Bennett Memorial Diocesan School English (2KN3)

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

Accredited body
Teach Kent & Sussex
Financial support
Bursaries and student finance are available 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 18 - secondary
Course length
1 year - full time or part time
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

From the moment you start the course and walk into a classroom we will be equipping you with the professional knowledge you need to help your students to flourish and fulfil their potential.

This course will equip you with the knowledge of what the best and most rigorous research tells us about effective teaching. You will begin to understand and be equipped to use in the classroom teaching methods that are practical, effective and informed by the best evidence based research. This will include:

  • how teachers structure explanations effectively so that students understand,
  • how effective teachers question students and offer feedback and
  • how the best teachers get students to practice until they have mastered a topic.

From the beginning of the school year you are placed in a school and supported by a trained mentor. You are soon immersed in to how to apply this knowledge to the practice of teaching.

We believe in the importance of a ‘knowledge rich’ curriculum in which students are taught the key content they need to have in order to succeed. You will therefore be tutored and mentored by a subject specialist who knows the most effective ways of, for example:

  • how to plan specific content,
  • how to avoid the misconceptions students may have
  • ensuring students make strong progress.

This means that we will be able to equip you with a deep knowledge of your subject area and how best to teach it.

We also consider it important that every trainee teacher understands what cognitive science tells us about how children will remember. We therefore place great emphasis on teaching our trainees on how children learn and how this can be used to help students retain knowledge in their long term memory. This allows you as a teacher to help your students to learn more and succeed further at school and beyond.

The course should provide you with the strongest of foundations so that you have the best possible start to your teaching career. Trainees are able to complete our course confident with a strong body of professional knowledge. Through their training they have learnt to apply and refine this through their teaching practice throughout the training year.

Our trainees have a very high success rate in securing teaching jobs on completion of their training. 

School placements

During your training year we ensure that you teach across the full secondary age range from 11-18. You will therefore be trained to teach years 7-9, GCSE and A level. We consider that this will give you the strongest start to your teaching career.

You will spend most of your training year in one school. In doing so you become an integral part of that school community. You will therefore be able to build a strong relationship with your mentor and other colleagues in the school as well as the students. As your mentor comes to know you they will be able to more effectively support you throughout the course.

You will have a short second placement during January-February in another school before returning to your main placement school from late February to July.

In placing a trainee in a school we consider the individual strengths of each trainee and how they can best match the profiles of the schools, mentor and subject heads of department we work with. We also consider the distance a trainee would have to travel and any preference they express at interview about where they would like to train to teach.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

Degree content should include English literature and/or language in order to ensure capacity to teach either subject to ‘A’ level.

Your degree subject should be in English 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.

Equivalency tests are provided by Teach Kent & Sussex and assessed by one of our tutors. Fees are charged for equivalency testing and options discussed at offer stage.

Personal qualities

We are looking for candidates who are willing to work hard to help ensure that children get the best possible education. Candidates need to believe that they can, as teachers, make a difference and help children flourish. They will need to be ambitious for the children they teach and be able to show tenacity at times of challenge. They should be able to demonstrate a strong subject knowledge and be open to learning and reflecting upon how they can develop as a teacher.

Other requirements

Candidates will need to be suitable to work with children and young people. They will need to complete a Safe Recruitment Declaration prior to interview and answer safeguarding questions at interview.

Any offer made is on condition of satisfactory:

  • Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or Disclosure Scotland or overseas equivalent.
  • Clearance of Prohibited teachers checks.
  • Clearance of Children’s Barred checklist.
  • Pre-employment health clearance / Fitness to Practice.
  • Identify check and verification of entitlement to work in the UK;
  • Two references approved by us.
  • Qualifications certificates including ENIC equivalent as applicable.

Fees and financial support

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

Our full time course fees (1 academic year) are £9250.

Most of our trainees use a student loan to pay for their fees. However, some pay privately.

Fees are paid in installments during the course of the year; usually September, January and April.

About the training provider

Bennett Memorial Diocesan School is a Church of England School, academically highly successful which sets great store in the development of character and values. Bennett has become one of the highest achieving state schools in the country attracting students from across Sussex and West Kent.

The success of our students is due to the high quality teaching that they receive. By training with us you will learn alongside those expert teachers.

The school has a long track record of training teachers successfully.

Bennett is the designated Teaching School Hub for Kent and is the founding school of Teach Kent & Sussex school centre for initial teacher training (SCITT). We therefore can draw upon considerable teaching and leadership expertise to help you grow and flourish as a new teacher.

As a Teaching School hub Bennett leads a partnership of secondary schools in Kent & Sussex who work with us to train teachers. Therefore, in applying to us you may also train in one of those schools as well as or instead of Bennett. They include Hugh Christie, The Malling School, Beacon Academy (Crowborough), St Gregory’s Catholic School, Skinners’ Kent Academy (both Tunbridge Wells), Trinity School (Sevenoaks), Uplands Community College, Heathfield Community College and Uckfield College.

About the accredited body

Teach Kent & Sussex School Centre for Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) was recognised by Ofsted as an ‘outstanding’ provider of initial teacher training in 2019.

As part of the Kent Teaching School hub Teach Kent & Sussex provide Bennett and its partner schools with their evidence led, research rich professional development curriculum. This ensures that trainees are grounded with strong professional knowledge about the characteristics of effective teaching.

In addition, Teach Kent & Sussex ensure that all mentors are trained, and receive ongoing training, in the principles of instructional coaching and effective mentoring.

Interview process

As part of our selection process we provide you with:

  • An opportunity to meet one of our admin or leadership team to discuss expectations and practicalities of our course.

You will need to:

  • Give a short presentation about how you have helped someone or a small group learn something

  • Read aloud from a self chosen piece of text linked to your subject interest.

  • Prepare for a formal interview in which you will be asked about why you wish to teach and how you can show you have the capacity, personal characteristics and qualifications to do so.

  • You will also have a more informal interview with a subject specialist (normally a head of department) who will discuss with you your subject specific qualifications and identify any particular areas of subject knowledge that may need further development before the course begins.

  • Complete our safe recruitment declaration and provide appropriate certificates (e.g. your degree certificate).

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 wish to ensure that every candidate can show their potential to become a great teacher. We therefore work closely with candidates who declare a disability or additional need to ensure that reasonable adjustments are made at interview in order to ensure that all candidates have an equal chance to show their potential to teach.

If offered a place to train to teach we agree with you an independent support plan which is reviewed on a termly or more frequent basis if necessary. This helps to ensure that our provision is the best it can be. Such reviews have shown to be helpful and effective in the past and are an integral part of our provision.

Contact this training provider

Bennett Memorial Diocesan School
Culverden Down
Tunbridge Wells

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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