Cornerstone Academy Trust Primary with Creative Arts (3DYZ)

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

Accredited body
Plymouth Marjon University
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
5 to 11
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

School Direct training at Cornerstone is a year-long school-based experience, leading to a PGCE. The lead school for this programme is Broadclyst Community Primary School (BCPS), an Ofsted-graded outstanding primary school with a significant national and international reputation for innovative use of IT within a broad and balanced curriculum. We work in collaboration with a number of other schools to deliver this programme.

The course is accredited at Masters level and offers 30 credits. Join a dynamic team of trainers and recently-qualified teachers who have themselves come through the School Direct programme at the Cornerstone Academy Trust Teaching School. Enjoy working with a unique range of state-of-the-art facilities, equipment and resources that will help you to develop your teaching skills and explore your potential future curriculum leadership specialisms.

For each of our courses you will be allocated a base class for your time training at the school. The teacher of that class will be your first point of contact during your training and will be one of the members of staff that will help you plan, observe and support your next steps. Each trainee has a training programme to follow that includes weekly inputs and tasks to develop their skills, including their specialisms. Your specialism could be used in the future to enable you to lead a subject when you have secured a job.

During your year with us, each half term of the programme has a specific focus and these create a progression throughout the year as you go from the initial phase of getting to know the school and the role of the teacher through to being qualified and ready to take on the full responsibility for a class of children and their education.

School placements

You will be allocated a base class for your time training at the school. The teacher of that class will be your first point of contact during your training and will be one of the members of staff that will help you plan, observe you teach and give you regular feedback. Each child’s needs are met through good assessment and careful tracking of their progress and as such there will be times when children will work in groups comprised of children from across the year group and key stage. As such you will be working closely with all the staff; teaching and support staff. You will also have tasks to achieve during the year and these may well mean that you will have to work with children in classes from across the school and with many of the staff in the school who have specific responsibilities for a specific subject.

One of the phases of your training will require you to go to another school to teach. This will be arranged during your first term in school and will take place during the Spring Term.

For those following the primary programme, students will be spending a week in Secondary School. This is in the Autumn term and will be a good opportunity to contrast secondary education with primary. During your time at the secondary school you will have some tasks to achieve. There will be opportunities for you to observe teaching in other classrooms in the school and depending on your progress through the phases you may be able to visit other schools during the final phases.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

Grade 4 (C) or above in English, maths and science, or equivalent qualification.

We’ll consider candidates with pending GCSEs.

We’ll consider candidates who need to take a GCSE equivalency test in English, maths or science.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for 2023 to 2024 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £18,500

About the training provider

School Direct at Cornerstone allows the trainee the security of knowing that they will be spending the lion’s share of their course working in effective schools alongside highly-trained and supportive teachers. The amount of time spent in class allows you to gain further experience of residential trips, training days, continuity through the academic year and a feeling of total inclusion as an important member of the teaching staff. The Masters modules are taught through distance learning, requiring the trainee to be very well-organised and self-motivated. School Direct trainees are given one day of each week to complete their university tasks.

Interview process

You will be invited to come for a visit at Broadclyst Primary School, spend some time in a class, speak to a current school direct student and have an interview with the programme lead and CEO. This will include a short presentation from you as to why you would like to train to become a teacher.

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 for the duration of this course, you may need to apply for a Student visa.

To do this, you’ll need to be sponsored by your training provider.

Before you apply for this course, contact us to check Student visa sponsorship is available. If it is, and you get a place on this course, we’ll help you apply for your visa.

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

The University of Exeter provides comprehensive student services that include AccessAbility and Wellbeing teams, Student Learning Skills Service, Student Advice Unit, Counselling Service, Students’ Union Advisors, Student Health Centre, Family Centre and the Chaplaincy. For further details on the wealth of support available to you please go to Student Support Services ( PGCE trainees can access the support of a Wellbeing Services Welfare Caseworker to discuss concerns, talk through options for support or understand more about how the University Wellbeing Services may be able to help. Alongside the support described above, every PGCE trainee is assessed by an Occupational Health provider as part of the admissions process to ensure they are fit to teach in a school setting. The Occupational Health provider can recommend ‘Reasonable Adjustments’, which will be put into place by the provider, providing they are logistically possible and reasonable.

Contact this training provider

01392 304168
School Lane

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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