Kernow Initial Teacher Education Primary (SEND) (V894)

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

Kernow Initial Teacher Education (KITE) is an established Initial Teacher Education provider working in partnership with Marjon University, Plymouth. KITE is based in the seaside town of Newquay (mid Cornwall) however, it works closely with a range of partner schools across all of Cornwall. For much of the week trainees train in Cornwall, but they are required to travel to Marjons, Plymouth at least one day per week, for most of the year.

Previous trainees report that they chose KITE because this is a School Direct route, and they are in schools from the start of the programme, spending a minimum of 120 days training in school, alongside excellent practitioners. In addition to this, the tutors who deliver our KITE central training are current in their practice and experts in their areas. Our trainees also say that as the cohort is often smaller in size, they feel extremely well supported both pastorally and professionally

From September 2023, KITE, in partnership with Marjons will be offering a Primary teacher training programme, which specialises in Special Educational Needs (SEN). Successful trainees will be able to confidently teach in a mainstream or special school.

Having experience of volunteering or working with children, young people or adults with SEN would be an advantage.

School placements

Kernow Initial Teacher Training are proudly part of Kernow Learning Trust which consists of 21 primary schools across Cornwall. KITE also work with a range of other partner schools, including the Special Partnership Trust, who like Kernow Learning are fully committed to ‘growing their own teachers.’ The placement school’s that we use vary in size and are situated in a range of different communities.

During the academic year, trainees will be in school for a minimum of 120 days and will have a minimum of two school placement schools over the year. The first placement in the autumn term will be in a mainstream school whilst the second placement which takes place during the spring term will be based in a special school. The final placement in the summer term may be at the first mainstream school, or the student may choose to remain at the special school, or it could be a combination of both.

Trainees are placed with highly experienced colleagues who are dedicated to supporting and coaching student teachers. Trainees not only become part of the school community, but they become integral to the Kernow Learning family and it is this family that collectively ensures that all trainees are well supported and are confident and competent by the time they qualify.

It is anticipated that trainees will not have to travel more than 40 minutes to their mainstream placements, however, please be aware that this could be longer for special school placements as there are fewer of these.

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

Remember the teacher that made a real difference?

KITE want applicants who are fully committed to improving the lives of all children and their families.

Applicants to this programme require a genuine interest in teaching pupils with SEN. Before applying please contact KITE for a further discussion and a visit to a special school can be arranged.

Applicants should be hard working, self-motivated, energetic and patient with a sense of humour, excellent communication skills, good time management and organisational skills and can work as part of a team and can engage and support children in their learning and development.

Other requirements

In addition to the academic requirements listed, selection is based on performance at interview, a satisfactory fitness to teach assessment and a satisfactory DBS enhanced disclosure.

Although not essential it would be an advantage to be able to reflect on any school-based experience or experience working with young people in another context at interview.

The ‘Qualifications’ section describes our standard offer. However, if you have a different academic background, equivalent to degree level, you are welcome to make an application through ‘DfE Apply’ for consideration or contact KITE ( for more information.

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 £13,000

Financial support from the training provider

All of our programmes are eligible for student loans and any applicable bursaries.

For information on Government loans and training bursaries, please visit the Student Finance England and Get into Teaching websites.

For more information, please see the Marjon website

About the training provider

As a Primary teacher, you can play an essential role in children’s development. You’ll make a lasting, positive impact on children’s well-being and creativity, opening young minds to new concepts through rich and practical learning experiences, expanding their natural curiosity. Giving children the building blocks to provide firm foundations for lifelong learning.

You need to be able to work with a range of people from parents and teachers to professionals from other services as well as members of the community. You need to be energetic, creative, have a thirst for learning, love the outdoors whatever the weather and be practical in your delivery.

Trainees from all three routes will train alongside each other, however trainees on the 3-7 route (Exeter) and those that have opted for the SEN specialism will have some specialist training.

From September 2023, KITE, in partnership with Marjon university, will be offering a Primary teacher training programme, which specialises in Special Educational Needs (SEN). Successful trainees will be able to confidently teach in a mainstream or special school.

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

Prior to interview, candidates applying to become a primary teacher specialising in SEN will be asked to visit one of the partner special schools.

All candidates are invited to one of our partner schools for an interview.

The interview consists of: (i) A formal interview (ii) A teaching activity – candidates will plan this at home, prior to the interview and then teach it to a small group (iii) Completion of three timed tasks which includes maths, writing, spelling, punctuation, and grammar

Candidates should allow half a day for the interview process.

Candidates will also be required to bring to interview evidence of their qualifications and identification documents. (A list will be provided prior to 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 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

For programmes with the University of Exeter, 2J9V & AK76

Exeter provides comprehensive student services that include AccessAbility and Wellbeing teams, Study Zone, Students’ Guild Advice, Student Health Centre (GP services), and the Multifaith Chaplaincy team. For further details on the wealth of support available to you please go to Student Support Services

Alongside the support described above, every PGCE trainee is assessed by an Occupational Health provider as part of the admissions process to ensure they are fit to teach in a school setting. The Occupational Health provider can recommend ‘Reasonable Adjustments’, which will be put into place by the provider, providing they are logistically possible and reasonable.

For programmes with the University of St Mark & St John

The University provides a confidential service of information, guidance and support to prospective students, relating to all forms of disability and medical conditions and specific learning difficulties, including dyslexia. They are able to advise you prior to applying and through the application process. Prospective students are encouraged to make early contact with the Disability Team and also to disclose their disability at the application stage.

All Marjon students who are eligible can apply for appropriate support from DIAS

Pre-entry information, advice and guidance For eligible students, guidance in applying for DSA’s (Disabled Students Allowances)

Appointments to meet individual support needs Arrangement of one to one support where funding permits specialist study tuition (for students with SpLDs and/or other communication disorders), non-medical assistance and specialist mentoring.

Contact this training provider

01637 477381
Kernow Learning MAT
The Old Cricket Pavilion, Treninnick Hill

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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