Sponne School Business Studies (236D)

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

Accredited body
The Grand Union Training Partnership
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
14 to 19 - secondary
Course length
1 year - full time
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

Our course ensures that our Associate Teachers are able to teach ages 14-19 across Key Stages 3, 4 and 5.

  • As a school centred scheme we are able to ensure that Associate Teachers are involved in the classroom right from the start of the course, observing experienced teachers teach and then gradually developing their confidence and ability to take an increasing responsibility for the planning and delivery of lessons.
  • Associate Teachers form close working relationships with their mentors and with other colleagues in the departments in which they are placed.
  • The views of the Associate Teachers are valued: they give regular Quality Assurance feedback so that concerns and suggestions can be responded to and acted upon.

How this course is organised:

  • A typical week would involve: general professional studies sessions at the lead school; a meeting with a subject mentor and a subject-specific training session provided by one of the subject mentors.
  • During the two block teaching practices regular meetings with mentors and subject-specific training sessions continue though the other sessions mentioned above are discontinued.

What is taught on this course:

  • Subject knowledge
  • Teaching methodology
  • ICT skills
  • General professional studies topics such as how children learn, education in a multi-ethnic society etc.
  • What it is to be fully involved in all aspects of the life of the host school.

Assessment is by a variety of methods:

  • A portfolio of evidence built up over the full course
  • A standards log to measure your progress against the DfE standards as in Qualifying to Teach
  • A number of presentations and three longer assignments which aim to develop powers of observation and reflection, the ability to relate published data to your own classroom research and, finally, the ability to experiment with different teaching styles and methodologies.

Study facilities and support:

  • The scheme supports Associate Teachers with relevant ICT equipment.
  • A small professional library is kept at the lead school and course members have access to specialised material at the University of Leicester.

School placements

Arrangements for teaching placements:

  • Associate teachers spend the first week of the course observing in a primary school (this is organised by the trainee at a school of their choice)
  • From the second week of the course Associate Teachers are based in one of the Partnership schools except for the ten weeks of their main block practice when they will be placed in one of the other schools in the Partnership.

We value the experiences that our Associate Teachers bring with them and we try to be flexible in meeting their particular needs when placing them in their host schools.

In order to find the most suitable placement for each trainee, we look at the distance they would have to travel from home to school, the age ranges they will be teaching and the availability of the most appropriate School Based Tutor.


You can select one of the following locations to indicate a preferred placement when you apply.

List of locations and vacancies
Location Vacancies
Abbeyfield School
Mere Way, Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN4 8BU
Campion School Campus
Kislingbury Road, Bugbrooke, Northamptonshire, NN7 3QG
Caroline Chisholm Campus
Wooldale Road, Wootton Fields, Northamptonshire, NN4 6TP
Chenderit School
Archery Road, Middleton Chenney, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX17 2QR
Elizabeth Woodville Campus
Stratford Road, Deanshanger, Milton Keynes, MK19 6HN
Guilsborough Campus
West Haddon Road, Guilsborough, Northamptonshire, NN6 8QE
Hazeley Campus
Emperor Drive, Hazeley, Milton Keynes, MK8 0PT
Kettering Buccleuch Academy
Weekley Gleben Road, Kettering, Northamptonshire, NN16 9BS
Lord Grey Academy
Rickley Lane, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, MK3 6EW
Magdalen Campus
Waynflete Avenue, Brackley, Northamptonshire, NN13 6FB
Main Site
Sponne School, Brackley Road, Towcester, NN12 6DJ
Moulton Campus
Pound Lane, Moulton, Northamptonshire, NN3 7SD
Shenley Brook End Campus
Wallbank Grove, Shenley Brook End, Milton Keynes, MK5 7ZT

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

Your degree subject should be in business studies 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.

Personal qualities

Associate Teachers are selected from a wide age range with a good balance of people in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Some will be straight from university; others may have had considerable experience of another career. A majority of our Associate Teachers come from within a 25 mile radius of the Partnership schools.

Successful candidates are able to show:

  • A commitment to teaching which may be demonstrated by evidence of previous work with young people.

  • An ability to communicate effectively with pupils and with adults.

  • A genuine interest in sharing enthusiasm for their subject

Fees and financial support

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

Financial support from the training provider

Please refer to Department of Education website for up-to-date information relating to Initial Teacher Training funding.

About the training provider

The Grand Union Training Partnership is a school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) consortium centred on a number of 11-18 comprehensive schools situated in villages and small towns West of Northampton and in Milton Keynes.

We provide Secondary PGCE courses in Business Studies, DT, English, History, Modern Foreign Languages, Physical Education, Maths, Geography, Computer Science, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

We aim to give trainees, whom we refer to as Associate Teachers, as much practical experience of working in the Partnership schools as possible. Each Associate Teacher’s work and programme of study is supervised by a Mentor (School Based Tutor) who will take a close interest in their development as a subject teacher and colleague. This part of the course is complemented by general professional studies.

Our overall aim is to produce reflective professionals confident in applying for and starting their first jobs as secondary school teachers. Over half of our Associate Teachers take up their first teaching posts in the scheme’s Partnership schools.

About the accredited body

The Grand Union Training Partnership is an experienced school-centred initial teacher training consortium with nearly 20 years’ experience training secondary school teachers. More recently they started to offer the same high quality of training the primary sector.

The Scheme is very conscious of its role in training local people for employment in their home area.

Their overall aim is to produce reflective professionals confident in applying for, and starting, their first jobs as school teachers. Traditionally, over half of their Associate Teachers take up their first teaching posts in the Scheme’s Partnership Schools.

Interview process

Applicants who are invited to interview would normally spend a day in one of the Partnership schools. During this time they would be given a tour of the school and spend time talking to staff and pupils in classes. They would be interviewed by one of the Directors of the scheme and by a subject mentor. During the interview they would be asked, depending on their subject, to give a short presentation/speak in their foreign language/complete a subject specific test/deliver a short practical.

In addition, all candidates are asked to complete a generic, short written task and numeracy task.

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

In addition to supporting our Associate Teachers in any way we can, we are committed to providing additional support where possible and necessary.

Prior to the start of our course, we ask all Associate Teachers to consider whether or not they have a disability within the statutory definition. It is important that we gather this information because The GUTP is committed to ensuring that all of our Associate Teachers are treated fairly and that we do not inadvertently make decisions or have processes that may treat any one less well on the basis of any disability. We also wish to offer appropriate support to all our trainees, whatever their circumstances. All information given to us is treated with sensitivity and held in confidence.

Contact this training provider

Brackley Road
NN12 6DJ

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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