Teach North East Biology (2JJ5)

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

Accredited body
University of Sunderland
Financial support
Bursaries and student finance are available 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 16
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

The training you receive will take place at both your host school and the University of Sunderland. You will spend 15 days at the University of Sunderland and will be taught via lectures, seminars, tutorials, project work and group work. Generic training will be at Harton Academy. Work-based learning will be in placement schools where you will be trained in a supportive and aspirational environment. You will complete two teaching placements in contrasting school environments. Your host school will be the school where you spend most of the year and where you will undertake most of your teaching commitments. You will also carry out a second placement of around 25 days in one of our partner schools dependent on your individual needs assessed in the first term.

You will also have the opportunity to spend two days in two different special schools, thus affording all trainee teachers a comprehensive range of training experiences across all ability and age ranges, irrespective of your subject.

You will be assigned a Mentor who will be an experienced member of staff from the department you will be working in. You will also have the support of a Professional Tutor who is also an experienced member of the staff at your placement school. All our Mentors and Professional Tutors are fully trained and have extensive experience of mentoring trainee teachers.

You will be assessed with written work, some of which contributes towards Master’s credits. In addition you will be assessed throughout your teaching practice. All School Direct students are assessed against the Teachers’ Standards in order to be recommended for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). This School Direct (Tuition) Post Graduate Certificate of Education degree awards you Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which you need to be able to teach in any state maintained school in England and Wales.

School placements

You will complete two teaching placements in contrasting school environments. Your host school will be where you spend most of the year and where you will undertake most of your teaching commitments. You will be in your host school from September through to December. You will then carry out a Second Placement of around 25 days in one of our partner schools dependent on your individual needs assessed in the first term and the experiences you have already had from your host placement school. Your second school placement will be from January to February. After you have completed your Second School Placement you will return to your host placement until the end of June. Each Friday will be a training day and take place at Sunderland University, Harton Academy or one of our partnership schools.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

Your degree subject should be in biology 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.

Personal qualities

We are looking for enthusiastic applicants with very good communication skills, the determination to succeed, a commitment to working hard and the ability to work with others. Successful applicants are confident and passionate about teaching and able to contribute to the wider school ethos and community. Training to teach is challenging and rewarding. Developing excellent interpersonal skills will enable trainees to work with groups of young people from diverse backgrounds. We are looking for people who strive to improve and are committed to their own professional development, and who are proactive, independent and team players willing to act upon advice.

Other requirements

All entrants will go through an enhanced Disclosures and Barring Service (DBS) to ascertain that they have no criminal background preventing them from working with children.

All successful applicants must submit an Occupational Health form. Entrants are required to satisfy interviewers that they possess the physical and mental agility necessary to meet the strenuous demands of teaching. This does not preclude entrants with disabilities from applying who give every indication of becoming competent and valued members of the teaching profession.

Fees and financial support

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

Financial support from the training provider

Financial support for trainee teachers has never been better. You could get up to £30,000 tax-free while you train, either as a bursary or prestigious scholarship – or you could earn a salary of up to £25,000 while you train on a School Direct (salaried) course.

Your eligibility for financial support, and the amount you can expect to receive, will depend on the subject you choose to teach and your degree classification or highest relevant academic qualification.

If your degree is not in the subject you wish to teach, you may be eligible for a funded course to increase your subject knowledge before starting your training.

For more information on student finance, course fees and loans, please visit- (https://www.gov.uk/student-finance) or (https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/bursaries-and-funding)

About the training provider

At Teach North we are passionate about teaching and this passion will be shared and embedded in a supportive, practical and hands on way with all of our trainees. You will receive training so you are confident when taking the next steps into the profession and can take what you have learnt into a fulfilling and successful career. We believe in holding onto tradition whilst embracing innovation and, above all, we pride ourselves in the quality of the training we offer. The best way to learn to teach is to do it, to make mistakes and to learn from them. Teach North East will allow you to become immersed in school life from the start, but offers you a safety net of the support needed to thrive as a new teacher.

Teach North East is a partnership of 16 Secondary and Primary schools working in close collaboration with local providers to deliver high quality and innovative teacher training. A distinctive feature of the programme is the focus on carefully staged and appropriately supervised practical classroom experience within two contrasting schools, which is further supported by academic and professional study via central training.

About the accredited body

Our HEI provider for the Secondary School Direct Teacher Training Programme is the University of Sunderland. Sunderland has a well-established reputation for quality provision in education. Research in education at Sunderland has been described as ‘world-leading’ by the latest Research Excellence Framework. The University of Sunderland has risen 38 places in The Guardian League Tables in the last two years – they were the highest climber in 2017 and have risen another eight places this year. The Guardian league tables focus on teaching, student satisfaction and employability; issues that really matter to you, the students.

Interview process

If successful at the application stage, you will be invited for interview. This will involve a half a day spent at one of our partner schools. The day is a rigorous selection process where you will be required to teach a 30-minute observed lesson. There will also be a series of tasks including group and written ones, designed to show off your strengths. You will be told in advance about the content of the lesson and the age group you will be teaching as well as any other relevant information to enable you to demonstrate your skills and qualities. At this early stage, we are looking for applicants to demonstrate their future potential as teachers.

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

Teach North East welcomes applications for teacher training from all candidates. Harton Academy hosts a large number of pupils and students with a range of physical impairments and social, emotional and mental health conditions, and can use this expertise to help identify and provide any support agreed for trainees.

Harton benefitted from significant building improvements under the government’s Building Schools for the Future programme and therefore has bespoke infrastructures to suit people of all abilities. Additionally, Human Resources support is available, as we consider our trainees a member of the staffing team, and would look to make reasonable adjustments as necessary.

Both of our accredited providers have a Disability Support Team who will be able to provide advice, information and guidance to students with a disability; students with mental illness or mental health difficulties; students with Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) such as dyslexia.

In relation to our partner schools where a school is unsuitable for a particular placement, we would seek to find an appropriate school which can accommodate successfully. Please contact John Gibson on jgibson@hartonacademy.co.uk with any specific disability access requirements.

Contact this training provider

0191 4274050
Lisle Road
South Shields
Tyne & Wear
NE34 6DL

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).

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