertise to help you as a trainee to become an outstanding teacher.

Successful completion of the course leads to either:

  • PGCE and 90 credits at Masters Level awarded by the University and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) awarded by NCTL OR
  • PGCE and QTS.

Trainees must:

  • Follow the course satisfactorily by attendance, participation and completion of set work.
  • Reach pass standard both in written assignments and in practical teaching - there are three subject related assignments in total.
  • Demonstrate that they have met all three of the Assessment Areas and teachers Standards laid down by NCTL including passing the QTS skills tests in numeracy and literacy.

LiFE MAT School Direct (formerly Groby and Partners School Direct) trainees have always been successful in securing teaching posts, with many of them gaining employment in partner schools. A good number of our former trainees now have posts of responsibility in schools and work as subject leaders, senior managers and Headteachers.

Interview process

LiFE MAT and Partners School Direct applicants are only required to attend a school based assessment day. Applicants can be assured of a warm welcome to Bosworth Academy in Desford and the interview day will include the following:

  • Lesson observation and feedback
  • Designing and developing a task for a group of about four students
  • A short presentation on your experience in schools to date
  • A task examining the qualities of a good teacher
  • A subject knowledge task These activities are followed by a formal interview panel comprising of senior staff from partner schools and subject leads. When we receive applications, we are initially looking for evidence across a range of areas such as:
  • Suitable academic qualifications
  • Experience (paid or voluntary) in schools or educational related settings, or in wider working with children of young people
  • A personal statement which shows an ability to reflect on this experience
  • An awareness of contemporary issues in education and the subject applied for
  • Any particular outstanding skills/experience including subject specific skills
  • Two references that substantiate performance to date and indicate potential (if you are an undergraduate, one of your referees should be able to comment on your predicated degree class) Successful teaching depends on a commitment to on-going professional development. We look for self-motivated candidates who are able to engage in informed discussion of key contemporary issues in education. Applicants should be able to show that they are able to take responsibility for developing their own professional skills and understanding.

How school placements work

LiFE MAT and Partners School Direct is a wonderful group of eight schools serving many areas of the north and west parts of Leicestershire. Judged good or outstanding by Ofsted in at least one area of the areas of inspection and it has been noted that they are schools where students want to learn. Students have two placements in contrasting schools within the partnership and access to 11-19 age range and key stages 3-5. The placements are discussed with the trainee and based on partners’ capacity and the availability of experienced staff to act as mentors. Phase A comprises of 8 weeks of school based experience. Every trainee maintains a Professional Development Record. This is where you will log evidence of your progress. Students will also be expected to write entries in a Reflective Journal to record and reflect on key moments and critical incidents in their professional development. After Christmas Phase B begins and a substantial period of teaching experience. Phase B continues with a subject project, other activities and finally a reduced teaching load and a last week at University before the welcome summer break! In school, your subject teaching will be closely monitored and supported by a mentor in the faculty. A senior member of staff, the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) co-ordinator, holds overall responsibility in school for the training of trainee teachers, including tutorials and the provision of opportunities for professional development and whole school concerns - such as the importance and use of technology in the classroom to facilitate learning and reduce workload.

In total student teachers will have spent 21 out of the 36 weeks in schools on placements and with LiFE MAT and Partners. Working with teachers who understand what trainees need to know in order to become exceptional Newly Qualified Teachers (NQT’s).


The course fees for 2021 to 2022 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £16,100

For loan and bursary information -

Please see the University of Leicester website for up to date information.

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 - no specific GCSE requirements other than the minimum required by NCTL: a Grade C/4 or above or equivalent in English and Mathematics. Degree - applicants for all Science subjects should normally have a minimum of a second class honours degree. This should be in a subject closely related to the subject specialism you wish to pursue. As a guideline, the main subject should have comprised at least 50% of the degree course and/or have been successfully studied at GCE Advanced level or in a further degree.

Personal qualities

Developing positive relationships, the ability to listen, be sensitive, work collaboratively and to respond to the needs of others is crucial and our selection process pays particular attention to these qualities. Trainees should be able to express their ideas confidently, both orally and in writing and make effective use of technology to support learning. We are looking to recruit individuals who understand the position of trust which teaching puts them in by demonstrating a professional regard for the schools you will work in and for promoting fundamental British values, positive values and attitudes.

Other requirements

Teaching is an intellectually demanding career that requires an ability to analyse and reflect upon experiences. This is likely to be demonstrated in our selection process by applicants expanding on their previous experiences in school settings and displaying a capacity to structure thoughts; to raise and answer related questions both in discussion and in writing. Previous experience in a school setting would therefore be desirable. All candidates will be expected to go through an Enhanced DBS Check.

About the training provider

LiFE MAT and Partners School Direct is a unique partnership of eight schools in Leicestershire with access to 11-19 provision. We offer a range of experiences where you will develop your potential as a teacher.
Our vision is:

  • To develop outstanding teachers of the future and guide them on a career path within our partnership schools.

  • To enhance and support trainees’ professional development.

  • To provide our trainees with outstanding support and development in a positive and caring environment.

We offer you:

  • An expectation that successful graduates of this programme will be considered for employment in our partnership of schools

  • The maximum possible amount of time working with students and developing the skills to become an outstanding teacher.

  • The earliest possible opportunity to get into classrooms and make a difference to students.

  • Access to the opportunities provided by the LiFE MAT. - which includes 2 of our partnership schools.

Our partnership of schools allows us to be small enough to care and know each trainee really well so that we can identify needs and target support. We encourage our trainees and staff to identify aspirational improvement goals in a supportive workplace culture. Our goal is to create life-long educators who are passionate about the profession and committed to young people.

About the accredited body

The University Of Leicester School Of Education has a long and successful history of teacher training and a strong reputation for producing graduate teachers prized by schools. The University is located in the heart of Leicester, within five minutes’ walk of both the railway station and the main University of Leicester Campus with its student support services and award-winning library. Our proactive, close and collaborative relationship with the University of Leicester ensures that training to teach via LiFE MAT and Partners School Direct route provides the solid foundations to teach across the 11-19 age range and in different contexts.

Training with disabilities and other needs

Wheelchair access is available on our sites. Please let us know if you have any specific requirements that would support you during your training.

Contact details

01455 822841
Bosworth Academy
Leicester Lane


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
Bosworth Academy
Leicester Lane, Desford, Leicestershire, LE9 9JL
Yes B
Brookvale Groby Learning Campus
Ratby Road, Groby, Leicester, LE6 0FP
Yes V
Lutterworth College
Bitteswell lane, Lutterworth, Leics, LE17 4EW
Yes L
Main Site
Leicester Lane, Desford, Leicestershire, LE9 9JL
Yes -
Roundhill Academy
997 Melton Road, Thurmaston, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE4 8GQ
Yes R
Saint Martins Catholic Academy
Stoke Golding, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, CV13 6HT
Yes M
South Charnwood High School
Broad Lane, Markfield, Leicestershire, LE67 9TB
Yes S
The Winstanley School
Kings Way North, Braunstone Town, Leicester, LE3 3BD
Yes W
Wreake Valley Academy
Parkstone Road, Syston, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE7 1LY
Yes A

Support and advice

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

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