Yeovil Area Teacher Training Alliance
Primary (Special Educational Needs and Disability) (2RCL)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
University of Exeter
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

This innovative and highly regarded course follows our mainstream primary course (see Course Code 22JX for details) but with the additional benefit of specialising in special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The SEND specialism is suitable for all applicants interested in special education, whether seeking a special school teaching career or one in a mainstream primary school. Under the expertise of SEND professionals, the programme has been carefully designed to support all trainees to become the best teacher they can possibly be when responding to the learning needs of every individual in their class, regardless of setting.

Trainees on this route receive additional training led by experienced practitioners in SEND as well as having the valuable experience of a special school teaching placement.

SEND taught days cover a range of topics such as:

  • SEND Code of Practice
  • The inclusive classroom and working with SENCOs
  • Social, Emotional, Mental Health
  • ASD & structured teaching
  • SEND classroom behaviour management strategies
  • Multi-sensory teaching & learning
  • Working with others: a collaborative approach
  • SEND planning and assessment
  • Pupils with complex difficulties whose behaviour challenges
  • Medical & physical needs
  • Bereavement and grief
  • Communication and interaction
  • Introduction to signing
  • Special school comparison visits

Following a term in a mainstream setting, the special school teaching placement starts after Christmas in one of our partnership special schools and finishes a few weeks before Easter. In that time, trainees gain valuable, first hand teaching experience within a wide spectrum of special educational needs which may include severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties, autism and additional complex needs.

Trainees on this specialism undertake the same course work as those on the Primary PGCE programme; however, where applicable, it is expected that their work and assignments will have a SEND focus.

(Please note: in the unlikely event of a trainee not making the expected level of progress in mainstream practice, they may be required to transfer to the primary course (22JX), without SEND specialism, in order to meet statutory Initial Teacher Training Criteria)

Interview process

Interview days are generally held from October to early summer in Yeovil at Huish Primary School in the morning and Fiveways Special School in the afternoon. The day includes a range of activities designed to assess your aptitude for teaching in both settings; however, we aim to make the day as relaxed as possible as we want you to perform your best without nerves getting in the way.

During the day, there will be plenty of time to find out more about us and ask questions. We not only recognise the importance of you being the right trainee for us, but also of us being the right course for you!

NB: Candidates who show good potential for primary teaching, but have not sufficiently demonstrated suitability for the SEND specialism, could still be offered a place on the mainstream Primary 5-11 course (22JX).

We aim to let candidates know whether or not they have been successful as soon as possible following their recruitment day.

Please note:

  • Candidates invited for interview will be notified first via UCAS and then receive further details by email; please ensure spam/junk email boxes are also checked regularly.

  • Data Sharing (GDPR) – Personal data provided will only be disclosed to relevant staff within Yeovil Area Teacher Alliance when necessary.

How school placements work

With the exception of approximately 30 days set aside for home study towards your PGCE, up to 30 days allocated to the weekly taught programme and additional training days in SEND, the majority of your time will be spent in school on teaching placement.

In the autumn and summer terms, you will have mainstream teaching experience, with placements in Key Stages 1 and 2, in a school located in and around the Yeovil area.

In the spring term, it may be necessary to travel a little further afield for your special school placement. Special schools within our partnership are located in the following towns:

  • Frome
  • Bridgwater
  • Taunton
  • Street
  • Yeovil

Within the constraints of the statutory ITT Criteria, we endeavour to take into account the distance between home and school when organising all placements.

By being in schools from the very beginning of the autumn term, trainees tell us they settle and establish themselves more quickly than if they were to join later in the term. Unlike many other ITT providers, our course runs right up to the last day of the school year, with the aim of giving you as much experience as possible and getting extra value from the course fee.


The course fees for 2020 to 2021 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
EU students £9,250
International students £18,500

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

For further information, please contact University of Exeter Fees and Finance



The entry requirements for this course:

  • a 2:1 or above in your first degree. (Candidates with a 2:2 classification may still be considered if their potential and aptitude for primary teaching is sufficiently demonstrated on application and at interview.);

  • passes at GCSE in English, Mathematics and Science at grade C/4 or above or equivalent

Note: the DfE entry requirement to pass professional skills tests has been removed. Instead trainees will be benchmarked during their training against a Government-defined set of mathematics and English skills.

For all enquiries about entry requirements, please contact University of Exeter PGCE Admissions Team

Personal qualities

HAVE YOU a real desire to improve positive outcomes for children with SEND through high quality teaching and learning?


  • Enthusiastic, driven and engaging?

  • A great team player?

  • Highly organised, reflective and committed to hard work?

  • Empathetic and resilient?


Other requirements

The entry requirements for this course:

  • a 2:1 or above in your first degree. (Candidates with a 2:2 classification may still be considered if their potential and aptitude for primary teaching is sufficiently demonstrated on application and at interview.);

  • passes at GCSE in English, Mathematics and Science at grade C/4 or above or equivalent

  • a satisfactory fitness to teach assessment and DBS enhanced disclosure.

You will need to be able to demonstrate your understanding of educating children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, and show some awareness of the current educational landscape.

About the training provider

Somerset Partnership and Wessex Teaching Schools work as one, under the marketing name of Yeovil Area Teacher Training Alliance. Based at Fiveways Special School and Huish Primary School, we lead innovative school-led initial teacher training programmes, combining expertise from both special education and mainstream primary. Trainees undertake placements within a valued partnership of highly regarded Somerset schools, providing a range of contrasting experiences and opportunities to learn and teach alongside excellent teachers, and gain qualified teacher status (QTS).

Trainees also qualify with a Post Graduate Certificate in Education qualification (PGCE), accredited by the University of Exeter.

Trainees on this course enjoy the following benefits:

  •   A strong and well-established ITT partnership with an impressive track record of gaining employment;
  •   Bespoke, curriculum training programmes, covering a wide range of curricular areas and led by experienced practitioners;
  •   Local teaching placements  and designated time to study from home, without the need to attend university or college;
  •   A personal approach with full pastoral support and direct access to Programme Leaders;
  •   Support with securing a first teaching post, including mock interviews;
  •   Enhanced opportunites for interviews when applying for teaching posts within partnership schools;
  •   Loan of a MacBook Air;
  •   Full support from the University of Exeter, including tutor visits and access to library resources/online learning materials.

About the accredited body

Fiveways Special School and Huish Primary School are proud of the strong, joint partnership they have with the University of Exeter, their accredited provider.

Part of the Russell Group of universities, Exeter is a leading centre for the study of education and their PGCE is uniquely characterised by innovative research-led teaching informed by professional practice and academic excellence.

The university has been consistently graded ‘Outstanding’ in all areas by Ofsted and is ranked third amongst university providers of teacher training in the most recent Good Teacher Training Guide.

Training with disabilities and other needs

We offer a fully inclusive training programme and applications are welcomed from candidates with disabilities and other needs.

For trainees requiring support with subject knowledge, support plans in English, mathematics and science are provided. The programme endeavours to support individual needs accordingly.

Should you wish to discuss your particular needs, prior to application, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Additionally, trainees can access the comprehensive student services provided by the University of Exeter. Services include:

  • AccessAbility and Wellbeing teams;

  • Student Learning Skills Service;

  • Student Advice Unit and Counselling Service;

  • Students’ Union Advisors;

  • Student Health Centre and Family Centre;

  • Chaplaincy team.

For further information, please contact University of Exeter Student Support Service

Contact details

YATTA (Huish Primary School)
Carisbrooke Gardens
BA20 1AY


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Support and advice

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

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