Wigan and West Lancashire Catholic School Direct
History (2QR8)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
Liverpool Hope 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.

Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
13 October 2020
Date course starts
September 2021


About the course

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, from September until February half term, and an AWAY school placement from February half term until July. A Key Stage 5 placement of at least two weeks will also be provided during the year. You will attend subject pedagogy at Liverpool Hope University one day per week in your Home placement. 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. 15 Masters level days at Liverpool Hope will take place across the year, and 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. You will be assessed through the completion of two assignments at Masters level by Liverpool Hope University. This will ensure that you are awarded a PGCE, plus you will submit evidence of meeting the Teacher Standards to your placement schools at four review points through the year. To complete the double module of the CCRS, you will be required to submit two 1500 word assignments.

Interview process

The interview process will involve you spending one day at St Mary’s Catholic High School in Astley, which is where our administrative team is based. You will be asked to deliver a twenty minute task to a group of five 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 Liverpool Hope University 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 within the next five working days.

How school placements work

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.


The course fees for UK students in 2021 to 2022 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 Hope University website

Financial support

You may also 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

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.



You should be a graduate in your subject area, preferably with a 1st or a 2:1. Applicants with degrees in subjects which are not wholly focused on their chosen subject area for teaching could be expected to complete a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course of between 8 and 28 weeks in length. All trainees must have attained at least a Grade C or equivalent in GCSE English and Mathematics.

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.

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, Widnes

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

In partnership with Liverpool Hope University, we have designed an exciting training opportunity that combines school placement experiences with training and development opportunities taking place across our partnership schools, and at the University’s Hope Park Campus. You will be trained in a highly supportive and aspirational environment, and will develop the rigour, professional knowledge, understanding and skills necessary for the delivery of creative, purposeful and challenging teaching and learning. Most of the training will be delivered by expert, current practitioners from across our partnership schools, enhanced by subject-specific sessions held at Liverpool Hope University.

Training with disabilities and other needs

We are committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for all applicants. It is a personal choice if you wish to inform us of your disability, however we would want to support you, and put reasonable adjustments in place, as much as possible. The Liverpool Hope University Learning Support Team assist us, with Learning Support Plans being used as the main method by which information is communicated to all relevant parties.

For further information:

Contact details

St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School
Rookery Avenue
Ashton in Makerfield


Apply for this course

Choose a training location

You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.

Choose a training location - List of locations, vacancies and codes
Location Vacancies Code
Main Site - Lead School
Rookery Avenue, Ashton-in-Makerfield, Wigan, WN4 9PF
Yes -

Support and advice

For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.

Get support and advice about teaching

Register with Get Into Teaching, the Department for Education’s free support and advice service, for personalised guidance from teaching experts. They can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events. You can also call them free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or speak to an adviser using their online chat service, from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.

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