Placement schools are selected for candidates following a careful process of working with local headteachers to establish where our best subject specialist mentors are placed across the borough and what school recruitment needs are likely to be in the future. Most first placements (A) will be decided by late June and the second shorter placement (B) in early September once school staffing has been agreed.
You will have two placements (the A-B-A model). Placement A runs from September to February half term and placement B from February until Easter. Trainees will then return to their placement A school until June. The settings are contrasting to ensure breadth of experience.
The Alliance has teaching opportunities in the full secondary range from 11-18. If you have a placement in a school which is currently 11-16 you will be given the opportunity for KS5 experience at another school. There are 10 schools in the Alliance and Schools Direct trainees will have one main placement and one second placement across the year.
You will spend 4 days a week in school and one day at University on a Wednesday. This day will give you essential time out from the school classroom to build your knowledge and experience and reflect on your placements.
Richmond Borough is a small locality and all schools within the partnership have excellent local transport links. All teachers will be placed in the borough. As a small provider, we are able to work with you to secure the best placement for you.
All trainees will be assigned to a tutor group and mentor throughout their placements.
An undergraduate degree at class 2:2 or above, or equivalent.
Your degree subject should be in physics 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.
You will ideally have some experience of working with young people, perhaps through volunteering, youth clubs or sports teams.
We recommend that you gain some experience in a classroom prior to interview, but is not essential.
All places on the PGCE are subject to satisfactory health and criminal convictions assessments. Applicants will be required to complete an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
Fees and financial support
The course fees for UK students in 2023 to 2024 are £9,250.
About the training provider
All Richmond upon Thames borough schools and the Waldegrave Training Alliance (WTA) are great places to Train to Teach. If you apply to WTA we will provide you with a supportive and tailored learning opportunity with our partner universities and our alliance schools.
Our vision for WTA is that staff and students feel valued and enjoy teaching and learning in schools across the borough of Richmond upon Thames. We are very proud of the partnerships we have with all schools in the borough, including our long established secondary schools to the newer free and faith schools.
Waldegrave Training Alliance is led by Waldegrave School, an 11-16 girls’ school with a co-educational Sixth Form. OFSTED reported us as an outstanding school in 2017. Waldegrave was awarded comprehensive school of the year in 2016 by the Sunday Times. Prior to that we were in the top 11-16 schools in the country in the Sunday Times Parent Power tables. Our results show that we are in the top 10% of schools nationally each year.
We work closely with all our alliance schools to provide the best placements in fantastic departments with excellent outcomes for students. Schools Direct trainees will have access to great subject specialists and dedicated mentors as well as a full training programme through our universities and partnership schools. Our trainees will benefit from placements in contrasting schools across the borough including single sex, co-educational (boys and girls), faith and free schools.
Waldegrave School is the lead school in the Alliance and will be coordinating the recruitment process for all WTA schools. Interviews will include a panel of professionals from across the Alliance and will usually have one representative from the likely main placement school.
Interviews will take place at one of the schools and will include:
A written task
A tour, usually led by students
A presentation on a given theme
A panel interview
Candidates approved by the school will also undergo an approval process at the university which may consist of another interview. Staff from the universities may be part of the school selection panel, as will staff from Alliance schools. The selection process will be thorough and rigorous, in order to help us place trainees at suitable placement schools.
You’ll need the right to study in the UK. You already have this if, for example, you:
Waldegrave School Fifth Cross Road Twickenham Middlesex TW2 5LH
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).