First Federation Train to Teach Primary (SEND) (T132)

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

Accredited body
Plymouth Marjon 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
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

School Direct trains you, in one year, to become an Early Career Teacher in a primary school. Our specialist Primary with SEND programme is for trainee teachers with an interest in special education. Working in inclusive classrooms alongside expert teachers, you will develop depth of knowledge to support all learners and enhanced knowledge to promote learning for SEND pupils. You will be based in two different primary schools across the year, with your second placement being situated in a special school.

As a Primary SEND trainee You will:

  • Have a mentor and/or class teacher who is an SEND Specialist.
  • Be part of the First Federation SEND Network group
  • Work with a SEND leader through the year
  • Be able to access all additional SEND training
  • Have your ‘enrichment week’ shadowing a SEND specialist.
  • Carry out at your spring term placement in a Special school.

During your training amount of direct contact with your class is: Term 1: 50% contact/50% non-contact Term 2: 60% contact/40% non-contact Term 3: 70% contact/30% non-contact As your teaching commitment increases, so your university set assignments decrease.

Our partnership schools are a diverse and broad selection; small rural schools of less than 100 pupils, larger urban schools of more than 350 pupils. You will have opportunities to visit schools in the academy other than your home or second school. Some of your training will be school-based, led by teachers and working with other trainees from other schools; you will also attend University and be part of a broader cohort of University students.

As a Primary SEND trainee, you will be required to train in the whole primary curriculum during your school placements; we provide 12 Subject Knowledge Days delivered by talented teachers who have expertise in a range of curriculum areas. We also offer 5 workshops in the final term delivering information on curriculum areas and educational issues of your choice so that you can ‘lead your training’. We organise 6 ‘Teach Meets’ during the year when you are able to meet your fellow trainees to discuss and share teaching strategies and methodology observed in the classroom. Our expertise covers many specialisms of education: childhood development, early years, maths, literacy and wellbeing. As well as working with outstanding teachers you will also be able to participate in ‘CPD’ offered to permanent teaching staff.

School placements

From day one, trainees will be school based and a part of a school team, and will be working with outstanding teachers and mentors across First Federation Trust and our partnership schools. School Direct brings together all the necessary elements required for excellence in Initial Teacher Education and Training; this is built upon a partnership of expert school-based practitioners and our experienced accrediting provider, Plymouth Marjon University. The programme brings teacher education pedagogy and up to date research within a school-based setting, providing enriched, school-based essential classroom experiences that allows you to put theory into practice as you develop into an outstanding teacher. The School Direct programme duration is one academic year (September - July), during which time you will be based in a home school; and to ensure a breadth of experience, you will undertake a 6 week second placement in a Special School. Alongside this you will have a bespoke programme of training developed and delivered by University lecturers and outstanding teachers. Our programme has been designed to build your confidence and subject knowledge and give you the necessary skills to become an outstanding classroom teacher.

You will:

  • enjoy a collaborative Programme Design
  • be set in School from Day 1
  • experience a broad and rich variety of high quality diverse school-based settings
  • have a strong ethos of support working with outstanding teachers and mentors in each school
  • have a mentor who will be based at your home school and will continue to visit you in your contrasting placement

During the enhancement weeks towards the end of the course you will have opportunities to shadow and work with SEND specialists.


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

List of locations and vacancies
Location Vacancies
First Federation Schools
South West
Main Site
Blackpool Academy, Liverton, Newton Abbot, TQ12 6JB

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

Are you a ‘hands on’ learner? I We need candidates with values, qualities and attributes to become outstanding teachers, the drive and motivation to succeed. Candidates with:

  • passion to make differences to the lives of young people
  • a ‘can do’ attitude
  • good interpersonal skills
  • imagination
  • excellent organisational and time management skills

Wanting experience of:

  • being part of a school team
  • how schools address behaviour management
  • different school settings
  • how parents support children’s learning
  • the challenges of different learning environments
  • how you create deep rather than surface learning

Other requirements

Applicants need to have:

  • A UK undergraduate honours degree or a recognised equivalent qualification at 2.1 or above. Consideration will be given to applicants with a 2:2.
  • GCSE in English, Mathematics and Science at Grade C / 4 or above
  • Good understanding or interest in SEND
  • Complete a declaration regarding any criminal convictions, clearance from the Criminal Records Bureau regarding suitability to work with young people and a fitness to teach declaration.
  • Gained some school-based experience in an educational setting prior to starting the course.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for 2023 to 2024 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £12,000

About the training provider

First Federation Train to Teach [formally Primary Excellence Teaching School] has been delivering the School Direct programme since 2013. We are proud to be recognised as a supportive partnership. Our schools, located across Devon, are highly aspirational and are committed to sharing very best practice and provide the highest quality of teaching and learning for our children. Collaboration is at the heart of our teaching training model. Fundamental to our principle is the development of excellent teachers and high-quality leaders. Through the development of ‘Leaders of Learning’ in every classroom and sustainable leadership within and across schools, we will be able to contribute to the growth of a world class education system. We believe that every child has the right to be taught by excellent teachers in excellent schools that nurtures, challenges and supports their potential. Our School Direct Partnership is an exciting training route for top graduates, in partnership with Plymouth Marjon University. Our programme uses a variety of school-based settings, enabling trainees to experience a wide range of learning environments and contexts. This ensures that trainees are fully prepared to take up posts in schools. We are offering School Direct places for those interested in teaching in EYFS, General Primary, Primary with Mathematics, Primary with English and Primary with SEND. Our programme awards both QTS and PGCE on successful completion. It is expected that as a reflective, highly developed, early career teacher, you will secure employment in one of our partner schools.

About the accredited body

Plymouth Marjon University celebrates 180 years of teacher training and is dedicated to preparing the next generation of teachers. At Plymouth Marjon learning and teaching is underpinned by research, policy and practice. We build on a unique, long standing heritage through the development of values-based collaborative partnerships. University led and school led programmes are designed to train trainees to become highly reflective teachers. At Plymouth Marjon learning and teaching is underpinned by research, policy and practice. We will build on a unique and long standing heritage through the development of a values-based collaborative partnership that ensures excellent outcomes for all.

Interview process

Following your application, a decision is made to invite you to interview; this will usually take place at one of our Teacher Training Partnership Schools. The interview process lasts around 4 hours during which time you will be asked to:

  • take part in a discussion task with other candidates around a pertinent educational issue;
  • lead a Maths or English focused teaching activity for 6 children – you choose the age group of children;
  • following a tour of the school, produce a piece of writing linked to the learning environment and school ethos;
  • complete a short Maths test;
  • take part in a formal interview.

You will be interviewed by First Federation Director of Performance and Development, the School Direct ITT Lead, a Head of School and a representative from our partner university, Plymouth Marjon. You will be notified of the interview decision within 24 hours.

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 for the duration of this course, you may need to apply for a Student visa.

To do this, you’ll need to be sponsored by your training provider.

Before you apply for this course, contact us to check Student visa sponsorship is available. If it is, and you get a place on this course, we’ll help you apply for your visa.

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

We are very aware of, and sympathetic to, disabilities and different individual needs that the trainees may have and we work with our ITT partner to ensure that opportunities are the same for all. Disability and needs disclosure: If you have an illness or a disability which you think may benefit from support from the partnership, we encourage you to disclose this to your mentor. Disclosure is a personal preference and not compulsory but for your needs to be met you will need to declare them as we do not have access to this information otherwise. For further information, it is suggested that you contact the University Disability & Inclusion Advice Service (DIAS) in Student Support. Plymouth Marjon University

Contact this training provider

First Federation Train to Teach,
Blackpool CE Primary School, Liverton
Newton Abbot
TQ12 6JB

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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