The Bitterne Park Teacher Training Alliance is a growing partnership comprising a diverse range of secondary schools across Hampshire and Wiltshire which present dynamic and exciting training possibilities for those wishing to pursue a career in teaching. Working in partnership with the University of Chichester, we have developed a bespoke English teacher training package designed to produce reflective, analytical and effective classroom practitioners. During your training year, you will build upon your prior experience to gain the specific subject, curriculum and pedagogical knowledge that you need to become an effective and confident teacher of English. You will have the full support of the University of Chichester, including a university tutor and access to all facilities. Your university-led training will take place in Southampton and you will not be required to travel to Chichester/Bognor Regis. The University of Chichester is recognised as one of the leading institutions in the country for teacher training, and successful completion of our course will lead to a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). The programme also contributes towards a Master’s level qualification.
As a BPTTA School Direct trainee, you’ll have the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in school life and will be welcomed as a member of staff in your placement school from day one. This approach will allow you to experience all aspects of the role of a teacher, both inside and outside the classroom. The practical nature of our course, combined with the opportunity to work alongside and learn from experienced, outstanding practitioners, constantly reinforces the link between theory and practice. We aim to ensure that by the end of the course you can teach your subject confidently and successfully by developing your skills as a problem solver and by encouraging you to explore theoretical ideas and their practical application in the classroom.
Our core training involves:
a four-week induction at the start of the programme;
a progressive training programme delivered throughout the year with 25 university-led training days, 14 training days led by expert practitioners in school, and 10 twilight training sessions with a drama specialist;
a 6-week second school placement in a contrasting school; and
a primary school and sixth form experience.
Throughout the programme, you will be supported by a highly skilled and trained curriculum mentor at your school, a professional mentor who will oversee your training, and a university tutor.
Our partnership currently consists of 14 secondary schools, predominantly in Hampshire with three schools in Wiltshire. During your training year, you will have two school placements. You will be placed in a host school for your main placement and will undertake a half-term second placement in another school in our partnership. You will also be offered a primary school and sixth form experience.
You will have the opportunity to request a specific school on your application, or alternatively you can submit an ‘open’ application and discuss the various options available at interview. We are happy to arrange for you to visit any of our partner schools prior to submitting your application form.
Secondary Schools in the Bitterne Park Teacher Training Alliance:
Bitterne Park School, Southampton – age range 11-19
The Burgate School, Fordingbridge – age range 11-19
Cams Hill School, Fareham - age range 11-16
Cantell School, Southampton - age range 11-16
Matravers School, Westbury – age range 11-19
The Petersfield School, Petersfield - age range 11-16
Pewsey Vale School, Pewsey - age range 11-16
Priestlands School, Lymington - age range 11-16
Redbridge Community School, Southampton - age range 11-16
Regents Park Community College, Southampton – age range 11-16
Sarum Academy, Salisbury – age range 11-19
St George Catholic VA College, Southampton – age range 11-16
Upper Shirley High School, Southampton - age range 11-16
Weston Secondary School, Southampton – age range 11-16
An undergraduate degree at class 2:2 or above, or equivalent.
Applicants applying to our English with Drama teacher training course should have a degree which is at least 50% English-related (with some literature content). Applicants should also have a relevant drama qualification. If your degree does not meet the criteria, but you have a good grade at English Literature A-level or Literature/Language A-level, or if your degree is suitable but was awarded more than 5 years ago, you may be eligible for a subject knowledge enhancement course. SKE courses are intensive programmes for graduates who need to develop a greater depth of subject understanding prior to training for qualified teacher status. SKE courses are fully funded and participants receive a bursary while they study.
Your degree subject should be in English with drama 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.
A genuine desire to teach and enthuse young people
A strong subject-based academic background
Good communication skills
Experience of working with young people
Energy, perseverance and stamina
Flexibility and humour
The ability to learn, reflect on your practice and act on advice
The ability to work collaboratively
Before you start our course, we will ask you to complete the following:
A DBS criminal records check to prove you have no criminal convictions that might prevent you from working with children or young people
A Declaration of Health questionnaire to confirm that you are physically and mentally fit to teach, and are capable of undertaking a course of study to become a qualified teacher
You should demonstrate the ability to:
communicate clearly and accurately in both written and spoken English;
cope with the demands and rigours of the profession.
Fees and financial support
The course fees for UK students in 2023 to 2024 are £9,250.
Trainees on a School Direct non-salaried training course currently pay tuition fees of £9,250. You will be eligible for the same financial support as other fee paying postgraduate teacher training routes. There may be a bursary or scholarship available depending on your subject choice. More information can be found at: https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/funding-and-support
If you are offered a place after attending an interview, you will additionally need to complete an enhanced DBS check and health check as a condition of your offer. These will be organised by our accredited ITT provider (the University of Chichester) but you will need to cover the cost of these checks.
About the training provider
The Bitterne Park Teacher Training Alliance currently consists of 14 secondary schools located in the South and South West of England working with the Universities of Southampton, Chichester and Winchester to provide a one-year full-time School Direct teacher training programme leading to a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and the opportunity to gain up to 60 credits at Master’s level. We feel our School Direct training programme combines the best elements of a traditional university-led PGCE training model with the benefits of a school-centred approach. We are proud to celebrate a 100% pass rate for trainees completing our programme. Many of our trainees choose to remain with us and forge successful careers in the BPTTA family of schools.
About the accredited body
The University of Chichester is recognised as one of the leading institutions in the country for teacher training, and has a long and distinguished track record of training teachers dating back to 1839. During your training year you will have the full support of the University and access to all facilities.
All university-led training on our English and English ‘with’ courses will take place in school and you will not be required to travel to Chichester/Bognor Regis.
Once shortlisting has taken place, we will contact you to confirm whether you have been selected for interview. The interview process will consist of:
a formal interview with our Director of ITT and a representative from the University of Chichester;
a subject-related task;
a presentation or teaching activity; and
a written task
Your interview will be face-to-face in school unless you have requested an online interview due to your location or availability. If your interview is in school, you will be asked to teach a 20-minute micro lesson to a small group of pupils. If your interview is online, you will be asked to prepare a 5-minute presentation.
The selection panel will take evidence from all aspects of the interview into consideration when making their judgement.
If you are successful at interview, you may request a visit to the school where your main placement will be, so that you can meet the staff that will be involved in your training.
Unsuccessful applicants will be offered feedback on their interview.
You’ll need the right to study in the UK. You already have this if, for example, you:
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
If you have a disability or learning difference, we encourage you to get in touch before you apply so we can discuss tailored support for your individual needs. Disability access varies across the alliance sites, so you may wish to contact individual schools for further information. Successful candidates will be required to complete a pre-placement Health Declaration before starting our teacher training programme and, based upon the responses provided, may be invited to attend an assessment. This will assist us to make workplace adjustments where possible.
The Bitterne Park Teacher Training Alliance currently comprises the following schools:
Bitterne Park School Dimond Road Bitterne Park Southampton SO18 1BU
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
Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm (except public holidays).