Stour Vale School Direct History (Q721)

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

Accredited body
Newman University
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
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

School Direct with Stour Vale ( is a school-based route into teaching, based across Dudley, Sandwell, Wolverhampton, Birmingham, and South Staffordshire. Our School Direct trainees spend the vast majority of their time based in schools with some time spent in university. Trainees undertake professional development throughout the course, including theory sessions with Stour Vale for one day a week, professional studies and subject pedagogy sessions at University (currently 20 days a year) and regular half termly twilight support sessions This ensures the perfect blend of school experience with training from both serving teachers and university experts.

At the end of the course, our trainees are awarded a PGCE qualification alongside QTS. Trainees complete 2 university assignments over the course of the year, each worth 30 credits at Masters level (Level 7).

We work in close partnership with Newman University, and our partner schools, to deliver this History course which is designed to equip trainees with the skills, knowledge and experience needed to gain QTS. It features an ambitious curriculum covering 4 key themes:

  • Role of the Teacher
  • Learning, Teaching and Assessment
  • Adaptive Practice
  • Understanding and Managing Behaviour

Trainees also focus on developing their subject knowledge throughout the year and this permeates through all four themes of the curriculum.

The course offers a wide range of support for trainees as well as training input from:

  • The Stour Vale School Direct team (we fully support trainees from their initial enquiries into teacher training right through to successful completion of the course)
  • Expert university subject tutors
  • Experienced in-school mentors
  • A wide range of current serving teachers from across the Stour Vale School Direct partnership
  • Wider university services

For the latest information on our courses please visit ( If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via or 0121 585 5385.

School placements

Successful candidates spend the Autumn and Summer Terms at their lead school. During the Spring Term, they have a second placement at a different school within the Stour Vale School Direct alliance. This is to ensure that trainees gain experience of different contexts.

Lead schools are involved in the initial interview process and applicants can select a preferred location for their lead school when applying. However, please note that we are unable to make guarantees due to changes in individual school capacity throughout the year. In all cases, the applicant’s own circumstances will be considered so that travel times are not inconvenient. A full, clean driving license and access to a car is desirable, but not essential.

All trainees are allocated a subject mentor within their school. Teaching timetables are staged, and trainees will be expected to be teaching independently by the end of the first term. Weekly meetings and observations will take place to fully support the trainee’s needs and help them to develop as classroom practitioners.


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

List of locations and vacancies
Location Vacancies
Oldbury Academy
Pound Road, Oldbury, West Midlands, B68 8NE
Pegasus Academy
Scotts Green Close, Holly Hall, Dudley, West Midlands, DY1 2DU
Redhill School
Junction Road, Stourbridge, West Midlands, DY8 1JX
Ridgewood High School
Park Road West, Wollaston, West Midlands, DY8 3NQ
Stour Vale Academy Trust
c/o Halesowen College, Whittingham Road, Halesowen, West Midlands, B63 3NA
The Earls High School
Furnace Lance, Halesowen, West Midlands, B63 3SL

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

Your degree subject should be in history 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 people who first and foremost believe in the power of education to transform the lives of young people, whatever their background and ability. You will be hard-working, with an enquiring mind and have the resilience to stay the course. Teaching is the most rewarding job in the world but it is also a challenging one. You will be supported all the way, but we also want you to be independent, a critical thinker, a confident communicator, reflective and self-aware.

Other requirements

  • Full criminal/DBS checks will be carried out upon application.
  • Trainees without the relevant degree may be expected to take a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course.
  • Fitness to Teach: Admission to the course is subject to a satisfactory medical report, as you are required to meet the standards for Fitness to Teach. We endeavour to meet the needs of trainees with disabilities and you are welcome to discuss any needs or disabilities with us at any time during the application process.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for 2023 to 2024 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £15,725

About the training provider

Stour Vale School Direct provides a unique, high-quality teacher training experience for prospective Primary and Secondary teachers via School Direct Initial Teacher Training courses. We are an alliance of schools based across the West Midlands that work closely together in collaboration with local universities to recruit and train the teachers and school leaders of the future.

With an exciting and comprehensive training programme that delivers up-to-date pedagogy alongside proven and practical skills for use in the classroom, our vision is to ensure all trainees are given the best possible start to their teaching career. Experienced mentors guide trainees through the course and ensure that their time with us is challenging, rewarding and enjoyable!

We work closely with a number of schools across Dudley, Sandwell, Wolverhampton, Birmingham, and South Staffordshire as part of our School Direct partnership. For an up-to-date list of our partnership schools, please visit: (

Our courses are accredited by the University of Worcester, Newman University and Haybridge Alliance SCITT (c/o Birmingham City University), and award a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) with QTS to all successful trainees.

For more information about Stour Vale School Direct, please visit:( Alternatively, you can sign up for one of our regular online or face-to-face School Direct information events here: (

For any enquiries, please feel free to contact us directly by email at or by telephone on 0121 585 5385. We look forward to hearing from you!

Interview process

Suitable applicants are invited into a potential lead school for an interview. Applicants will have a tour of the school or department, an opportunity to visit lessons in their subject, and can meet their potential school mentor. They will have an interview which includes a presentation as well as formal interview questions from a university subject tutor, a school-based colleague, and a member of the Stour Vale School Direct team. Further details are provided upon application.

Should they wish to, successful applicants are given opportunities to gain work experience in their lead school prior to their course starting. We find that this helps to settle any pre-course nerves!

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, you may need to apply for a visa. The main visa for fee-paying courses (those that you have to pay for) is the Student visa.

To apply for a Student visa, you’ll need to be sponsored by your training provider.

Sponsorship is not available for this course.

If you need a visa, filter your course search to find courses with visa sponsorship.

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

We are a fully inclusive Trust and pride ourselves on our provision for all our stakeholders’ needs. Wheelchair access is excellent with lift access to all areas of our site. We take care to ensure the mental health and well-being of staff and pupils and have recognised this in our School Direct handbook.

Contact this training provider

0121 585 5385
c/o Halesowen College
Whittingham Road
West Midlands
B63 3NA

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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