Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education Primary (3-7) (2Q5R)

PGCE with QTS, full time or part time

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 7
Course length
Up to 2 years
Date you can apply from
12 October 2021
Date course starts
August 2022


About the course

Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education foregrounds evidence informed practice. Centre-based sessions are, whenever possible led by school based colleagues in one of our teaching classrooms, either at Keele University (ST5 5BG) or Seabridge Primary School (ST5 3PJ). All our classrooms are set up for young children to be taught within it as well as yourselves. The rooms are fully equipped and you will have access to an extensive set of resources to support all curriculum areas within early years, primary and special needs education. Some of these can be loaned to you whilst on placement.

Whilst our programme trains you to become a General Primary Practitioner, we also offer specialisms. Our specialisms include, Early Years (PGCE with QTS), English and the Performing Arts, Geography and History, Mathematics (specialism NOT specialist), Physical Education, Science and Art and Design.

We have a Special Educational Needs pathway available with Blackfriars Teaching School Alliance in partnership with a number of special school settings across our region. Trainees will benefit from experience across 2 placements, a combination of mainstream and special school settings. We are very excited by this highly innovative, successful and much needed programme. More information can be found on our website; if you are interested in this focus then please have a look at our programme offered through the Blackfriars Teaching School Alliance (1JA).

If you are interested in applying for our part-time option, you will need to select this at the point of application. This route is known as our Flexible Route and takes place over two years. If in doubt, just contact us on either 01782 432537 or via email.

The Early Years Specialism is for you, if you are particularly interested in early learning and child development. The Early Years (EY) is a unique phase of education which involves framing first hand learning opportunities both inside and outdoors in relation the curriculum and children’s prior experiences. Your sessions will enable you to become familiar with the requirements and expectations of both the Early Years phase and Key Stage 1. This is the time when children develop a curiosity to learn more, including engaging with reading, applying their mathematical knowledge and making sense of how the world works. We will enable you to lead learning so that you can improve outcomes for children.

School placements

We work closely with several clusters of schools. You will be able to benefit from placements in two of these settings; each providing a contrasting experience. Whilst on placement we will support you in offering your pupils an appropriately high quality curriculum, one that both engages and excites them.

If you are on our Early Years specialism or our SEND pathway then your first placement will be in an EY or SEND environment and your second placement will be in a mainstream primary school.

Placement schools are carefully selected for you, and may involve some travel. Across the course we endeavour to minimise travel, though you may have to travel for up to an hour from your home address– note that we do not pay travel expenses.

During the ‘Initial Phase’ you attend the SCITT for two days and your school for three days. The Initial Phase is a gradual introduction into teaching and learning. You will then build up to a teaching commitment of 50% of a class timetable. Individual’s timetable will vary, but in terms of proportions, the following is a guide. Approximately 25% English, 25% maths, 25% science and 25% Foundation subjects (preferably including your specialism, if appropriate).

Your second placement is undertaken in a different school, following successful completion of your first placement. During this final placement, you will benefit from being ‘in class’ 75% of the time, 60% will involve you in leading the teaching and 10% - 15% can be team teaching and/ or small group work, including for example the Switch on Reading or SEND interventions.

In your very final weeks your percentage teaching time will increase to be equivalent to the expectations of an Early Career Teacher so that you are truly job ready! In these final few weeks there may be the opportunity for you to undertake an enrichment placement that enables you to develop a particular develop aspect of your teaching.

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.

Please contact KNSTE for information about equivalency tests, which are currently available through Birmingham City University(BCU). The cost of taking an equivalency test is set by BCU and will be borne by the applicant.

Personal qualities

Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education seeks candidates who are passionate about the transformative power of education and who are reflective and resilient people. We value candidates who are well-organised and who relate well to others. A strong feature of the course is the collaborative community that forms between the trainees and between our schools. Your peers will form a bedrock of support as you realise your ambition to become an excellent and informed Early Career Teacher. We are able to offer support, in addition to that provided by your Appropriate Body in your first year of teaching.

Other requirements

  • A medical report which is deemed satisfactory.
  • A completed DBS enhanced disclosure which is deemed satisfactory by the SCITT partnership.
  • If you are applying for either our Primary or SEND programmes, prior experience is not required but can be beneficial to you in helping you to decide whether teaching is for you. If you would welcome such an opportunity do get in touch with us or look out for our Back to School days.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for UK students in 2022 to 2023 are £9,250.

You may be eligible for a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of tuition fees charged. This is available through Student Finance England.

The course length for full time study is 1 year.

The fee for the full time course is £9250.

A flexible route is also available for this course.

The course length for the flexible route is 2 years.

The fee for the flexible route is £5750 for each year of study.

About the training provider

Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education (KNSTE) is a partnership of over 140 schools who work closely with Shaw Education Trust and Keele University to offer high quality teacher education.

Ours is an innovative course which is available both as a full time and a part-time route (2 years). You will come to us with a wealth of experience, talents and attributes. We seek to develop these in relation to early years, primary and special school pedagogy. You will complete a Keele University Postgraduate or Professional Certificate alongside your Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). In 2017 we were recognised as being an ‘outstanding’ provider by Ofsted. They stated that, ‘The partnership’s strapline is “rooted in evidence, reaching for excellence”. Leaders ensure that it does exactly that, by leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that trainees receive the high-quality training, support and challenge they require to be successful teachers.’

Our partnership is made up of primary, special and middle schools and comprises a mixture of large and small, urban and rural, faith schools, local authority and academy settings. Our schools are predominately located in Stoke-on-Trent, and across Staffordshire, not just the north of the county. A map of our current partnership is available here. We have a teaching base at Keele, and at Seabridge School We work closely with a variety of partner organisations as well as a large range of t School Clusters. Details can be found here.

Interview process

Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education co-ordinates recruitment across the partnership. Initially we review your Teacher Training application to ensure that you meet our entry requirements and that your personal statement reflects the capabilities and experiences that we are looking for. If your application meets these stringent criteria then you will be invited to an interview day which will take place online and then in one of our partnership schools.

You will be hosted by both a member of the SCITT team and a senior school-based colleague. If you have applied for our SEND Pathway (see Blackfriars) then you will be interviewed within one of our special school settings. During the afternoon interview session you will be invited to teach a 15 minute learning sequence to a class that relates to your specialism or pathway.

We recognise that this is a demanding process. It is one that involves considerable commitment from you. Our experience suggests that this rigorous process enables us to best match applicants to the places available. Ours is an intense, high quality programme and we need to both assure ourselves, and give you the confidence, that you are best placed to make the most of the opportunities that we have on offer. As a former trainee said ‘The course gives you amazing learning opportunities. The staff really help you to gain an understanding of all aspects of teaching and the wider aspects of school life.’ This is something that we pride ourselves in.

International students

We cannot sponsor visas. You’ll need to get the right visa or status to study in the UK.

You do not need a visa if you already have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or if you’re an Irish citizen.

Candidates with qualifications from non-UK institutions may need to provide evidence of comparability by applying for a UK ENIC statement.

Training with disabilities and other needs

It is a privilege for us to be working in a diverse region with exceptional teachers who value supporting trainees who also come to us with a range of prior experiences and needs. We enable you to take as seriously as ourselves issues related to inclusion, equity and social justice. Keele University and our school based teaching rooms have full access. Applicants who would benefit from additional support in relation to access should let us know on their application so that we can facilitate appropriate placements. We regularly support trainees with a variety of needs including for example dyslexia and dyspraxia, and find that they are able to thrive on our course. At the start of the programme you will all have the opportunity to disclose any needs that they may have so that the appropriate support can be put into place.

Your mental health and wellbeing is a prime concern of ours. On the course you will be enabled to support others and so we will ensure that you are aware of how we can help you to meet your own needs so that you can thrive and enjoy our amazing profession.

Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher have a Deputy Director who is pleased to be responsible for student welfare and also acts as the enabling coordinator. She can assist students in accessing the various excellent support services offered by Keele University. More information can be found at Student Support

Contact this training provider

01782 432537
KNSTE, Seabridge Primary School
Roe Lane
Newcastle under Lyme

Support and advice

For support and advice, you can speak to a Get Into Teaching adviser for free. They’re all experienced teachers who can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events.

You can also call Get Into Teaching free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or speak to an adviser using their online chat service Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm (except public holidays).

Find out about the different ways to train if you do not have a degree, or are already an experienced teacher.

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