Bristol Primary Training and Support Alliance (Whitehall Primary/Ashley Down Primary) Primary (2T8X)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
University of the West of England, Bristol
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
12 October 2021
Date course starts
September 2022
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About the course

The School Direct PGCE route offers a mix of a traditional university-based PGCE with school-based learning across the Alliance partner schools to give you the best of both worlds. This route enables you to draw on the expertise of your placement schools, the Alliance Training Manager, Specialist Leaders of Education (SLE) and the HEI (the University of the West of England) over a year of training. Some sessions take place at Bishop Road Primary School in a small group setting, where you can benefit from bespoke input in a group of around 20. This is not a salaried route and so normal tuition fees apply.

This programme has an academic element, with a small number of assignments across the year, working at Masters’ level. You will have a school-based mentor, university tutor and training with the Alliance Training Manager and outstanding class teachers from across the city.

Assessment is ongoing while training at a school. This will include a weekly observation with feedback and also a weekly meeting with your mentor to discuss progress.

During the year trainees will spend time in two schools (typically September to January & March to June). The first block placement will be in either Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 2, and the second block placement will be in the alternative Key Stage and a contrasting setting.

Our PGCE programme offers a real range of experiences across the year to prepare you for your first teaching post. Join us and continue our impressive completion and employment rates on this route!

Apply via this link -

School placements

We have strong relationships with a wide range of primary schools across Bristol, serving many different types of communities. Placements for trainees are very carefully selected around your needs. We will always do our best to ensure that travel time is as little as possible whilst at the same time providing schools that support and challenge each trainee, to get the very best out of you. Each of the two placements will be in a class from Year 1 to Year 6. Both placements offer significant in-school training time, which, together with your centre-based training, will prepare you extremely well for your future career in teaching.

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.

Personal qualities

Desirable qualities include:

  • An understanding of teaching and learning within a school setting
  • Excellent time management
  • Organisational skills
  • Emotional resilience
  • A strong work ethic

Other requirements

An enhanced criminal record (DBS) check is required to assess your suitability to work with children. Some voluntary work or prior school experience is desirable.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for UK students in 2022 to 2023 are £9,250.

Application for student finance is available.

The websites below are useful for further information

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About the training provider

We have a well-established track record in ITT as part of our overall staff development, leadership and succession planning work. The Training & Support Alliance is made up from the three primary schools in the city, each with outstanding reputations for excellence. These are Whitehall Primary School in Easton, Bridge Farm Primary School in Whitchurch & the Ashley Down Schools’ Federation. Two of the head teachers are designated as National Leaders of Education (NLEs) who support other schools across the city and beyond. The Training & Support Alliance has a strong reputation and proven track record of delivering training to leaders, leadership teams, teachers and trainees, which makes a lasting difference to teaching, leadership and classroom practice. We have links with more than 80 of Bristol’s primary schools and work closely with many schools and head teachers in the city.

In 2021 - 2022 we are training 26 teachers of the future through the School Direct PGCE route in schools across the city. We work hard to ensure that your training year works for you, and pride ourselves on working closely with every trainee, mentor and school. We offer a unique and high-quality learning experience to prepare you fully for your future career in teaching. We have an invested interest in ‘growing our own’ teachers, spotting talent and raw potential in local schools, and our communities, then coaching and nurturing trainee teachers towards employment in local schools as excellent practitioners.

For more information, please visit our website (

About the accredited body

The School Direct (PGCE) route blends a traditional university PGCE with school-based learning across our partner schools and support/training through BPTSA. You can access the expertise of your placement schools/class mentors/university tutor/BPTSA’s ITT lead and SLEs from across the city. (Normal tuition fees apply-not a salaried route.)

BPTSA works collaboratively with UWE, making this a very successful route into teaching. Assignments are part of this course.

Our sessions are in small groups run by educators at the cutting edge of practice. We will organise your placements alongside you, and you will receive a high level of support from us throughout.

Interview process

If you are successful at the application stage and are subsequently invited to interview, the structure of the day consists of the following:

  • A welcome and introduction to the day
  • A 10 minute activity working with children (details of this will accompany an invitation to interview email)
  • A 5 minute micro-teach to other candidates (details of this will accompany an invitation to interview email)
  • An interview which will last no longer than 30 minutes
  • A Maths & English task

The interview panel for the day usually consists of members of the Bristol Primary Training and Support Alliance and Partnership head teachers.

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

Disability Access

All schools and the university have disabled access. For information on any other needs, please contact a member of the BPTSA team through our main email address

Contact this training provider

Bridge Farm Primary School
East Dundry Road
BS14 0LL

Support and advice

For support and advice, you can speak to a teacher training 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 chat online Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm (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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