The Leigh Academy
Religious Studies (AW41)

QTS full time

Accredited body
Kent and Medway Training
Financial support
Bursary or student finance if you’re eligible

Qualified teacher status (QTS) allows you to teach in state schools in England and may also allow you to teach in other parts of the UK.

It may also allow you to teach in the EU and EEA, though this could change after 2020.

If you’re planning to teach overseas, you should always check what qualifications are needed in the country you’d like to teach in.

Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
8 October 2019
Date course starts
September 2020


About the course

The training year commences in very late August whereby you attend a three-day induction programme run by Kent & Medway Training. During these three days, you learn the basics including how to plan a lesson, behaviour management strategies, safe-guarding, and go through your online portfolio. You then join your home school for additional induction days which allows you to settle in before the students arrive back for the new year. The course is full-time i.e Monday-Friday, and runs through to late June/early July the following year. You then see the final few weeks of the summer term out with your home school and celebrate your successes before breaking up for the school holidays.

This practical element of the course comprises a mix of classroom-based training with subject mentor support, to academic training where you will be working with experienced professionals on both broader “Professional Studies” lectures at a local KMT hub training centre (Dartford) and more detailed “Subject Studies” training with the other trainees training in the same subject/key stage as you at various locations across the partnership.

All trainees complete two placements during the year in contrasting schools to give variety in your teaching experience. You will have at least one formal lesson observation a fortnight and one mentor meeting each week where you sit with your mentor, discuss your progress and make targets for the following week. You will be expected to attend all school events such as parents’ evenings, after-school clubs, whole school and dedicated trainee training sessions and any other school activity as required.

Over the year, you will be building up a portfolio of evidence demonstrating your progress towards meeting the National Teaching Standards. There are 7 Reflective Professional Journals to complete; three of which involve research and an essay, each totalling 1500 words. Deadlines are published well in advance for the RPJs to ensure you can manage your workload.

For those completing their PGCE, there are additional assignments set at various times through the year.

Throughout the year there will be a number of Leigh Academies Trust networking events held to provide you with even more support, and we have a Graduation Event at the end of the year to celebrate your huge achievements.

Interview process

By the time you are offered an interview, there is an expectation that you will have completed;

  • An informal meeting with a member of Leigh Academies Trust
  • School Experience Programme (minimum 2 days)
  • A UCAS application

We can then arrange your interview which is made up of the following (in no particular order);

  • The interview will be held in the potential ‘home-school’
  • The opportunity to observe and participate in lessons, and often deliver part of a lesson for 30 minutes (all information is provided well in advance so that you can prepare)
  • Attend a formal interview with the subject mentor, the academy’s Professional Tutor, a representative from Kent and Medway Training and one from Leigh Academies Trust (all of whom you are likely to have met by this point). The interview lasts 1 hour
  • Sit the KMT entrance tests in your chosen subject area and English (these are provided on the day and need no prior planning)

On the basis that all panel members see great potential in you, you will be made a conditional offer verbally and electronically via UCAS.

Please rest assured that the interview process is not designed to cause stress or anxiety – rather we want to make you feel comfortable so that you can perform at your very best. Remember, we are assessing you as a candidate who has the potential to train to teach… we are not expecting to see the finished article.

How school placements work

All trainees complete two placements during the year;

  • Placement A: This is the longest placement spanning nearly the whole academic year whereby you are based at your ‘home school’. You are in your school for four days a week. Thursday morning is considered to be your own ‘study time’ and Thursday afternoon is your KMT academic time.

As you are a non-salaried trainee, you have no solo teaching timetable at any point in the year. Rather, you ease yourself into the programme and gradually pick up teaching as you go. You are always accompanied by a class teacher whose lessons you begin to deliver as you grow in confidence and experience. By October, you typically deliver up to 20% of their timetable, by Christmas it increases to 40% and by Easter it will be 60%.

  • Placement B: You will be based at a different school for 6 weeks around February time which is considered to be a ’contrast placement’ i.e if your placement A is within a comprehensive school, it’s likely that you’ll be based at a grammar school for placement B, and vice versa. The basis continues to consist of observations, team-teaching activities, etc. At all times, there will be a classroom teacher available to support you. You then return to your home school to complete the course. Where possible, your B-placement school will be discussed with you in advance and you will be placed in the local area.

  • Placement A(2) is back at your home school where you remain until the end of the academic year. At this point, you’ll be in school for the full 5 days of the week. Professional and Subjects Studies are finished with just one further evening session preparing you for your NQT year.

During your placements and duration of the course, you will be assessed through both lesson observations and your completed portfolio to ensure that you have met the Teaching Standards in full. Our grades are then externally moderated and assuming all goes well, your Newly Qualified Teacher status is confirmed and celebrated at a local Awards Evening.


The course fees for 2020 to 2021 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £7,100
EU students £7,100

The cost of gaining QTS only is £7,100 which is payable (via different payment schemes) to Kent and Medway Training. Should you wish to top up your qualification to the full Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) you will be responsible for the additional fee of £1,800 to Leeds Beckett University.

Depending on your subject choice and qualification, you may be eligible to receive a tax-free bursary.

Depending on your eligibility, Student Finance offers support to cover the fees by way of a repayable loan.

Financial support

You’ll get a bursary of £9,000 if you have a degree of 2:2 or above in any subject.

You don’t have to apply for a bursary - if you’re eligible, you’ll automatically start receiving it once you begin your course. Find out about eligibility and how you’ll be paid.

You may 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.

Financial support from the training provider

Depending on your eligibility, you can use support from Student Finance to cover the cost of the PGCE top-up course.



  • An Honours degree of 2:2 or higher, which should be at least 50% linked to the subject area in which you wish to train. Please contact Leigh Academies Trust for guidance on this, or if you have a third class degree
  • GCSE Maths, level 4/grade C or higher
  • GCSE English, level 4/grade C or higher
  • For those with overseas qualifications, we will need to see confirmation from NARIC of your qualifications being the equivalent of UK degree and GCSEs

Personal qualities

If you answer ‘yes’ to the following statements, you have the soft-skills that we are seeking;

  • I am seeking a career that promotes creative thinking
  • I enjoy working with children/young adults and have a passion to improve their lives
  • I am patient with a calm demeanour
  • I can multi-task when in a distracting environment
  • I am open-minded and adaptable
  • I strive to find solutions when faced with a problem
  • I am a confident public speaker
  • I have a genuine passion for my subject
  • I have excellent time management and organisational skills

Other requirements

Leigh Academies Trust is committed to safeguarding children and successful applicants will be subject to an Enhanced DBS check. Our commitment to safeguarding is underpinned by robust processes and checks which are in place across the Trust.

About the training provider

Deservedly identified as one of the most successful multi-academy trusts in the UK, Leigh Academies Trust (LAT) is a medium-sized trust who make a positive impact on over 15,000 student’s lives in the Kent and South East London areas.

The Leigh Academy, the founding school of LAT, has worked in partnership with Kent and Medway Training (a School Centred Initial Teacher Training provider) for many years and have achieved great successes together, training more and more teachers every year. KMT now works with over 40 secondary and 40 primary schools in Kent, making them the largest training provider in our area.

At present, 23 of the schools KMT works with are part of Leigh Academies Trust. We have a fantastic mix of primary, secondary and SEN schools across Greenwich, Dartford, Medway and Maidstone. All applications are submitted centrally and from working with you closely to assess your needs, skills and location, we partner you with the academy who will offer you the best training year.

Our training programme is available for recent graduates, career changers, teaching assistants and unqualified teachers with a degree who share the same goal… to become a qualified teacher.

  • 100% of trainees achieved QTS (2017-2018 and 2018-2019)
  • 100% of trainees graded Good/Outstanding (2017-2018 and 2018-2019)

Training with us allows you to be part of what we do best; collaborate. Working with your highly skilled mentor and education experts, you’ll receive recent and relevant information to the education sector which you can put into practice.

About the accredited body

Our full-time programme commences in September and runs for one academic year, and trainees achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). We also offer an optional Post Graduate Certificate Education (PGCE) top-up accredited by Leeds Beckett University (distance-learning) for those who are keen to gain 60 Masters credits and a more globally-recognised qualification.

We offer the school direct route, providing our trainee teachers which maximum exposure to school life; your training year is completed in one of our academies from start to finish for both the salaried and bursary routes; we can guide you to which route you are eligible/suitable for.

Training with disabilities and other needs

KMT and LAT welcome applications from and are supportive of those with disabilities, including mental, physical and/or learning-related. Every year, we have great success with trainees who have a variety of disabilities and our flexible approach lends itself well to this.

We offer support and help with passing the Literacy and Numeracy Skills tests, particularly for those with dyslexia. We teach strategies for ensuring that spelling, punctuation and grammar are accurate, especially in work that is handed out to pupils or in correspondence with parents.

We have also introduced a programme of support for those with mental health conditions and further advice as to where to gain specialist support should you need it. Leigh Academies put staff well-being at the heart of everything we do and have a number of strategies to mitigate stress in the workplace. We want you to thrive in every way possible.

We are proud of the support and guidance that we give to ensure that you are able to give of your best during your training year and we provide an environment in which you can feel comfortable in seeking support should you need it.

Contact details

01634 412 240
Leigh Academies Trust Head Office
Carnation Road


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