Oxfordshire Teacher Training Biology (Y513)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
Oxfordshire Teacher Training
Financial support
Bursaries and student finance are available 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
11 to 16
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
12 October 2021
Date course starts
September 2022


About the course

Our inspiring training programmes are carefully crafted to ensure the right balance of ‘theory and practise’ to prepare you for your career as a great teacher. The curriculum, based on our seven core areas, has been designed by a committed team at Oxfordshire Teacher Training and is delivered by a range of expert colleagues who combine their extensive knowledge of the current school system with principles, research and theories drawn from the most recent and relevant sources. Our designated Subject Specialists are exceptional practitioners in their subject areas and work closely with the OTT SCITT team to ensure a coherent, focused and flexible approach. A range of visits and external speakers are threaded throughout the programme to motivate, inspire and deepen your understanding. Additional support comes from our fantastic Wellbeing Officer.

A crucial aspect of this programme is the innovative structure which starts with our summer ‘Induction Week’ at the beginning of July. This Induction Week prepares you to spend the first few vital days of September in your placement school. Many ITT programmes don’t start until October and therefore miss out on this essential experience. Our Associate Teachers recognise the importance of being in school at the start of the year and really value being part of the team from the outset. After the Induction Week, The Rapid Development Programme begins in September and will provide you with focused support and guidance to develop and test out your ‘teacher’s toolkit’. The time during this intensive programme is divided between training sessions and time in your first placement school. This combined programme of training, theory and practice continues throughout the rest of the programme, into a second, contrasting placement.

As an Associate Teacher you will collect evidence and reflections to support your development throughout your training, across the three, key phases of the programme. This is a continual process and regular advice and guidance is given about the best forms of evidence to use to show progress. You will have a designated ‘Visiting Tutor’ who will visit you at different stages throughout the programme to monitor your progress and assess the evidence that you have collected. An essay will also be required for each of the three modules if you decide to undertake the PGCE option.

Basic hours at placement schools and training will be approximately 8:00am-4:00pm and on limited occasions you may be required to attend events after school.

School placements

Your two placements will be carefully selected to ensure that they give excellent, but contrasting experiences and we are able to be geographically very specific to make travel times as limited as possible. We have a committed and growing partnership of schools and in each year work with around 75 individual schools.

The full-time programme has two placements of roughly equal length; the first runs from September to February and the second runs from February until the end of the programme in June. There are regular training and subject specialist days throughout the programme which ensure that you have ongoing input and inspiration as well as giving you an opportunity to meet the rest of your cohort and catch up with the OTT SCITT team.

Each of our training programmes is for a specified age range and beyond that we offer lots of additional opportunities to work with and learn about other age groups outside the specified range.

As a partnership we invest heavily in our partner schools and this means you will have an expert school-based Mentor and a designated Senior Link in each placement school and they will be trained by, and work closely with the OTT SCITT team to ensure that you have great input and support which allows you to develop rapidly: ‘Mentors are enthusiastic about their role, take their responsibility seriously and feel privileged to contribute to trainees’ development. They provide practical guidance and rightly focus on pupils’ progress. Through mentors’ patience and empathy, together with encouraging but candid feedback, trainees are able to reflect deeply upon learning and the craft of the classroom. One commented, ‘I feel that my mentor really knew how I taught’. (Ofsted report).


You can select one of the following locations when you apply.

List of locations and vacancies
Location Vacancies
OTT Central Hub
The Cherwell School, Marston Ferry Road, Oxford, OX2 7EE
OTT Northern Hub
The Warriner School, Banbury Road, Bloxham, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX15 4LJ
OTT Southern Hub
Gillotts School, Gillotts Lane, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 1PS

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree, or equivalent.

Grade 4 (C) or above in English and maths, or equivalent qualification.

We’ll consider candidates with pending GCSEs.

We’ll consider candidates who need to take a GCSE equivalency test in English or maths.

We are not currently offering equivalency tests through OTT SCITT, but we can recommend third parties. We ask candidates to get in touch with us for advice and deadlines prior to application.

Personal qualities

Our Person Specification has been carefully developed by the partnership and is the basis for the recruitment process. Full details and our Person Specification can be found on our website

Other requirements

We run a range of Information Events and Application Support Workshops for all applicants.

Successful candidates will also be required to undertake statutory safer recruitment checks, such as an enhanced DBS check and ‘fitness to teach’ check, more information can be found on our website and will be given after interview.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for 2022 to 2023 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £9,250

The tuition fee for the QTS and PGCE programme is £9,250. The tuition fee for the QTS only programme is £8,150.

You don’t have to make a decision about undertaking the PGCE at the point of application, there is plenty of time to decide whether it’s for you. There isn’t a separate application process for the PGCE, you will be asked to decide before the training programme begins and your fee code/ fee amount will be adjusted accordingly. We have separate codes on the Apply system for the different routes, but if you are undecided at this stage you can apply for either.

Financial support from the training provider

No further financial support is available from the partnership. The Central Team is able to offer support if students wish to make a claim for Disabled Students Allowance.

About the training provider

What makes our programme special?

  • Our trainees are called Associate Teachers, rather than interns, student teachers or trainees, which indicates your status as someone valued and respected, while starting out in this fantastic profession.
  • As well as being fully committed to supporting you with our brilliant training programmes the vast majority of the team are also current school teachers, which means everything we do is grounded in the reality of the classroom.
  • We deliver an ambitious, integrated curriculum based on our seven Core Areas which has been designed to support your development to become a confident, competent and determined teacher with the capacity and drive to improve pupil outcomes.
  • We have the highest employment rate of any local provider and one of the highest nationally! The Headteachers who have employed our graduates agree that our training ensures people are well prepared for the profession.
  • We are a big enough organisation to offer a wide range of high-quality programmes and great peer support, whilst also having a highly personalised approach and ethos which nurtures individuals.
  • In December 2017 we were graded as Outstanding in all areas in our first Ofsted ITT inspection
  • We offer you a choice of three school-based locations (Hubs) for training, in Banbury, Oxford and Henley, and you can specify a preference of school placement locations (some elements will only be delivered in one location so you will need to travel at times, see our website for further information.)

About the accredited body

Oxfordshire Teacher Training (OTT) is a dynamic, schools-led organisation that is committed to delivering exceptional and inspiring programmes to prepare people to be excellent new teachers. We are an accredited SCITT working with a diverse and growing partnership of nursery, primary, special and secondary schools across all areas of Oxfordshire. Our programmes lead to OTS - Qualified Teacher Status – and include a fully integrated Master’s Level PGCE option.

Interview process

Our recruitment and selection process is carefully designed to allow us to make the right decisions as a partnership and to give applicants an insight into how we operate as an ITT provider. During all stages of the recruitment and selection process you will be assessed against our Associate Teacher Person Specification

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to a recruitment and selection process, which will be a half-day (AM or PM) online process, involving a number of elements which give you an opportunity to demonstrate your skills and suitability for teaching in a range of contexts. Candidates who are invited to interview will receive full and detailed instructions regarding the day in advance, but do also have a look at our website to get a sense of what to expect and what you may need to prepare. The different elements of the recruitment and selection day will be assessed by a panel made up of key members of our SCITT Team and colleagues from our partnership of schools.

Candidates can expect to complete: ● an interview ● a lesson/planning activity ● a group task ● a subject knowledge task ● a document check

We encourage all applicants to find out more about the application and recruitment process by reading the full details online and also by attending one of our information events or application workshops

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

At Oxfordshire Teacher Training we are committed to equality and diversity in our schools and the Associate Teachers training to teach in them, in order to create a diverse and inclusive profession. We welcome all applications and are happy to discuss any specific needs or concerns with you at any stage.

In the early stages of training, you will be invited to dig deep and share your specific needs, core values and beliefs with the SCITT Team, who will then tailor bespoke support packages for you. This not only ensures accessible learning during all training opportunities - both in school and with peers in training - but also ensures each individual develops and strengthens their own particular teacher toolkit, for a sustained and mentally-healthy teaching career ahead. This means that Associate Teachers with, for example, profound hearing impairment, with processing or memory challenges or with a history of social anxiety will have the opportunity to observe highly-skilled practitioners with identical needs and discuss strategies to overcome traditional barriers and stigma.

Our dedicated Wellbeing Team works hand-in-hand with Programme Leaders and partnership colleagues to construct a support package which emphasises guided independence, and prioritises self-care and increasing agency, in order to ensure that each graduate Associate Teacher leaves the programme knowing when and where to seek support and advice.

That so many of our alumni become mentors, buddies and partnership colleagues is testament to this pioneering approach to nurturing the whole teacher within mentally-healthy school communities.

Contact this training provider

01865 518209
The Cherwell OTSA SCITT
The Cherwell School
Marston Ferry Road

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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