Aspire Teaching Alliance
Primary (2SCX)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
University of Winchester
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
8 October 2019
Date course starts
September 2020


About the course

Aspire develops and nurtures reflective, creative and confident classroom teachers.

The course prepares you to teach across the age ranges 5-11 and is structured around six modules - a combination of taught modules based at the University and placement modules based in schools or educational settings.

This course offers a brilliant option if you want to train and learn ‘on the job’. You will spend four days each week in your host school learning alongside an experienced class teacher. The fifth day is dedicated to high-quality professional training that immerses you in the theory and practice of primary teaching. Over the year, the majority of these training days take place at Overton CE Primary or one of the Alliance’s partner schools. Approximately thirteen training days across the year are delivered at the University of Winchester where trainees have full access to the University resources, support, tutors and online learning platform.

You will undertake studies in all elements of primary education; extend your knowledge of learning and teaching, of the breadth and scope of the curriculum and the professional skills associated with high-quality teaching. You will then apply these areas of understanding and skill to classroom practice throughout the year, including during two assessed placements in schools or educational settings.

The three assignments to be completed over the course of the year are directly related to your teaching practice and the weekly professional training days.

Our mentors are experienced teachers, who undertake rigorous professional development to ensure they can fully support, coach and mentor. By the end of the programme, you will be expected to have demonstrated a thorough understanding of the Teaching Standards. In addition to a main placement in a host school, you will undertake a second school experience in a different Aspire partner school for 6 weeks.

Our vision and passion is to provide you with an enriched experience within our Alliance. This combined with an outstanding University provider will nurture you to become a successful 21st-century teacher.

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be awarded a PGCE with recommendations for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

“Learning on the job and seeing teachers in action…having the opportunities to try and try again. Taking risks in our teaching and having supportive class mentors who feedback straight away with new strategies and assurance.” School Direct Trainee.

Interview process

If you already meet or are expected to meet our entry requirements, and have demonstrated your passion and commitment to teaching in your application, you will be invited to attend an interview. The interview is your chance to demonstrate your potential to become a successful teacher.

The interview day consists of:

  • an English and Mathematics task to determine your competency in fundamental skills;

  • an observation of you taking a short session with a small group of children; and

  • an individual interview with Head teachers from partnership schools, the Teacher Training Coordinator and a representative from the University.

Information about the format of the day will be sent to you via email in advance of the interview date. The interview is also your chance to find out more about the School Direct route into teaching, the Alliance and the University.

How school placements work

If you are successful in securing a place on the course, you will then be allocated a main host school.

Aspire currently has approximately twenty partner schools in the Basingstoke and Deane borough. They are a mixture of all-through primary, infant and junior schools. The majority of the schools are in Basingstoke itself along with schools to the north in Tadley (approximately eight miles from central Basingstoke). Overton CE Primary (lead school) is nine miles from Basingstoke.

In selecting host schools, careful consideration is given to your home address and likely journey times in addition to any prior experience you have of particular year groups/ages in schools.

You will also be assigned to a particular class where you will complete the majority of your training. Your class will either be in Key Stage 1 (infant: ages 5-7) or Key Stage 2 (junior: ages 7-11).

Each school takes responsibility for tailoring the training to meet your needs. You will be released from your school one day a week for your professional training.

Your teacher mentor will complete weekly observations of your teaching and provide developmental feedback, targets and support. You will also be observed and supported throughout the year by the teacher training coordinator and your university tutor.

You will also undertake a second school experience of 6 weeks after Christmas in another partner school which will be in a different age range to your main placement (5-7 or 7-11).

The course is full time from the beginning of September until the end of June.


The course fees for 2020 to 2021 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
EU students £9,250

The tuition fees for September 2019 entry are £9,250 for UK, EU and Islands (Channel Islands and Isle of Man) students, however the tuition fee for students outside the EU are yet to be confirmed for 2019 entry.

Please contact in the autumn for confirmation of the fee.

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.



The minimum requirements are: an honours degree, usually a 2:2 or above; GCSE English language, mathematics and a science at grade C or 4 or above.

The DfE has withdrawn the requirement for ITE applicants to complete literacy and numeracy Skills Tests.

During the selection process and as part of your training, you will be required to demonstrate competency in Fundamental skills in English and mathematics.

Equivalencies to academic qualifications are considered on an individual basis, so if you hold qualifications from a number of years ago or from outside the UK, please contact us for confirmation of their suitability.

Personal qualities

We will look for evidence of a commitment to the teaching profession, an understanding of professional requirements, and an awareness of current educational issues in an application.

Prior experience in a school is not required, however prospective students may find experience in a school useful for obtaining insights into the primary education classroom. Experience in a school or similar setting may also provide reassurance to prospective students that teaching is the right choice for their career.

We are looking for trainee teachers who are passionate about making a difference and who can show initiative and resilience when working under pressure.

Other requirements

If you accept an offer of a place you will be required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal records check and Prohibition Order check.

If you have spent time overseas in the last 5 years you may also be required to obtain criminal records checks from each of the countries you visited.

You will also be required to complete an occupational health check to confirm that you are fit to teach.

The University of Winchester will send you more information about when and how you need to complete each of these checks if you accept our offer.

About the training provider

“It’s a great way to learn and you’re part of a team straight away.” School Direct Trainee.

100% of the trainees who have completed Aspire’s innovative school-based training programme have secured employment. Our School Direct programme is designed in partnership with the University of Winchester and carries the award of both Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and Post-Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE).

The University of Winchester is recognised by Ofsted as an ‘Outstanding’ provider of teacher education at both primary and secondary level and has a long history of training teachers. Aspire and the University work in partnership to help you reach your full potential.

Overton CE Primary School is the lead school of Aspire Teaching Alliance and has been judged outstanding in two consecutive Ofsted inspections.
Our partner schools share a long-term commitment and proven track record in developing and supporting the next generation of teachers.

Aspire’s training programme is informed by the latest research and compliments and deepens the training delivered at the University of Winchester. Specialist leaders and teachers deliver bespoke, relevant and practical training at the Alliance partner schools.

“Training within the Alliance on a Friday meant I could implement things straight away on the following Monday and improve my practice.” School Direct Trainee.

About the accredited body

The University of Winchester offers you a stimulating and supportive learning environment that challenges and inspires, in a beautiful, historic cathedral city, located an hour from London by train.

The city of Winchester has a rich heritage and vibrant contemporary culture, and is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in the UK (Halifax Quality of Life Survey).

Training with disabilities and other needs

Your wellbeing is a top priority and we will do all we can to give you the chance to flourish and maximise your potential.

In partnership with the University of Winchester there is a dedicated student support team to help with any questions or challenges you might experience during your studies. We work with you to support your wellbeing and mental health, provide confidential advice and offer workshops to boost your academic skills.

If you have a disability or learning difference, we encourage you to get in touch before you apply so we can discuss tailored support for your individual needs.

Contact details

Aspire Teaching Alliance
c/o Overton CE Primary, Court Drove
RG25 3ES


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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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