Wigan and West Lancashire Catholic School Direct Physical Education (2QQW)

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

Accredited body
Liverpool John Moores 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
11 to 18 - secondary
Course length
1 year - full time
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
August 2023


Course summary

Our course ensures that you receive as much training as possible in our partner schools. You will be allocated a HOME school placement from the first day of the school year, in which you will spend the majority of your time, and an AWAY school placement from January until February half term. A Key Stage 5 placement of at least two weeks will also be provided during the year. You will attend an induction week at Liverpool John Moores University’s city centre campus, followed by LJMU taught subject knowledge and pedagogy sessions each Friday during much of your Home placement, until Spring Break. Also, each week, one afternoon will be spent receiving Professional Development training with the rest of the WWLCSD cohort, at one of the ten partner schools. You will also complete two modules of the Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS) as part of your training. Training for the CCRS will be delivered at some of the school-run Professional Development sessions. The PGCE Award is assessed through the completion of two modules by LJMU; The Award of QTS is integral to one of these academic Modules. You will also complete one essay, in two parts which asks you to reflect on your practice, The Award of QTS is assessed based on evidence that you have met the Teachers’ Standards by the end of your training. To complete the double module of the CCRS, you will be required to submit two 1500 word assignments.

School placements

We are confident that, through our personalised, structured interview process, we get to know our applicants quickly, and strive to place them in the schools and departments within our programme where they would be able to flourish during their training year. Travelling distances from home are taken into consideration, wherever possible. We do not usually place trainees in a school if they used to attend it as a pupil, since we feel it is important for the training year to provide as broad an experience as possible. Trainees can express a preference for a placement at a specific school in the partnership, although we cannot guarantee to meet their request. All schools in the partnership have comprehensive intakes and you will gain experience of working with young people of all abilities across the age range from 11-18. You will be assigned a Professional Mentor and a Subject Mentor in each of your two placement schools. Our mentors are outstanding teachers themselves, and they are all required to undertake a rigorous training programme to develop their mentoring skills. This includes coaching, effective classroom observation and feedback skills.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree at class 2:1 or above, or equivalent.

Your degree subject should be in physical education or a similar subject. Otherwise you’ll need to prove your subject knowledge in some other way.

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.

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

Candidates with pending GCSEs will be considered Equivalency tests will be accepted in English or maths.

Please contact education@ljmu.ac.uk if you have queries about suitable equivalency tests.

Level 2 Numeracy and literacy qualifications are not considered equivalent to GCSE. If you have any non-standard qualifications please check them with LJMU staff, including qualifications gained outside of the United Kingdom. We can help you to find a suitable equivalency test provider if necessary. Fees may be payable for equivalency tests.

Personal qualities

We are looking for ambitious trainee teachers who are passionate and enthusiastic about making a difference to the lives of the young people that we serve. We want you to have a desire to share your passion with students of all abilities across the secondary age range. Trainees on our programme do not need to be Catholics themselves, but would be individuals who recognise the intangible extras which working as part of a faith-based community can bring to the lives of both staff and young people.

Other requirements

We do not require you to have done a set amount of classroom observations prior to the application process. However, meaningful experience of working with young people of secondary age in ways such as helping with a sports team, drama or youth group, or simply having spent some time in a secondary school, would demonstrate, at interview, a commitment to the application. All trainees accepted onto the course require DBS clearance before commencing their training.


Fees and financial support

The course fees for UK students in 2023 to 2024 are £9,250.

The course fees for UK students in 2022 to 2023 are £9,250. UK applicants may receive at least part of the fees payment back in a cash bursary from the University. Discretionary bursaries are available in some instances. All applicants are eligible for student loans to cover fees. Full details of courses and fees can be found on the Liverpool John Moores University website.

Financial support from the government Depending on your immigration status, financial support may not be available. Find out about training to teach if you’re a non-UK citizen, including financial support. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/train-to-teach-in-england-non-uk-applicants/train-to-teach-in-england-if-youre-a-non-uk-citizen

Financial support from the training provider

We encourage our applicants to investigate possible scholarships which may be offered by appropriate professional bodies. Such scholarships are awarded in place of a bursary.

About the training provider

The Wigan & West Lancashire Catholic School Direct Programme is a fantastic opportunity to work and learn within a partnership of nine Catholic Secondary schools and one Catholic Sixth Form college, all of which share the same outstanding values and ethos:

  • St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School, Ashton-in-Makerfield (Lead School)
  • St Mary’s Catholic High School, Astley
  • St Bede’s Catholic High School, Ormskirk
  • St John Fisher Catholic High School, Wigan
  • Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Engineering College, Skelmersdale
  • St Peter’s Catholic High School, Orrell
  • Holy Cross Catholic High School, Chorley
  • St Gregory’s Catholic High School, Warrington
  • St John Rigby Catholic Sixth Form College, Orrell
  • Saints Peter and Paul Catholic College, Halton

We work closely together, with a commitment to providing first class Initial Teacher Training, that not only equips trainees with the skills and knowledge required to teach their subject, but also appreciates the distinct nature that working as part of a Catholic community can bring. All of our schools are conveniently located, with excellent transport network links. The pupils in our schools are happy, friendly and well behaved, and at the heart of everything we do. Many of our pupils consistently out-perform their national peers and make significantly more progress. Employability rates of our trainees are excellent, with a significant proportion gaining positions within our partner schools. We believe that our staff are our most valuable resource. By training potential new staff ourselves, we ensure we recruit the best.


About the accredited body

Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) has a long established reputation for providing high quality Teacher Training, working in close Partnership with schools across the North West.

Their academic team is made up of successful teachers who maintain strong links with schools and professional bodies, ensuring you receive the most up-to-date training during your course. LJMU’s most recent OFSTED inspection acknowledged that: “all trainees are very well prepared to teach their chosen age range and specialist subject”.

Interview process

The interview process will involve you spending one day at one of our partner schools. You will be asked to deliver a twenty minute task to a group of four Key Stage Three pupils, on a topic which you will have been given to prepare in advance of the day. We will be observing how well you can engage with the pupils, and whether you are able to prepare an appropriate task, and resource it effectively, to ensure that they make some progress. We are not looking for an already competent teacher, we are looking for people who we believe have the necessary qualities to be “trained” to that level. After the teaching task, you will be asked to complete a twenty minute written task, where you will reflect upon the strengths and areas in need of development in your group teaching task, This is intended to assess your ability to evaluate a lesson effectively, and indicates the standard of your written English. After lunch, you will have a formal interview where the panel will be made up of the Director (and/or the Assistant Director) of the course, a Head Teacher and a Professional Mentor from one of our partnership schools. A representative from LJMU will also attend some of the Interview Days as a Quality Assurance measure. We will inform you of the outcome of the interview and offer feedback as quickly as possible.

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

We are committed to Equality of Opportunity. The Disability Advice Team at LJMU will help you access the support you need. The best time to contact the Disability Advice Team is before you start your course. By contacting the team before you begin and disclosing your disability, you’ll be able to receive support from when you arrive. Email: disability@ljmu.ac.uk Tel: 0151 231 3164/3165. If you need an Individual Student Learning Plan (ISLP) which sets out the support you may need and who is responsible for ensuring support is in place, this will be put in place by an LJMU Disability Adviser following discussion of your needs. Once finalised, your plan will be sent to you via email. As soon as you have agreed the ISLP it will be sent to your Disability Coordinator and then, with your agreement, passed on to the relevant academic and school staff. All trainees are encouraged to disclose any specific learning need that they experience, in order to make any reasonable adjustments. As part of the enrolment process to Teacher Training Programmes all students are required to complete a Health Questionnaire and some may be asked to attend a screening appointment with our Occupational Health Unit. This is designed to ensure that arrangements are in place, from the outset, to support any students who may need additional support or reasonable adjustments to be made.

Contact this training provider

St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School
Rookery Avenue
Ashton in Makerfield

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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