Northern Education Trust Biology (2WHK)

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

Accredited body
Educate Group Initial Teacher Training
Financial support
Bursaries and student finance are available 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
11 to 16 - secondary
Course length
1 year - full time
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

Trainees spend a full-time year teaching and training in schools, but also attend provider-led workshop sessions to enhance understanding of the curriculum, general classroom practice and teaching pedagogy.

Centralised training sessions cover content such as High Expectations, Behaviour Management, How Pupils Learn, Adaptive Teaching, Classroom Practice, Curriculum and Assessment in line with the Core Content Framework. This is supplemented by opportunities to observe other teachers in a range of school settings and to undertake a variety of school-based training enhancements.

All trainees submit three assignments throughout the year as an integral part of the teaching and assessment programme:

  1. School Based Independent Study
  2. Developing Subject Competency
  3. Professional Values and Practice

Trainees are supported to improve their knowledge, understanding and application of the Educate Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Curriculum, leading to the development of classroom practice skills and their professional teaching role. Final assessment is made on a trainee’s ability to meet the Teachers’ Standards.

Successful completion of the three assignments at Level 7 leads to the award of 60 Master’s credits and a PGCE, in addition to QTS, validated by Leeds Beckett University.

The structure of the course means that front-loaded training time is gradually overtaken by the hours spent teaching: Term 1: 7 hours teaching, 2 days training each week Term 2: 11 hours teaching, 1.5 days training each week Term 3: 17 hours teaching, 1 day training each week

This means that trainees are fully prepared for life as an Early Career Teacher.

School placements

Trainees spend the majority of the year in their base training school, but have a six-week placement in a contrasting school, usually with the Trust. The programme is also supplemented by short placement visits to other schools for e.g. a Special School.

To support trainees, provider-led training takes place once a week and is predominantly online, reducing both the time and cost of travel to trainees. Some training may take place face-to-face, where applicable.


You can select one of the following locations to indicate a preferred placement when you apply.

List of locations and vacancies
Location Vacancies
Barnsley - Kirk Balk Academy
Kirk Balk Academy, West Street, Hoyland, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S74 9HX
Bolton - Kearsley Academy
Kearsley Academy, Springfield Road, Kearsley, Bolton, Lancashire, BL4 8HY
Gateshead - Thorp Academy
Thorp Academy , Main Road, Ryton, Tyne and Wear, NE40 3AH
Hartlepool - Dyke House Academy
Dyke House Academy, Mapleton Road, Hartlepool, Hartlepool, TS24 8NQ
Newcastle upon Tyne - Walbottle Academy
Walbottle Academy, Hexham Road, Walbottle, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE15 9TP
Northumberland - The Blyth Academy
The Blyth Academy, Chase Farm Drive, Blyth, Northumberland, NE24 4JP
Stockton - North Shore Academy
North Shore Academy, Talbot Street , Stockton-on-Tees, TS20 2AY
Stockton - The Grangefield Academy
The Grangefield Academy, Oxbridge Ave, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 4LE
Sunderland - Red House Academy
Red House Academy, Rutherglen Road, Red House Estate, Sunderland, SR5 5LN

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree, or equivalent.

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 or maths.

Personal qualities

We are looking for confident and capable applicants who demonstrate true commitment to a teaching career and a robust, determined, positive attitude. We are looking for trainees who can fit very well into their school team, who can respond positively to feedback and who can make a valuable contribution to school life. We are not looking for a ‘finished product’ but for trainees who demonstrate real potential to succeed. Candidates should be able to communicate effectively with a whole range of people and be engaging, warm and sociable. They should be organised, prepared and professional.

Other requirements

Enhanced Criminal Record Check

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 £9,250

The QTS programme with PGCE costs £9,250, for which a student tuition fee loan can be accessed.

About the training provider

Northern Education Trust (NET) offers the opportunity for you to train and gain QTS with PGCE through a practical, ‘hands-on’, school-led route. Within NET there are training opportunities available in a range of academies based across the North of England.

This route is for those who have the confidence and commitment to work alongside expert practitioners, in a strong partnership of schools, to develop teaching skills on a daily basis and to meet the professional Teachers’ Standards over the course of the year. Successful applicants to the School Direct QTS programme also study for a PGCE, validated by Leeds Beckett University, which accumulates 60 Master’s credits; all as part of a framework which combines academic study with direct classroom application.

Through this programme trainees enjoy the advantage of an ‘on the job’ experience, where the realities of life as a teacher are fully explored and understood. The majority of time is spent in one school, where trainees are supported by school based trainers, individual mentors and a personal link tutor. In addition to this, trainees attend school-led and centre-based training sessions, on specific subject knowledge and general classroom practice, which supplement the incomparable first-hand experience that is gained from being a full member of a school community for a year.

Please note that, although Dyke House Academy is the named school for the consortium, your placements will be organised by the NET staff college and you may be placed at any of the academies within our Trust.

About the accredited body

Educate Group is a large, National SCITT provider, with a long-standing reputation for successful Primary and Secondary QTS programmes.

“Programme leaders are highly sensitive to the well-being of their trainees. They ensure that they provide timely and appropriate support to those trainees whose personal circumstances require it. Trainees appreciate this support’”(Ofsted, 2018).

Training sessions on specific subject knowledge and classroom practice supplement the first-hand experience in school. Contrasting placements means that trainees gain an appreciation of a range of ages, curricula, teaching strategies, inclusion, diversity and SEND. Employment rates following this programme are consistently high.

Interview process

Applicants are interviewed by representatives of the Northern Education Trust in association with Educate Group Initial Teacher Training.

After application, suitable candidates are invited to a selection event hosted by a school in the Northern Education Trust. The selection event consists, as a minimum, of the assessment of personal qualities and attributes, the assessment of the ability to communicate effectively, an assessment of the literacy and numeracy skills required to teach, an evaluation of current educational knowledge and understanding, a presentation and an interview.

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

Educate Group - Initial Teacher Training has a designated tutor for trainees with disabilities and other needs. We take steps, before the programme begins, to fully assess the needs of trainees so that all aspects of the course are accessible to them and personal requirements accommodated.

Educate has, in the past, supported trainees with dyslexia, physical impairment and mental health conditions to successfully complete their course. We take a collaborative approach to ensure that study needs assessment reports, school partners and university colleagues are consulted to design a complete package of personal support.

Contact this training provider

Dyke House College
Mapleton Road
County Durham
TS24 8NQ

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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