Thames Teaching Alliance Biology (3DQF)

QTS full time

Accredited body
Canterbury Christ Church University
Financial support
Bursaries and student finance are available if you’re eligible

Qualified teacher status (QTS) allows you to teach in state schools in England and may also allow you to teach in other parts of the UK.

It may also allow you to teach in the EU and EEA, though this could change after 2020.

If you’re planning to teach overseas, you should always check what qualifications are needed in the country you’d like to teach in.

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


About the course

This course is very much school based. Our aim, is to make sure, you will never feel alone, whilst training with us. There will be trained Mentors both at the University and your host school as well as the support from the Thames Teaching Alliance. All of whom will be there to guide you through your training.

Your training will begin in the summer term before your official September start date. You will undertake an induction week where you will be able to get to know the teaching school staff and the other student teachers within the cohort. You will also have time to work in your host school and start to understand those procedures. Finally, we give you the opportunity to experience teaching outside of the phase in which you have chosen to start your career.

In September, you will start at your host school. You will receive supported planning and assessment opportunities as swell as take part in staff training and development. We expect our student teachers to take advantage of being part of all aspects of school life. You will be assessed and reported on periodically, as well as being expected to complete a portfolio of evidence showing that you are able to teach effectively. Your assessment will be based on those reports and your portfolio as well as your abilities in the classroom.

In addition, you will receive 15 days of training at Canterbury Christ Church University. The Thames Teaching Alliance also provides 10 days of training for you. In this way, we ensure that your subject knowledge, understanding of teacher theory and pedagogy are not neglected.

At some point you will complete a 6 week second placement at a contrasting school, chosen for you depending on your needs at that time in your training.

If you choose to complete a PGCE as well as qualified teacher status, you will have further essays to do as well as additional costs to meet.

School placements

We work as a Teaching School Alliance collegiality with 20 schools across North Kent. Our range of schools means that your placements can be very diverse. We can offer placements at all kinds of schools, including:


  • 5-11 primary schools
  • infant schools
  • junior schools
  • special schools
  • schools in central Gravesend and Dartford
  • schools in the commuter belt villages around North Kent.


  • 11-16 mixed sex high schools
  • 11-18 single sex high schools
  • 11-18 special schools
  • 11-18 single sex grammar schools

We also have links to colleges, independent schools and pupil referral units for those students who have an interest in different kinds of educational experiences.

We select your second school to ensure you have a contrasting experience. We also consider your needs and make sure that the school will give you the opportunity to fill any gaps in experience or skills that you might have at that time.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

  • An honours degree from a UK university or its equivalent verified by NARIC from overseas.
  • A Levels, higher level qualifications or their equivalent from the UK or its equivalent verified by NARIC from overseas.
  • GCSE grade C or grade 4 or above, in both English and Maths or its equivalent from the UK or its equivalent verified by NARIC from overseas. We also accept equivalency tests and can support you in completing these; please contact us.

Personal qualities

Being a teacher is not just about standing in front of a classroom reading from a book, we are looking for individuals who have the enthusiasm, drive and patience to work with a variety of young people from various backgrounds and who enjoy a challenge.

Taking responsibility for your own development as a teacher will give you the rewarding fulfillment, knowing that you have the potential to actually make a difference to a child’s life.

Other requirements

Ideally we would like to see some relevant work experience with children or young people planned or undertaken when you apply to us. On acceptance of post, we would strongly recommend time spent in your host school prior to commencement of start date.

You will be required to complete an enhanced criminal record check, barred list check and identity checks.

We will need to see any leave to remain documentation that might be applicable.

Schools will also ask you to complete an occupational health check.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for 2021 to 2022 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £5,960
International students £14,040

Fees are set by the university on an annual basis. This fee is for QTS only.

Should you decide to do a PGCE, the cost would be £5960

This is subject to change

About the training provider

The Thames Teaching Alliance is a large group of varied schools in and around the banks of the Thames in North Kent, 16 miles from London and close to Ebbsfleet International station. We believe training with us will be an invigorating and innovative experience because:

  • Students in our schools come from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds and are ethnically diverse, which will enable you to engage with a whole variety of teaching methods and styles of learning.
    • We have a large selection of trainees in our schools each year so you will not be alone but will benefit from that peer to peer support that is so important when learning new skills.
  • Schools in the alliance include nursery schools, junior schools, primary schools and academies. There are single sex and mixed Secondary schools, Faith schools, Special schools, High schools and Grammar schools. Their intake ranges from children coming from the leafy suburbs of the affluent London commuter belt, to students who live in areas of social and economic deprivation.
  • Over the six years the Thames Teaching Alliance has engaged with School Direct, we have a 70% retention rate of the staff we train remaining in local schools. This means it is likely that we will be able to support you in finding that all important supportive first teaching job in a North Kent School.
  • Thames Teaching Alliance training is evaluated by the students in an overwhelmingly positive way with a consistent 95% satisfaction rate.  

About the accredited body

Canterbury Christchurch university is one of the largest centres of teacher education in the country. It is a good provider of education. The School of Education provides courses in the centre of Canterbury and at Hall Place, the satellite site for the university. For further information please see the following website. (

Interview process

You will be contacted by a member of the Thames Teaching Alliance, once they have received your application. An interview will be arranged with your chosen school. Interviews will vary between the heads of school’s, however in all cases, you will be asked to prepare and present a short lesson (subject and key stage advised beforehand). Canterbury also ask for you to complete their own Literacy and Numeracy tests.

Canterbury Christ Church University, no longer require to interview, but do hold the right to reject from your application.

The Alliance, has the responsibility to action your application within 40 days.

Training with disabilities and other needs

We are committed to providing equal opportunities in employment. You will receive equal treatment regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status. This includes pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin. Religion or beliefs, sex or sexual orientation.

If you are disabled, we encourage you to notify us as early as possible in application process so that we can consider what reasonable adjustments or support may be appropriate. Please be aware that this will differ between our range of schools.

Contact this training provider

01474 331893
Gravesend Grammar
Church Walk
DA12 2PR

Support and advice

For support and advice, you can speak to a Get Into Teaching adviser for free. They’re all experienced teachers who can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events.

You can also call Get Into Teaching free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or speak to an adviser using their online chat service Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm (except public holidays).

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