The aim of school direct as opposed to the conventional PGCE is that trainees are more quickly immersed in the practicalities of teaching resulting in a more confident and competent teacher. This is a school-based PGCE with more time spent in developing classroom practice than a traditional PGCE programme. Training is delivered across the partnership by practicing professionals.
Trainees will complete a total of 180 days of training; 120 days will be in the classroom observing and building up to whole class teaching as soon as possible.
There will be 10 days of professional studies based around wider educational issues such as Behaviour Management, SEND and Assessment. These will be delivered by expert teachers/facilitators from Local Authorities and schools in our partnership. This ensures you are developing an understanding clearly based on the most recent developments in classroom practice and how educational theory sits within this.
In addition, there will be subject-based tuition in your chosen secondary subject. There will be a number of days where trainees will have to attend university based sessions.
There will be two university based assignments throughout the year. Access to the university resources and virtual learning will ensure you have access to wider educational texts and journals to support your work. You can gain up to 60 masters level credits through completion of this course as this is a PGCE with QTS. This means your qualification is internationally recognised.
Ideally, applicants need to have a 2:1 or a higher classification but a 2:2 may be accepted. Where this is in an unrelated subject to Biology, the applicant should demonstrate a breadth of practical experience in a related field or job area. Candidates should have at least one of their A levels in a related Biology subject.
The first school-based learning will begin in schools from September to December. There will also be a primary placement where key issues of transition and key stage 2 teaching can be observed. The second placement will begin in a contrasting school from January to July with the percentage of whole class teaching increasing to 75% of a full teaching timetable as confidence grows. Trainees also will gain experience of Key Stage 5 teaching and learning.
Please note with your school placements, you could be placed at any school in the partnership within the Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin area. You will need to take into consideration that travel time and distances may be involved.
In both placements, you will have a subject-based mentor, a school professional tutor and a university based tutor as well as a partnership based School Direct team to support you throughout your PGCE programme.
You will be placed in departments who will be able to offer you the best support and guidance and with mentors who are willing to share their wealth of knowledge and experience to support your progression as a teaching practitioner.
Some of our partner schools have sixth forms so you will gain experience of KS5 teaching. If your placement schools do not have a sixth form, we will ensure that you gain this experience by arranging a short placement in Shrewsbury Colleges Group or one of our partner schools.
We will endeavour to take personal circumstances into consideration when allocating your placement school, but please be aware that you may have to travel up to 45 minutes for your school based learning.
An undergraduate degree at class 2:2 or above, or equivalent.
Ideally you should hold a 2:1 degree, but applications from candidates with a 2:2 degree will be considered.
Your degree subject should be in biology 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.
Please contact us and we can advise whether your provider would be accepted.
We are looking for candidates who have an empathy and understanding of the demands of teaching in the secondary classroom. You should enjoy working with young people and see teaching as a wider professional duty.
We are looking for the highest quality graduates who may well bring further work-related experience from previous careers which can help to strengthen the application.
We are looking for applicants who are able to commit the time needed to the training programme which will include academic assignments and study. We would like candidates who want to be involved in the wider pastoral and extra-curricular life of our schools and who can give the time to this during their training year. Trainees own transport would be advantageous so you can easily access your school placements as you may be placed up to 45 minutes travelling distance from home.
A full DBS check will be undertaken
Fees and financial support
The course fees for UK students in 2023 to 2024 are £9,250.
International applicants may be subject to a fees assessment questionnaire by Chester University.
Financial support from the training provider
You are eligible to apply for any grants, bursaries or loans that are available to assist with the course fees and living expenses.
About the training provider
The Salop Teaching Partnerhsip is a Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin based partnership of successful and outstanding schools working in collaboration with both local authorities.
Our vision is to deliver an outstanding school-centred PGCE programme based in local schools. Trainees and graduates studying with us will be exposed to the highest quality teaching and learning strategies delivered by leading practitioners building on the latest educational research and national developments.
Our unique combination of secondary schools and sixth form colleges will ensure that all trainees experience teaching in a variety of contexts and key stages, thus making them more appealing to future employers.
We are looking for candidates who have an empathy and understanding of the demands of teaching in the classroom. They should enjoy working with young people and see teaching as a wider professional vocation. Confidence in front of a classroom of teenagers is essential and we would encourage all applicants to gain some voluntary observation experience before applying.
We will receive your application via DfE Apply and this will be reviewed by senior colleagues from the Salop Teaching Partnership and our University partner. We will look at your transferrable skills, qualifications and personal statement and will invite you to interview if your application meets our criteria. The application should be supported by two references - ideally one professional and the other academic or able to comment on your willingness and ability to engage in academic studies.
If successful, you will be invited to interview either at school, or remotely, depending on your preference. The interview will involve a presentation to the interview panel and then a series of formal questions.
If an offer of a place is made, it will either be unconditional or conditional based upon your successful completion of your degree, if you are still at university, or completion of a subject knowledge enhancement course.
You’ll need the right to study in the UK. You already have this if, for example, you:
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 Priory School, the lead school in the teaching partnership, has disabled access to all parts of its site and buildings. This is the case for some of our partner schools, but not all and applicants may want to bear this in mind when applying to us.
The disability and inclusion team at the University of Chester provides confidential information, advice and guidance to disabled students. This includes students with specific learning differences, long-standing health conditions, mental health difficulties, Autistic Spectrum Disorder and sensory impairment. Staff will support students in identifying the most appropriate solutions to potential barriers to learning
The Priory School Longden Road Shrewsbury Shropshire SY3 9EE
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
Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm (except public holidays).