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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.

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Blackfriars Teaching School Alliance English and Communication (SEND) (V252)

PGCE with QTS, full time or part time

Accredited body
Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education
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
7 to 14
Course length
Up to 2 years
Date you can apply from
13 October 2020
Date course starts
August 2021


About the course

Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education foregrounds evidence informed practice. Centre-based sessions are, whenever possible led by school based colleagues in one of our teaching classrooms, either at Keele University (ST5 5BG) or Blackfriars Special School (ST5 2TF). Whether you want to work in special and inclusive education contexts, or progress your career in a mainstream school, this course could be for you.

KNSTE is delighted to be working with Blackfriars Teaching School Alliance to offer an enhanced SEN pathway through our partnership. This course enables you to develop the professional and intellectual capabilities to prepare you for working with children with a diverse range of abilities and needs. You will benefit from placements in both Key Stages 2 and 3, one practice will be in a SEND school and the other will be in a mainstream setting. This will allow you to explore and critically reflect on the opportunities of multi-disciplinary learning. Our focus on KS2/3 is innovative and will facilitate your development as a subject specialist in English and Communication. You will be introduced to the expectations of the Primary Curriculum at KS2 in addition to English at Key Stage 3.

This pathway is open to applicants with English, English related or other appropriate degree subjects with a strong communication focus e.g. Law, the Humanities, Social Sciences or vocational degrees such as journalism. The course will develop your appreciation of the significance of speech, language and communication in education. Verbal and non-verbal communication will be explored alongside alternative augmentative and technological strategies. The route will prepare you to evaluate what you as an individual can bring to the profession.

More information can be found on our website;

If you are interested in applying for our part-time option, you will need to select this at the point of application. This route is known as our Flexible Route and takes place over two years. If in doubt, just contact us on either 01782 432537 or via email.

School placements

We work closely with several Teaching School Alliances and clusters of School Direct schools. You will be able to benefit from placements in two of these settings; each providing a contrasting experience. Whilst on placement we will support you in offering your pupils an appropriately high quality curriculum, one that both engages and excites them.

Placement schools are carefully selected for you, and may involve some travel. Across the course we endeavour to minimise travel, though you may have to travel for up to an hour from your home address– note that we do not pay travel expenses.

During the ‘Initial Phase’ you attend the SCITT for two days and your school for three days. The Initial Phase is a gradual introduction into teaching and learning. You will then build up to a teaching commitment of 50% of a class timetable.

Your second placement is undertaken in a different school, following successful completion of your first placement. In your very final weeks your percentage teaching time will increase to be equivalent to the expectations of an Early Career Teacher so that you are truly job ready! In these final few weeks there may be the opportunity for you to undertake an enrichment placement that enables you to develop a particular aspect of your teaching.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

  • At least a 2:2 and preferably a 2:1 honours degree (or recognised equivalent).
  • GCSEs in English Language, Science and Mathematics at Grade C / 4 or above (or equivalent).
  • The relevance of an Honours degree content in relation to the chosen specialist subject(s) or pathway of English and Communication.
  • In respect of applicants from outside the United Kingdom, NARIC verification will inform us as to the suitability of the degree.
  • During interview and whilst on course we will enable you to meet the requirements and expectations of fundamental English and mathematics

Personal qualities

Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education seeks candidates who are passionate about the transformative power of education and who are reflective and resilient people. We value candidates who are well-organised and who relate well to others. A strong feature of the course is the collaborative community that forms between the trainees and between our schools. Your peers will form a bedrock of support as you realise your ambition to become an excellent and informed Early Career Teacher. We are able to offer support, in addition to that provided by your Appropriate Body in your first year of teaching.

Other requirements

  • A medical report which is deemed satisfactory.
  • A completed DBS enhanced disclosure which is deemed satisfactory by the SCITT partnership.
  • Prior experience is not required but can be beneficial to you in helping you to decide whether teaching is for you. If you would welcome such an opportunity do get in touch with us or look out for our Back to School days.

Fees and financial support

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

  • You may be eligible for a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of tuition fees charged. This is available through Student Finance England.
  • The course length for full time study is 1 year.
  • The fee for UK and EU Students for the full time course is £9250.
  • A flexible route is also available for this course.
  • The course length for the flexible route is 2 years.
  • The fee for UK and EU Students for the flexible route is £5500 for each year of study.

About the training provider

By offering the opportunity to embark on a Teaching Career with Blackfriars Teaching School Alliance, we know that by recruiting the very best individuals who are committed to the profession, we will make a positive difference to the lives of future generations. Such a strong moral compass highlights that ‘collaboration and networking’ are at the core of our Teaching School Alliance and recognises the importance of working together for ‘the greater good’.

We have a strong partnership of schools covering Staffordshire, Shropshire and Cheshire. All of our schools are incredibly experienced in welcoming and nurturing Trainee Teachers. From day one you will be made to feel part of the team and will be surrounded by passionate people who are dedicated to making a difference.

As well as receiving excellent support from our mentors in school, all Secondary Trainee Teachers within our partnership are offered a weekly CPD Programme which supplements the University programme. These CPD sessions offer Trainee Teachers the opportunity to learn from practitioners who are experts in their field and also allows time to share best practice and network.

During current Covid-19 restrictions, visits to schools are difficult. Therefore potential applicants are encouraged to make contact with partner schools to discuss any questions they may have.

For further information or to contact us, please go to our website

About the accredited body

KNSTE is an outstanding provider (2017) who work in close partnership with their schools and school direct clusters. The programme is designed and managed by local headteachers and senior school leaders. They are relentless in pursing excellence in teaching so that the pupils in our school communities benefit from passionate and effective teaching. Evidence is used to inform and challenge school-based practice for the benefit of all. In this way your school and SCITT sessions are intertwined. We have been thrilled to employ previous trainees and are delighted that KNSTE has sustained its high recruitment, retention and employment rates.

Interview process

Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education co-ordinates recruitment across the partnership. Initially we review your Teacher Training application to ensure that you meet our entry requirements and that your personal statement reflects the capabilities and experiences that we are looking for. If your application meets these stringent criteria then you will be invited to an interview day which will take place at Keele University and then in one of our partnership schools. You will be hosted by both a member of the SCITT team and a senior school-based colleague.

We recognise that this is a demanding process. It is one that involves considerable commitment from you. Our experience suggests that this rigorous process enables us to best match applicants to the places available.

Ours is an intense, high quality programme and we need to both assure ourselves, and give you the confidence, that you are best placed to make the most of the opportunities that we have on offer. As a former trainee said ‘The course gives you amazing learning opportunities. The staff really help you to gain an understanding of all aspects of teaching, and with the wider elements of school life.’ This is something that we pride ourselves in.

Training with disabilities and other needs

As an organisation we are experienced in supporting students with additional needs. Please contact Blackfriars to discuss, in confidence, any reasonable adjustments that need to be made to support you in your chosen career.

Contact this training provider

Blackfriars School
Priory Road

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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