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Bitterne Park Teacher Training Alliance English with Special Educational Needs (BN76)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
University of Chichester
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
11 to 16
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
13 October 2020
Date course starts
September 2021


About the course

The Bitterne Park Teaching School Alliance is a growing partnership comprising a diverse range of secondary schools across Hampshire and Wiltshire presenting 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 programme 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, but university-led training will take place at Bitterne Park School in Southampton, and you will not be required to travel to Chichester.

As a BPTSA School Direct trainee, you will have the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in school life and will be treated like any other member of the teaching staff. 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 including approximately 20 subject specific training days and 23 professional studies training days, a half term second school placement in a contrasting school, and a primary and sixth form school experience.

In addition, English with Special Educational Needs trainees will have a SEND teaching commitment in as part of their timetable and will receive the following training led by a SEND tutor:

  • Developing effective inclusion strategies to support SEND learners in the mainstream setting
  • Developing appropriate reasonable adjustments to fully include all learners in the classroom
  • Effective and practical “Quality First Teaching” ideas
  • Identifying key SEND categories of need and appropriate supportive strategies
  • Developing knowledge and understanding of students with autism and other diagnosed conditions

School placements

Our partnership currently consists of 14 secondary schools, predominantly in Hampshire with two 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, sixth form and SEN school experience.

You will have the opportunity to apply to a specific school on your UCAS 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 Teaching School 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
  • Chamberlayne College for the Arts - 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
  • St George Catholic VA College, Southampton – age range 11-16
  • Upper Shirley High School, Southampton - age range 11-16
  • Woodlands Community College, Southampton – age range 11-16


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

List of locations and vacancies
Location Vacancies
Main Site
Bitterne Park School, 1 Copsewood Road, Bitterne Park, Southampton, SO18 1BU
Matravers School
Springfield Road, Westbury, Wiltshire, BA13 3QH
Redbridge Community School
Cuckmere Lane, Redbridge, Southampton, Hampshire, SO16 9RJ
The Burgate School and Sixth Form
Salisbury Road, Fordingbridge, Hampshire, SP6 1EZ
The Petersfield School
Cranford Road, Petersfield, Hampshire, GU32 3LU

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

The minimum entry requirements are as follows:

  • You should have an honours degree from a UK university, HE institution or an acceptable recognised equivalent, with a minimum of a 2:2 or above.
  • The subject content of your degree should meet the requirements of your chosen specialist subject. (If you are unsure, please contact us.)
  • If you have an overseas qualification, you should apply for a NARIC Statement of Comparability to confirm its comparable level in the UK.
  • You should have GCSE grade C or 4 in English Language and Mathematics, or an acceptable recognised equivalent.

Personal qualities

Personal qualities that we are looking for:

  • A genuine desire to teach and enthuse young people
  • Commitment
  • A strong subject-based academic background
  • Good communication skills
  • Experience of working with young people
  • Energy, perseverance and stamina
  • Flexibility and humour
  • An ability to learn, reflect on your practice and act on advice
  • An ability to work collaboratively

Other requirements

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 2021 to 2022 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 are bursaries and scholarships available depending on your subject choice. More information can be found at:

About the training provider

Bitterne Park School was designated a National Teaching School in 2012 and is the lead school for the Bitterne Park Teaching School Alliance, a partnership of 14 secondary schools working with the Universities of Southampton, Chichester and Winchester to provide a School Direct teacher training programme leading to a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and the opportunity to gain 60 credits towards a Master’s degree.

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, with a large percentage of our trainees continuing to have successful careers in the BPTSA family of schools.

Our alliance comprises a diverse range of schools across Hampshire and Wiltshire which present dynamic and exciting training possibilities for those wishing to pursue a career in teaching.

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, including a university tutor and access to all facilities.

All university-led training on this programme will take place in school and you will not be required to travel to the university site.

Interview process

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 representatives from our partnership schools and the University of Chichester;
  • a written task; and
  • a presentation.

Depending on COVID-19 guidance at the time of your application, your interview may be online or face-to-face. If your interview is face-to-face, you may also be asked to teach a 20 minute micro lesson to a small group of pupils.

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.

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 Teaching School Alliance is currently comprised of the following schools:

Contact this training provider

Bitterne Park School
Dimond Road
Bitterne Park
SO18 1BU

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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