Pennine Lancashire Alliance Religious Education (2974)

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

Accredited body
University of Cumbria
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

The PGCE programme in your chosen subject will give you the necessary knowledge and skills to meet the standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and the PGCE award. The PGCE carries 60 credits at Masters Level which could later contribute towards a Master’s Degree in Education (180 credits), awarded by the University of Cumbria. This is a full time programme which runs from September to July.

As a trainee on the School Direct Programme you will spend the majority of your time in school supported by experienced mentors and teachers who are excellent classroom practitioners. Weekly conference days will be led by experts from across the Alliance and there will be visits to the University of Cumbria (Lancaster campus) for assignment support and subject pedagogy days.

Trainees will undertake two placements in different schools within the alliance. There may also be opportunities to gain further experience in other partner schools and settings depending on individual training needs and areas of interest.

There are ten Secondary schools in the partnership, all located within a twenty mile radius:

  • Haslingden High School (lead school)
  • Alder Grange School
  • All Saints RC High School
  • Clitheroe Royal Grammar School
  • Mount Carmel RC High School
  • Rhyddings Business & Enterprise School
  • St Christopher’s CE High School
  • Unity College
  • Whitworth Community High School
  • Woodhey High School

School placements

Trainees will undertake two placements in different schools within the alliance. The first placement runs from September to December and the second from January to June.

There are ten Secondary schools in the partnership, all located within a twenty mile radius with a mixture of large, small, urban, rural, faith and grammar schools. You will be teaching in an 11-16 school and in some cases may experience an 11-18 school.

Placements are decided after consultation with our partner schools and consideration of the individual needs of the trainee. Trainees should consider the costs and be prepared to travel to any of our schools within the partnership.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

Your degree subject should be in religious education 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:-

  • High quality graduates who want to pursue their love of their subject and have a passion for wanting to work with young people
  • Energy, enthusiasm, initiative and resilience
  • Reflective practitioners, who understand the impact of their behaviours on others and who can model the best
  • Good communicators
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • People who can empathise, empower and inspire to help shape the future

Other requirements

You should have an understanding of current educational practice and have knowledge of your chosen subject. School experience is recommended and in certain circumstances, we can help to arrange time in school.

If you accept a formal offer of a place you will be required to meet the Department for Education’s standards for physical and mental fitness to teach and clearance to work with children. Further information, including a Declaration of Health questionnaire and details of how to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure will be sent to you after you have firmly accepted an offer.

Fees and financial support

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

About the training provider

In partnership with the University of Cumbria the Pennine Lancashire Alliance offers an exciting, school based approach to Initial Teacher Training.

As a trainee on the School Direct Programme you will be working alongside expert practitioners in secondary schools within East Lancashire, spending more of your time in the classroom than on a traditional PGCE. You will be in school from the first day of the school year so you will feel part of the team and be fully immersed in all aspects of school life from day one. You will be trained in a highly supportive environment and will be given the opportunity to develop the professional knowledge, understanding and skills necessary for the challenge of teaching in the 21st century. As part of this you will benefit from the use of an iPad for the duration of the course and will learn how to use Apple technologies to enhance teaching and learning in the classroom.

Our Alliance consists of a diverse partnership of secondary schools led by Haslingden High, a large successful 11-18 school, with a mixture of other large, small, urban, rural, faith and grammar schools. We provide a unique opportunity to experience a broad and contrasting range of teaching and training experiences. Our schools have a successful track record in providing high quality teacher training and share a commitment to developing outstanding teachers of the future.

All our trainees have gone on to secure teaching posts following successful completion of the PGCE.

Interview process

Applicants will need to submit their application through “apply” via the DfE website and will be short-listed with reference to the entry requirements and if successful will be invited for interview. The interview process includes a written task, subject knowledge audit, a short teaching task and a panel interview. This panel may comprise of a university tutor in addition to staff from the partnership schools.

Before applying it is recommended that trainees spend some time observing lessons in a secondary school.

We will be looking to recruit high quality graduates who love their subject, are able to engage and inspire young people and who have the potential to become outstanding teachers.

Successful applicants will have energy, enthusiasm and should be able to demonstrate initiative, resilience and a real commitment to a career in the teaching profession.

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

Applicants with disabilities and any special needs should let us know on their application so they can be considered for placements at appropriate schools and adjustments can be made.

Contact this training provider

01706 215726

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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