Middlesbrough Schools’ Teaching Alliance
Primary (25QJ)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
York St John 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.

Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
13 October 2020
Date course starts
September 2021


About the course

Pallister Park Primary School leads an alliance of primary schools providing a PGCE Primary School Direct full time course run in partnership with York St John University. It covers the 3 – 11 age range. Trainees can choose to focus on either the 3 – 7 or 7 – 11 age range.

The training programme consists of school experience in two schools combined with taught sessions of subject knowledge, pedagogy and academic assignments at the university and partnership schools. You receive a comprehensive induction prior to commencing the course.

Placements involve opportunities to observe teaching, to work collaboratively, and to progressively increase the percentage of independent teaching. We feel it is important for you to feel welcome in the school community and valued as members of staff from the start of your training. You will also attend school meetings e.g. staff meetings, participate in school training days and other professional development events as appropriate. You are given the opportunity to participate in all aspects of school life and the wider school context.

There is strong support provided by school staff, mentors and university staff. Pallister Park and the university work together to ensure that student teachers become creative educators in a supportive and encouraging environment.

The key aim of the PGCE primary programme is to deliver a high quality, current and relevant programme of training that equips you with the professional knowledge, understanding, skills and attributes that you need to become outstanding teachers and leaders in primary schools.

Assessments are varied and include assignments, portfolios and presentations within and alongside school experience. These are designed so that you can demonstrate the appropriate skills required of a 21st century primary teacher.

The progressive nature of school experience and immersion into the life of the school ,which is a distinctive part of the School Direct approach, will enable you to progress effectively by building upon your developing skills. The time in school will ensure you receive the required 120 days of school-based training on primary postgraduate courses of one year’s duration.

The programme leads to the award of a PGCE with a recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status. Successful completion of the professional development modules also count as 60 credits towards a Masters degree.

Interview process

Pallister Park Primary School is the designated lead school and will co-ordinate and participate in the recruitment process with York St John University. Applications will be shortlisted and the selection process takes place in schools with the involvement of school and university staff.

The recruitment process is rigorous and thorough. It is designed to enable Pallister Park and York St John University to assess each candidate’s suitability for training and to appoint the best candidates for the places available.

Selection is based on evidence given throughout the application process. These include,for example, the personal statement, references, detailed breakdown of degree content, details of other academic, professional or vocational qualifications and evidence of prior experience and achievements.

At interview candidates will be required to engage with pupils in delivering a teaching task and undertake other tasks which assess your suitability to join the School Direct programme. This will also include a formal interview to further explore the candidate’s subject knowledge, knowledge of primary education and suitability for training.

Our whole process is rigorous and very thorough. It is designed to get the best match of applicant to the places available. Selection is based on evidence given throughout the application process including the time spent in school and in formal interview

At the end of the interview process participating staff will collectively consider each candidate’s suitability for a place on the course. We aim to tell candidates their outcome on the day of the interview.

How school placements work

We take great care in matching successful School Direct applicants to their host school. In 2020/21 we anticipate 25 primary schools will engage in the programme along with many other schools who may offer diversity placements for short periods. It is important to us that your host school, as well as your consolidation placement in a second school in the spring term, meet your professional learning needs as well as those of the schools engaged.

All our placement schools are experienced in working with colleagues training to be teachers. You will have the opportunity to work alongside highly effective practitioners in the classroom whilst being guided and supported by school based and University mentors.

You will gain full information about your placements in our Keeping in Touch (KIT) programme prior to the course starting and through our on-going communications with you as your course progresses.

School experience will closely complement taught elements of the programme, ensuring that student teachers are able to deepen their pedagogical knowledge. Student teachers will have opportunities within their school-based practice to observe young people in classes and will be encouraged to reflect upon their observations and related tasks within their own studies.

Pallister Park and University-based staff work closely together to support you in developing your professional practice and provide excellent opportunities for you to engage with professional issues related to both the primary curriculum and wider educational issues.

A strength of the school-centred programme is that it draws upon the expertise of school-based practitioners in highly effective schools to support you in developing your subject knowledge and pedagogical skills.

We want you to feel ‘professional’ from the first moment you meet with your placement schools. This supportive theme permeates all we do in making you feel a valued member of the school community.

Our belief is that our unique offer is based on the fact that we see School Direct as a ‘family thing’ where you will join with other trainees, your tutors and mentors in making the very best of each opportunity afforded to you on your placements.


The course fees for UK students in 2021 to 2022 are £9,250

Financial support

You may also be eligible for a loan while you study – note that you’ll have to apply for undergraduate student finance.

Find out about financial support if you’re from outside the UK.



You must be a graduate of an approved university or other institution granting equivalent qualifications acceptable to the University.
You must be a graduate preferably with a degree qualification of 2:2 or above. 3rd class degrees will be considered with significant evidence of other learning gained that supports your application.

  • GCSE in English Language (or YSJ approved equivalent) at Grade C/Grade 4 or above
  • GCSE in mathematics (or YSJ approved equivalent) at Grade C/Grade 4 or above
  • GCSE in Science (or YSJU approved equivalent) at grade C /Grade 4

Pending GCSEs will be considered.

Personal qualities

We are looking for trainee teachers with passion, commitment and drive. You must have the academic rigour and at times a highly practical and pragmatic approach that sees you ‘roll up your sleeves’ and pitch in with our learning communities. We will need to see this evidenced before we consider offering you a place at both application and interview stages. And even more so we will need to see it in ‘bucket loads’ throughout your training programme as our children, and the professional staff you work with, simply deserve the best future generation of teachers we can find.

Other requirements

Applicants must satisfy the Univeristy that they have the intellectual capability for the demands of teaching, that they are physically and mentally fit for teaching and that there is no evidence of a criminal background that should prevent them from working with children or young people. All successful applicants will need to satisfy the University that they meet these criteria through an enhanced DBS check and the submission of a medical health questionnaire to the YSJU Medical Service, who may then require additional reports/examinations to determine fitness to undertake the programme.

About the training provider

Schools within our alliance are great places to work and learn. They provide a unique school based learning opportunity in partnership with the lead school, Pallister Park Primary and York St John University. Our school-centred (School Direct) programme is a community of learning with partnership at the heart of the programme. The partnership work together to help develop outstanding teachers who are:

  • transformative and creative professionals;
  • highly motivated and committed;
  • autonomous and independent;
  • enquiry based self-reflective practitioners. The programme is committed to delivering focused education and training that is current and relevant and that provides excellent opportunities for student teachers to develop their knowledge and understanding of their subject and wider educational issues, so that they are equipped to be outstanding teachers and leaders. Our work is rooted in the vision of providing opportunities and experiences that meet the needs of all our pupils....where you find respect for all in aspirational learning communities....and where all leaders and managers are effective and inspirational in improving teaching. We create an environment in which staff, pupils and trainee teachers alike feel valued and supported. We have worked with trainee teachers for many years and we fully recognise how much vibrancy, enthusiasm and drive they can offer to a school community. Our schools serve varied urban contexts that provide a unique opportunity to experience a diverse and contrasting range of teaching and training experiences. They are eager to share their skills, knowledge and practice with the next generation of teachers.

About the accredited body

YSJU has been involved in teacher education since 1841 and currently runs primary and secondary training both as university-centred programmes and as school-centred programmes with School Direct Alliance partners. The YSJU Initial Teacher Education (ITE) partnership works with approximately 450 schools across 15 local authorities.

The Ofsted report (October 2017) rated York St John University Initial Teacher Education Partnership as highly respected in our region. ‘Leaders have a relentless focus on sustaining and improving the quality of training across the partnership. They are hardworking, passionate and committed to the continual pursuit of high-quality outcomes for trainees’.

Training with disabilities and other needs

Applications are welcome from candidates with disabilities and/or other needs. Most of our schools have good wheelchair access and, if required, placements for candidates who would require wheelchair access are matched to a school’s layout and provision. Candidates with dyslexia can receive additional support from our schools in our alliance allowing them to access the programme and meet the academic and professional requirements required. Successful candidates can also access the full range of student services offered by our partner University of York St John. You can be assured that we have Covid 19 secure arrangements in place for the duration of the current situation.

Contact details

01642 242174
Gribdale Road
Pallister Park


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Location Vacancies Code
Main Site
Gribdale Road, Pallister Park, Middlesbrough, TS3 8PW
Yes -

Support and advice

For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.

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