Aspirer School Direct
Primary (2M6N)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
Sheffield Hallam 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

This course prepares you to be an effective and reflective Primary Teacher, teaching ages 5 - 11. You will spend the vast majority of the year learning how to teach in a real classroom and be mentored by your Learning Coach, who will be an experienced, expert and outstanding teacher. You will learn how to teach all of the primary school subjects as well as about aspects of teaching such as behaviour management, safeguarding, special needs and disability, teaching children with English as an additional language, assessment, lesson planning, observing learning and using ICT.
We are one of the first five National Research Schools so you will have access to the latest high quality research and to national experts in a number of fields such as teaching Reading and Mathematics. Our Higher Education partner, Sheffield Hallam University, recognised by OFSTED as an outstanding provider, leads the teaching for the 60 Masters credits that you will gain. These are gained through assignments on: Talk and learning, Lesson study (in which you will have the opportunity to do some small scale research of your own) and following the progress of a group of children in your class over a year. You spend around 15 days at Sheffield Hallam in the year (travel from your “home” school is paid). You will be assessed on your growing ability to teach over the year by your Learning Coach/ Mentor and on these assignments.

Interview process

Once you have applied, you may be offered an interview. At the interview, you will be asked to:

  • Facilitate a classroom activity for between 20 - 30 minutes. You can choose the activity and the year group.
  • Interview with the panel (Usually the Programme Leader and a Headteacher or Principal from one of the Alliance Schools)

How school placements work

We work with over fifteen schools in the Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Buxton and Manchester areas. You will learn to teach children from ages 5 to 11. You will be placed in a “home” school for the majority of the year (around 32 weeks in total) and do a shorter placement (around 10 weeks) in an “away” school so that you complete placements in Key Stages One and Two. We strive to place you in a home school which is easily accessible for you and which suits your needs after discussion with you.


The course fees for 2021 to 2022 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £13,250

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 will need:

  • A degree (2:1 preferred but at least 2.2) or equivalent
  • GCSE at C grade or above in English Language, Mathematics (or standard equivalent) and a Science

We can facilitate schools in which to gain volunteer experience for Aspirer applicants.

Personal qualities

You must have:

  • Commitment to a career in teaching
  • Effective communication skills including use of written and spoken English
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work well in a team
  • Leadership potential
  • Ability to relate to and engage with children
  • A range of positive personal characteristics including flexibility, communication, independence, initiative and resilience
  • Ability to explain concepts clearly
  • The ability to develop strong subject knowledge
  • A sense of humour

About the training provider

Aspirer and Sheffield Hallam University work in partnership together with 15+ primary schools within Cheshire East, Cheshire West, Buxton and Manchester. Trainees will be placed in schools in the Macclesfield, Wilmslow, Crewe, Northwich, Buxton and Sandbach areas and in Fallowfield, Manchester. The schools within our alliance are varied in terms of their contexts. We work with schools in rural, urban and more deprived areas, However, all schools in our partnership are committed to ensuring the very best outcomes for all children regardless of their starting points and are excited about training the next generation of teachers who will continue to do this. As one of the first five National Research Schools, our programme is rooted in the latest understanding and research into effective teaching and learning. We strongly believe that we are best placed to share with trainees up to date, current practice around teaching and learning, classroom management and anything else that trainees need to know in order to become an outstanding and inspirational classroom practitioners, whatever school setting they choose to apply to in the future. More information about the course and the schools within our alliance can be found on our website:(

About the accredited body

We work in close partnership with Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) - judged as an Outstanding Provider of Initial Teacher Education by OFSTED. Academic and professional training is shared between SHU and Aspirer with some sessions being led by outstanding teachers and leaders from the Alliance schools held at our training room in Macclesfield and others at Sheffield Hallam. Travel to Hallam is refunded for those sessions.

Training with disabilities and other needs

Both Aspirer and Sheffield Hallam are proud of the support - from application to course completion - that we give to students with access difficulties.
We consider every applicant as a unique individual with the potential to become an outstanding teacher and that we do all that we can to help trainees to overcome any barriers to success. In the recent past, students with difficulties such as physical needs, dyslexia and hearing impairment have successfully gained their PGCE and QTS with Aspirer.

Contact details

01606 288973
Ash Grove Academy
Belgrave Rd


Apply for this course

Choose a training location

You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.

Choose a training location - List of locations, vacancies and codes
Location Vacancies Code
Main Site
Belgrave Road, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 7TF
Yes -

Support and advice

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

Get support and advice about teaching

Register with Get Into Teaching, the Department for Education’s free support and advice service, for personalised guidance from teaching experts. They can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events. You can also call them free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or speak to an adviser using their online chat service, from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.

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