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If you’re applying for the first time since applications opened in October 2020, apply no later than 6pm on 7 September 2021.

If your application did not lead to a place and you’re applying again, apply no later than 6pm on 21 September 2021.

Catholic Teaching Alliance (North) Primary (292W)

PGCE with QTS full time

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
3 to 11
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
13 October 2020
Date course starts
September 2021


About the course

There are 2 primary courses available:

  • General Primary (5-11 years) based at the Main Site Preston, (location code -) or at the CTA Cumbria Hub (location code 3).
  • Early Primary (3-7 years) based at the CTA Preston Hub, (location code 2).

Select the correct location code for your chosen course.

In line with the ITT core content framework, our School Direct PGCE with QTS programme allows you to engage with the necessary knowledge and skills to meet the Teachers’ 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).

Our programme is run in an academic partnership with the University of Cumbria. Alongside school based training, you will also undertake two 30-credit masters level modules, to gain a PGCE. These modules are practically focused and titled ‘Raising the Achievement of Children’ and ‘High Quality Learning and Teaching’, both are designed to focus on your priorities and interests as you develop your teaching skills. They involve a total of 3 written assessments, one of which is a formative piece to support your academic development. These modules are taught by the University of Cumbria lecturers, who work closely with our school direct programme team, to ensure that theory and practice are closely entwined to really inform your teaching and give you a useful toolkit to take forward in your career.

The majority of your training will be delivered in school or at dedicated sessions in our Training Centre, with a mix of blended learning for trainees in Cumbria. You will benefit from the knowledge and experience of practising teachers and headteachers.

If you choose the Early Primary (3-7 years) PGCE course you will have bespoke training relating to the early years’ priorities of phonics, early language and mathematical acquisition, planning for quality play experiences and assessment. In addition, there will be opportunities for ‘hands on’ learning experiences in our Primary alliance hub reception classrooms where you will be able to put your learning into practice. You will also receive quality training relating to broader aspects of Primary teaching alongside Primary PGCE peers.

School placements

When you train with the Catholic Teaching Alliance your placements are in our Catholic Alliance schools . You are assigned a ‘Home School’ where you will have the opportunity to observe and reflect first hand on quality teaching across all key stages and will complete two placements:

  • General Primary (5-11 years) course - one in Key Stage 1 and one in Key Stage 2
  • Early Primary (3-7 years) course - one in Nursery or Reception, the other in Key Stage 1.

Throughout your time in the ‘Home School’ you will have the chance to involve yourself in school life, develop your ability to manage other people within the classroom and essential skills to enable you to confidently plan, deliver and reflect on sequences of lessons across the curriculum.

Your final ‘Extending’ placement will, generally, be in a contrasting setting, in a Key Stage of your choice.

  • General Primary (5-11 years) course - Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 2
  • Early Primary (3-7 years) course - Nursery, Reception or Key Stage 1.

When you train with Catholic Teaching Alliance you will be supported throughout all of your placements by a trained mentor within the school and supported by our Initial Teacher Training Lead (ITTL) who will ensure that you have every support to enable you to achieve success.


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

List of locations and vacancies
Location Vacancies
Catholic Teaching Alliance Cumbria Primary Hub
Our Lady & St Patrick’s PS, Ennerdale Road, Maryport, Cumbria, CA15 8HN
Catholic Teaching Alliance Hub for Early Primary (3-7 yrs) course, Preston
St Anthony’s RC Primary, St Anthony’s Drive, Fulwood, Preston, Lancashire, PR2 3SQ
Catholic Teaching Alliance Preston Main Site
St Anthony’s Drive, Fulwood, Preston, Lancashire, PR2 3SQ

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

Minimum requirements -

2:2 Honours Degree

English, Mathematics and Science at GCSE level at Grade ‘C’ or above, or equivalent.

Personal qualities

Passion, professionalism and purpose.

We are looking for people who have an ability to inspire others, a passion to transform young lives and a willingness to learn the profession of teaching from outstanding practitioners.

Inspire others, transform lives, teach.

Other requirements

A satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service Background clearance check prior to starting the course. Satisfactory Occupational Health medical check prior to starting the course.

We strongly recommend that you obtain some primary school experience in a mainstream UK primary school.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for UK students in 2021 to 2022 are £9,250.

About the training provider

‘Aspirational training to achieve inspirational teachers with pupils’ learning and well-being at the heart of our partnership’

Our unique approach to fostering a positive environment where each trainee is known to us as an individual remains one of our greatest strengths and one of the main reasons prospective trainees choose us. The Catholic Teaching Alliance (North) is underpinned by a shared passion to train and develop outstanding and inspirational teachers who are highly employable and dedicated professionals. We aim to deliver the Catholic school leaders of tomorrow. You do not have to be a Catholic to train with us, though you will be expected to uphold the Catholic values of our family of schools. The Catholic Teaching Alliance (North) is a partnership of over 60 primary, secondary and post 16 establishments based mainly in the Dioceses of Lancaster, Liverpool and Salford. The lead school is Our Lady’s Catholic High School in Preston, ‘Outstanding’ in all categories from Ofsted in 2012 and a National Teaching School from 2014. School Direct placements across the partnership ensure that trainees work alongside outstanding practitioners within high performing Catholic schools. We use the best qualified staff with existing expertise to deliver a quality assured training programme to support trainees based upon the Teachers’ Standards. By doing so, we are confident in ensuring quality training at all levels. Typically, 100% of our trainees graduate with Good or Outstanding grades.

We can offer support and guidance with your application at our frequent ‘Drop - in’ information sessions.

About the accredited body

The Postgraduate Certificate (PGCE) in Secondary and General Primary Education Programme offers an opportunity to receive inspirational training. This full time course enables students to focus on their specialist area or subject whilst, at the same time, helping them to understand and participate in the wider aspects of school. As it is a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, it entails work at Masters Level (level 7). This recognises the high levels achieved by students on this Programme and rewards this with Masters-level credits. ‘Pedagogy for Learning’ days are based at the Lancaster campus or at our training centre in Preston.

Interview process

All of our interviews usually take place in a local school setting, led by our Initial Teacher Training Lead. You are required to complete three tasks –

  • Mini teach – You will be informed prior to the interview day about the age of the children and the curriculum area that is the focus. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your ability to plan an age appropriate task, linked to an area of the curriculum, whilst managing the behaviour of a small group. Your rapport with the children will also be observed.

  • A discussion task that will allow you to demonstrate your awareness of the level of academic required when studying at this level

  • Interview - The final part of the process is an interview which will allow the interviewers to gauge your ability and potential to complete the course.

Due to the current restrictions, we will be holding remote interviews, via Teams. You will still be required to complete the written task, however the mini teach will be an opportunity to teach and explain your lesson to the interview panel.

We will provide more structured information nearer the time of interview.

Training with disabilities and other needs

All our students have access to University of Cumbria support as well as that offered within our school direct alliance. Much of this university-based support is available online and electronically and so is accessible at a distance. Library and Student Services (LiSS) at the University of Cumbria supports your learning, teaching and research needs by providing pro-active, academically focused services, innovative learning spaces and modern facilities. LiSS is responsible for libraries, information advice and guidance, careers guidance and employability, enhancement and information, academic skills development, student health and wellbeing, disability services and student development. For more details please refer to

Contact this training provider

01772 326931
Catholic Teaching Alliance (North)
St Anthony's Drive

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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