Odyssey Learning Alliance Primary (2H45)

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

Accredited body
The University of Gloucestershire
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
3 to 11
Course length
1 year - full time
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

Our programme has 3 phases:

  1. Developing covers induction and parent placement 1. Trainees spend three days at university for induction followed by around four weeks in school gaining experience of ‘life in school’ in an allocated EYFS/KS1 or KS1/KS2 class (supported by the class teacher and a mentor). Around October half-term, the assessed teaching time begins, gradually increasing to approximately 65-70% of the teaching responsibility. In addition, trainees explore aspects of pedagogy with their mentors who continue to support their learning and offer support and guidance on a weekly basis.

  2. Broadening covers the twin placement, taking place between Christmas and Easter. This gives trainees the opportunity to broaden their practice in a contrasting school and different key stage e.g. if a trainee selected the KS1/KS2 route and they did KS1 for first placement, they’ll now do KS2 for the second placement. The assessed placement starts sooner, with assessed teaching time increasing. Trainees will be encouraged to try new approaches and to be more creative as they look to broaden their learning from Developing.

  3. Enhancing covers parent placement 2, from Easter to June. Trainees return to a familiar environment with the opportunity to really progress and enhance their practice. The placement aims to give a better understanding of the big picture, with longer term planning and use of a variety of assessment techniques. Assessed teaching time increases further.

University Professional Studies Sessions take place a day a week (outside of assessed placements) with university tutors and other trainees. These lectures focus on exploring current issues in primary education, developing practical teaching strategies and subject expertise for teaching.

Odyssey Professional Studies These take place weekly and with a practical focus, revisit concepts introduced in the university / school mentor sessions such as cover behaviour management, curriculum, pedagogy and professional development. Additional sessions and opportunities may be introduced throughout the year.

Assessment Trainees complete two PGCE assignments, supported by school-based training managers and mentors, and university tutors. The programme leads to a PGCE awarded by the University of Gloucestershire, with 60 Master’s level credits. All elements of the course must be completed satisfactorily. School placements are jointly assessed by staff within schools and university link tutors, through observation of teaching and scrutiny of other evidence.

School placements

All trainees will undertake placements in 2 schools following a ‘parent/twin/parent’ structure. Trainees are placed in a “parent” school from October to December, a contrasting “twin” school from January to March and return to the “parent” school from April to June. Placements are 9-10 weeks in length.

Each school has a training manager, responsible for overseeing all the trainees within the school, and trainees are allocated class teacher and a mentor, who will see them most days and meet with them individually once a week to review their training and plan next steps.

Our partner schools are: Badsey First School (Badsey, Evesham) Bishops Cleeve Primary Academy (Bishops Cleeve, Cheltenham) Glenfall Community Primary School (Cheltenham) Great Oldbury Primary Academy (Stonehouse, Stroud) Linden Primary School (Gloucester) Longford Park Primary Academy (Gloucester) Rowanfield Infant School (Cheltenham) Rowanfield Junior School (Cheltenham) Springbank Primary Academy (Cheltenham) Tredington Community Primary School (Tewkesbury)

Placements are arranged in discussion with trainees, depending on key stage preference, home location etc. We cannot guarantee any particular school placement, however we are always keen to work with trainees to find the right school for them.

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 know that outstanding teachers come from many different backgrounds and have a range of prior experiences. We welcome applications from trainees from all walks of life and recognise the different qualities and skills that they can potentially bring to the profession. Passion, resilience and a willingness to reflect and learn as a professional are however key.

Other requirements

All trainees will be subject to an enhanced DBS check prior to the start of the course. Trainees with less prior experience in school may also be required to undertake a short period of work experience.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for 2023 to 2024 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,259
International students £13,840

About the training provider

Why choose to train with Odyssey?

The Odyssey alliance is led by Pate’s Grammar School, a school rated outstanding by Ofsted and awarded the title Sunday Times School of the Year in 2020. Exam results consistently place us in the top 10 state schools nationally.

The Odyssey School Direct programme has been operating for ten years and has an excellent employment track record. The vast majority of Odyssey trainees go on to work in one of our partner schools.

At secondary level, there is an opportunity to train in both the grammar and comprehensive sectors. The Odyssey partnership includes schools with very large and very strong sixth forms and will be of particular interest to trainees keen to use their subject expertise and gain significant experience of A level teaching. This is enhanced by working with GITEP SCITT, an outstanding school-centred provider with a focus on subject specialism. The PGCE is awarded by the University of Bristol, one of the top schools of education in the country.

At primary level, there is an opportunity to train in an alliance of strong Gloucestershire-based primary schools, all recognised for their exceptional staff development, who share a rich history and commitment to employing School Direct trainees. You will receive all the benefits of the University of Gloucestershire PGCE course but with more time in schools, learning from experienced teachers and feeling part of the school community.

Together, we are able to offer an unrivalled opportunity to start a career in teaching.

About the accredited body

With sustainability at its core, The University of Gloucestershire cares about the future of its students and the future of the planet. Priding itself on small classes and the personal approach of tutors and support teams, the University focuses on professional, pedagogical and subject development to support and prepare trainees for teaching placements.

Interview process

All interviews are held in Odyssey partner schools. You will be invited to interview at one of our partner schools to be interviewed by serving senior leaders. At the interview we will explore the reasons behind your desire to teach and also your suitability for the course. We will ask you to either prepare a presentation, or to deliver a short lesson to a group of children. Details will be provided in advance.

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

As an alliance we take great pride in knowing and supporting our trainees personally. Our trainees come from a variety of backgrounds, and we are committed to enabling access to the profession for all. Please contact us if you would like to better understand how we may be able to support any access requirements that you have.

Trainees receive excellent support from mentors and professional leads in schools, as well as their subject leader. Liaison between schools and Odyssey is very strong and we are used to making reasonable adjustments to help trainees, both short term and over the whole course.

All GITEP PGCE trainees are registered as students with the University of Bristol, and this gives access to the full range of student services offered by the University. This includes support with academic assignments for trainees with dyslexia and all the University counselling and student support services. Trainees with disabilities and other needs are strongly encouraged to register with the University Library Support service.

Contact this training provider

01242 538276
Pate's Grammar School
Princess Elizabeth Way
GL51 0HG

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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