Willows School Direct Partnership Primary (3736)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
Staffordshire 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
12 October 2021
Date course starts
September 2022


About the course

School Direct is a school-led option offering practical, hands-on training designed by schools based on the skills that schools are looking for in a newly qualified teacher (NQT). We recruit trainees with a view to employing them within the partnership at the end of the programme. This is a popular choice for those who hope to secure a role in the network of schools where they train.

Following the 2014/15 programme, 100% of our School Direct participants had secured jobs by June, 65% of them within our partnership.

This course offers a brilliant option if you want to train and learn ‘on the job’, and you shouldn’t worry about being thrown in at the deep end. You’ll be part of a team from the very start, receiving intensive support from experienced teachers and mentors. That means you won’t be teaching classes unsupported until the school thinks you’re ready.

The course is a careful blend of school based learning and university led development.

The principles of academic rigour on School Direct are the same as on university-led courses, too. You’re also equally eligible for a training bursary (or, where appropriate, scholarship) and can apply for the same financial support, such as student loans.

The university element of the course is designed to engage Associate Teachers in critical reflection on the nature of education. We also aim to develop your knowledge of the primary curriculum. Group and individual tutorials in the university will give you an opportunity to discuss your ideas and the challenges you may face.

The university aspects of the course take place on the Lichfield campus and will draw upon the experience of practicing teachers as well as highly experienced tutors. The school experience is based in our strong, carefully selected schools across Lichfield, Rugeley and Burntwood.

The blend of practical experience and academic study will be evidenced by the compilation of portfolios and the production of short written academic papers.

Our programme is delivered in partnership with Staffordshire University. Your programme will be a carefully thought out blend of classroom experience, university led training and school led training.

School placements

Over the course, you will take part in two placements in contrasting schools; one in key stage 1 and the other in key stage 2.

After a two week Induction Programme, you will be in school on serial and block placements to gain a supported understanding of the role of the teacher. Within school, you will receive expert support from a class mentor who will hold weekly meetings with you to help you to prepare, teach and review lessons and develop your subject knowledge and pedagogy.

Each school has a professional mentor who will help you to understand the organisation of the school, pastoral care systems and the legal and social framework of schools including supporting services.

Associate Teachers have a phased introduction to teaching that will reflect your personal needs. Initially you will observe the regular teacher, help with group work and then move towards sharing classes with the teacher before eventually taking classes yourself. As well as teaching, you will be required to contribute generally to the life of the school.

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

We are looking for enthusiastic, professionally restless individuals for whom teaching will always be a voyage of discovery. You should have:

The desire and ability to impact on student learning and to see issues from students’ points of view High level communication skills, empathy and persistent optimism Potential for critical reflection, independent learning and taking initiative for personal and professional development The ability to work effectively in a team and to lead Creativity, innovation and understanding of when to take risks Resilience to accept and learn from professional criticism Self-confidence balanced with humility

Other requirements

Whilst school experience is not required for entry, successful applicants will demonstrate a good understanding of student learning and progress.

Successful applicants will also be required to:

Complete a Medical Questionnaire, which will be assessed by an Occupational Therapist Provide an Enhanced Disclosure Certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (application can be obtained through the University)

Fees and financial support

The course fees for 2022 to 2023 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £14,000

About the training provider

Thank you for your interest in the Willows School Direct partnership.

As a partnership we are committed to developing future teachers for the local area. Willows Primary School is an Outstanding primary school situated in Lichfield. Staff enjoy working here and children enjoy learning here. Our School Direct cluster is a group of supportive, like-minded, forward thinking primary schools passionate about delivering the highest standards for our pupils. This is at the heart of our School Direct partnership.

As a partnership, we always put our pupils first. In order to give our pupils the best, we ensure that our initial teacher training is the best. Associate teachers (School Direct students) receive the highest quality in both training and school experience. Our School based University Tutor ensures that the communication between university, placement schools and candidates is as smooth and effective as possible. There is always someone available to listen, liaise and support.

Interview process

Following an initial screening to ensure your application meets our entry requirements, applications will be considered by the course leader. Successful applicants at this stage will be offered an interview.

The main purposes of the interview are to:

Allow you to understand as fully as possible the nature of the course, the teaching profession and your commitments to it Begin to explore your subject strengths and areas for development Assess your ability to communicate effectively in spoken and written English Answer any questions you may have Whilst school experience is not a requirement for being invited to interview, successful candidates will be able to demonstrate during their interview that they have a good understanding of student learning and progress. Applicants may wish to draw upon experiences from their own education or paid or voluntary work in schools or with school-age children to show evidence of their understanding.

Our Primary PGCE is a two stage interview process, successful applicants in the initial interview will be invited to a second stage interview to be held in a local school.

International students

We cannot sponsor visas. You’ll need to get the right visa or status to study in the UK.

You do not need a visa if you already have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or if you’re an Irish citizen.

Candidates with qualifications from non-UK institutions may need to provide evidence of comparability by applying for a UK ENIC statement.

Training with disabilities and other needs

As a training provider we support candidates with disabilities and other needs by close liaison between ourselves, the University and the candidate. We understand that all candidates are individuals and we approach each candidate and their specific needs o that basis.

Contact this training provider

Willows Primary School
Anglesey Road
Off Weston Road
WS13 7NU

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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