Aspire Teaching Alliance Primary (2SCX)

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

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.

Age range
5 to 11
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

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 a combination of taught modules from 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 by 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 in two placement schools.

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.

School placements

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.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

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

We’ll consider candidates with pending GCSEs.

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

Please contact should you need to undertake an equivalency test. There are University approved providers that you need to use.

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 essential, however prospective students find experience in a school useful for obtaining insights into the primary education classroom. Experience in a school or similar setting also provides 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.

Fees and financial support

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

The tuition fees for September 2022 entry were £9,250 for UK, EU and Islands (Channel Islands and Isle of Man) students, however the tuition fees are yet to be confirmed for 2023 entry. Please contact us for further information.

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.

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 process 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 (where possible);

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

  • a short presentation on becoming a teacher.

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.

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 for the duration of this course, you may need to apply for a Student visa.

To do this, you’ll need to be sponsored by your training provider.

Before you apply for this course, contact us to check Student visa sponsorship is available. If it is, and you get a place on this course, we’ll help you apply for your visa.

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

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 this training provider

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

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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