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Wood Green ITT Alliance Biology (N454)

PGDE with QTS full time

Accredited body
University of Birmingham
Financial support
Bursaries and student finance are available if you’re eligible

A postgraduate diploma in education (PGDE) 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 PGDE courses include credits towards a Master’s degree.

Age range
11 to 18
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
13 October 2020
Date course starts
September 2021


About the course

This is a School Direct PGDipEd Initial Teacher Training course which is run by the Wood Green ITT Alliance in partnership with the University of Birmingham and Queen Mary’s Grammar School. Our 2019-20 cohort of School Direct trainees gained QTS with good or outstanding grades and many had already secured employment for September 2020 by the Easter break. Wood Green ITT Alliance’s School Direct trainees are tuition fee paying trainees (fees payable to the UoB) who will receive very similar training and the same qualifications as core University of Birmingham PGDipEd trainees. Our School Direct route allows you to apply directly for your preferred training schools; for this particular course the schools are Wood Green Academy and Queen Mary’s Grammar School. This year long, full-time course will train you to teach secondary school pupils aged 11-18. (120 days in school; 50 days approx at university) The course is split into two placement phases. Placement 1 - 9 weeks and placement 2 - 16 weeks. You will be trained as a subject specialist in a specific curriculum area but an essential part of the course is a whole school issues programme which addresses such aspects as Special Educational Needs, behaviour management, working with pupils who have English as an Additional Language and of course, the professional standards that trainees must meet in order to gain QTS. This programme has been developed to include a mixture of university and school-based sessions, delivered by both academic tutors and practising teaching staff. This is a demanding, full-time course during which you will be required to produced highly academic essays and research projects for the University of Birmingham alongside your teaching practice. However, our Alliance is committed to providing you with all the support you need from both your school-based and university mentors. Your progress and well-being will be at the heart of everything we do. Supportive target setting and action planning at regular intervals will keep you on track to achieving an outstanding outcome. You will also take part in an extensive whole school CPD programme and be encouraged to reflect upon your own professional learning needs. So, if you are enthusiastic and have a personal commitment to teaching, you will not find a better place to begin your career.

School placements

The fundamental difference with core PGDipEd trainees lays in the fact that School Direct trainees can apply directly for the training schools of their choice through the Wood Green ITT Alliance.

In this partnership, trainees will be placed as follows: Placement 1 (9 weeks) at WGA and placement 2 (16 weeks) at QMGS. (Apply for Course code + campus code A) There will also be one week’s placement in a Primary school in January. In addition, School Direct trainees will spend the first week of September at WGA and the second week at QMGS as an induction period. You will then spend the next 4 weeks at the University of Birmingham to complete the same University based training as your core PGDipEd peers. Throughout your school-based training, you will have the opportunity to observe many lessons and many teachers, not just in your subject area. Your paired, co- or lead teaching timetable will increase from 30% to 60% of a qualified teacher’s timetable in at least two range ages throughout the year according to your strengths. You will be supported and observed all year long by class teachers, a school-based subject mentor, a professional mentor and university tutor. All will provide you with the quality feedback you need to achieve the best outcome. The two placements offered with this route will give you experience in contrasting secondary schools in order to equip you to teach in any context in your future career.


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

List of locations and vacancies
Location Vacancies
Main Site
Wood Green Academy, Wood Green Road, Wednesbury, WS10 9QU
Queen Mary’s Grammar School

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

Bachelor honours degree, (ideally 2:1 or above) or a degree of equivalent level from outside the UK.

  • You will need to be able to demonstrate that 50% of modules studied were in the subject you wish to teach. If this is not the case a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course may be set as a condition of the offer of a place.
  • For MFL applicants - An alternative subject degree may be acceptable for native speakers.

NB: Applicants with a degree gained outside the UK, must gain validation from NARIC, to demonstrate that qualifications are equivalent to the UK standard.

Personal qualities

Applicants should be passionate about their subject and have a strong desire to share their knowledge with young people of all abilities in the secondary age range. They should be committed, resilient and enthusiastic. Having a meaningful experience of working with young people will favour an applicant but such experience is not a compulsory requirement. Applicants should be able to demonstrate that they can communicate effectively with both adults and young people. The ability to reflect on any recent educational experiences and articulate their own perceived professional learning needs will also be taken into consideration during the selection process.

Other requirements

Applicants must be aware that an enhanced disclosure certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service will also be required before commencing the programme. The University of Birmingham will assist you with regards to applying for your DBS.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for 2021 to 2022 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £12,750

About the training provider

Wood Green Academy is the Lead School of the Wood Green ITT Alliance. We have an extensive proven track record in training students to become outstanding teachers. Our main ITT pathway is the School Direct with QTS & PGCE route with in excess of 60 places advertised in 17 different curriculum areas across the Wood Green ITT Alliance for 2021-22. It has always been our philosophy as a Lead School to give teacher training applicants the opportunity to specifically apply for the training school/campus of their choice; you are therefore able, from the start, to select your preferred training school. It is our belief that the opportunity to mutually assess both enhances the training experience and produces the best outcomes. The Academy has a long standing reputation for achieving some of the best GCSE and Post 16 results in the local area, and in February 2020, under the new Ofsted framework, achieved an overall effectiveness rating of good. Furthermore, it is only one of nine secondary schools nationally that achieved the grade of outstanding for behaviour and attitudes, something we are extremely proud of. Our subject mentors are extremely committed to your development and their vast experience will guide you to success. Wood Green ITT Alliance school direct trainees will benefit from a precious extra layer of support compared to core PGCE trainees. Our Alliance of schools enables more convenient arrangements for second school placements and greater opportunities for employment after the completion of your training.

About the accredited body

Our partnership with the University of Birmingham is long standing and we have trained many outstanding teachers through the PGDipEd route together. The School Direct PGDE offer for 2021-22 is an exciting enhancement of our collaboration. Being able to train with the University of Birmingham, Queen Mary’s Grammar School and Wood Green Academy is an ideal opportunity for an ambitious trainee teacher who wishes to develop the qualities and skills required for a highly successful career in Education. Weblink:

Interview process

Once applications have been received by the Director of the Wood Green ITT Alliance and the University of Birmingham through UCAS, candidates will be shortlisted. Successful candidates will be invited for interview at Wood Green Academy and for a School Assessment day or morning at Queen Mary’s Grammar School. Please note that passing professional skills tests are no longer required to get onto the course but that trainees’ literacy and numeracy skills will be assessed and monitored throughout the course. After the interview and the school assessment have taken place, if both the training schools and the university agree that the candidate is suitable for a place on the School Direct PGDipEd teacher training course, an official offer will be made to the candidate. Please note that it make take a little time for the offer to come through the online systems. The applicant has then the opportunity to accept or decline the offer.

Training with disabilities and other needs

Wood Green ITT Alliance is committed to supporting applicants with disabilities and special needs. In partnership with the Universities of Wolverhampton and Birmingham, we endeavour to break down any barrier that may stand in an individual’s way of training as a teacher. Furthermore, our trainees’ mental health is at the heart of our mentoring and professional learning and development programmes.

Contact this training provider

Wood Green Road
WS10 9QU

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).

Find out about the different ways to train if you do not have a degree, or are already an experienced teacher.

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