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Forest of Dean Schools Direct (Formerly WGSP Schools Direct) Primary (3CPC)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
The University of Gloucestershire
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
13 October 2020
Date course starts
September 2021


About the course

WGSP Schools Direct is an exciting one-year primary teacher training programme run by the West Gloucestershire Schools’ Partnership and the University of Gloucestershire (UofG). We are a dynamic and close-knit group of 41 schools, well-practiced in partnership working, with an excellent reputation for training and developing staff and students.

Choosing our programme, means you will be in the classroom from the beginning, enabling you to feel part of the team and a member of staff. You will have two substantial teaching placements in different key stages plus an enhanced placement in a different setting or in one of your host schools. You will spend most of your time in school and will also attend regular CPD sessions delivered by our teachers and specialist experts plus sessions at the UofG in Cheltenham.

Our CPD programme equips you with the knowledge and understanding to teach the full breadth of the curriculum. This, coupled with our school-based approach, enables you to develop your professional skills in diverse and supportive settings, allowing you to put theory into practice in the classroom. This approach has led to 100% of our previous students rating our programme as Very Good /Good and 100% of our graduates employed in schools.

You will work alongside and learn from expert teachers in placements which include single/mixed age classes, town/rural schools, church/non-denominational schools, mainstream, special and alternative provision schools.

You will have a mentor in each placement who will meet you on a regular basis to monitor and review your progress, regularly observe your teaching and provide written/verbal feedback. In addition, you will meet with our Lead Mentor (who oversees the programme) and our other students on a weekly basis to share your experiences. You will also have a UofG link tutor who will visit you in school to observe your teaching. This approach enables your subject knowledge, ability to teach (pedagogy) and development as a reflective and professional practitioner to be assessed.

Formal assessment takes place throughout the year - there is no final written examination. Assessment is by assessed practical teaching against the Teachers’ Standards, (you will be required to maintain a portfolio of evidence to support this) and two assignments set and marked by the UofG. This will lead to the award of Qualified Teacher Status and a PGCE. In addition, you will have gained a wealth of knowledge and skills to use in your future teaching career!

School placements

All our placements take place in the beautiful Forest of Dean - a rural area between the Rivers Severn and Wye. 30.5% of the population live in four market towns, the remainder in smaller, rural and widely scattered settlements. Some areas are in the most 10% deprived wards nationally for “Education, Skills & Training” and “Income Deprivation Affecting Children”.

You will be teaching children aged from 5-11 years and placements are provided across many of our partnership schools. When placing students, we consider individual requests for placements alongside the strengths, weaknesses and previous experience of our students to ensure you are in placements which provide the best learning environments for your needs.

Unlike PGCEs, School Direct students are based in school from the start. Our programme comprises of three school placements enabling you to spend most of your training in the classroom. The placements will cover Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 in at least two separate schools. We also ensure that you gain experience of teaching in mixed-age classes as well as working in different types of schools such as Church and academy /grant-maintained schools. Each placement has an assessed period where your teaching will be observed and assessed by your mentor, our Lead Mentor and the UofG’s Link Tutor.

Placement 1 (September – December 2021): You will observe and reflect on your practice and with support, plan, teach and assess groups and whole class, with 60% teaching by the end of term.

Main Placement (January – March 2022): Planning, teaching and assessing the whole class with increasing independence with 75% teaching responsibility for final 5 weeks.

Enhancement Placement (April – June 2022): An opportunity for you to pursue personal targets and develop the range of your experience whilst continuing to undertake a 75% teaching commitment.

Visits will also take place to other settings such as an alternative provision school, EYFS pre-school and a special school.

In addition, you will have a comprehensive CPD programme covering every area of pedagogy and the curriculum ensuring that once you are qualified, you can hit the ground running as a teacher.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

We are looking for candidates with a 1st or 2:1 degree awarded by a university in England, Wales or Scotland, or a recognised equivalent qualification. We will consider applicants with a 2:2, should they be able to demonstrate their passion for getting the best out of children and / or who have relevant experience in teaching / education or working with children.

You’ll need to have achieved a standard equivalent to GCSE grade C/4, or above in English, mathematics and science.

You must be able to demonstrate an ability to communicate clearly and grammatically in spoken and written Standard English.

Personal qualities

We are looking for the next generation of stand-out teachers - students who are passionate and excited about making a difference to our children and our schools. We want people who:

  • Are confident and able to engage with children
  • Have excellent communication and organisational skills
  • Are committed to working hard and being professional
  • Can establish good working relationships
  • Have a commitment to a professional team and to excellence in education
  • Are flexible – crucial in an active and constantly changing educational environment

Is this you? If so, come and join us!

Other requirements

It is the duty of all schools to protect vulnerable children and adults. If you are offered a place on the programme, we will arrange for you to have a DBS check, as it is a vital entry requirement for this training programme.

This check will contain details of any cautions, convictions, reprimands, or any warnings recorded against your name (even where they would generally be considered spent) or will confirm that you have none.

It will allow both our schools and the University of Gloucestershire to assess of your suitability for access to these vulnerable groups.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for UK students in 2021 to 2022 are £9,250.

About the training provider

We are based in the idyllic Forest of Dean where the likes of Star Wars and Dr Who were filmed, and also provided JK Rowling with the inspiration for Harry Potter!

Our partnership comprises 39 primary schools, Gloucester & Forest Alternative Provision School and Heart of the Forest Special School. We work together ensuring every school and individual in our partnership thrives, enabling us to raise aspirations, attainment and life-chances of our children. We have worked closely with the University of Gloucestershire on teacher training for many years. As an outstanding provider, they provide the academic support our students need and deserve.

Since its launch in 2011, WGSP has improved standards in our schools by sharing good practice and supporting each other e.g. Ofsted gradings have improved, 79% Good/Outstanding in 2020 for overall effectiveness (49%, 2010). We are passionate about developing our staff as this is key to improving standards and outcomes for our children. We have an excellent reputation for providing CPD that meets the needs of our staff. Over the last three years, WGSP has provided 455 CPD sessions attended by 6,080 staff/governors and we share this expertise with our students.

A quote from one recent student says it all: “I have loved this course and will be recommending it to so many people. Thank you for helping me grow and believing in me, even when I doubted myself. I have grown in confidence and self-belief and am now ready to teach!”

So - why go anywhere else?

Interview process

Once you have applied for the WGSP School Direct Programme, a panel of WGSP headteachers from our host schools will assess your application looking for, amongst other things, evidence of a passion for teaching, professionalism, ability to engage with children and a good standard of written English.

Suitable candidates will be invited to interview which will take place in one of our host schools or online if the COVID-19 situation dictates. The interview process will include lesson observations or if online, a presentation and discussion of a practical activity, written tasks in mathematics and literacy, and a discussion with an interview panel of headteachers from our schools. We will also consider the references provided by your referees. We have designed our recruitment process to obtain as much information as possible about our potential students to ensure that successful applicants and placements can be suitably matched, enabling our students to successfully develop into future teachers.

Once you have been offered a place on our School Direct Programme, depending upon your previous experience and development needs, you may be expected to undertake a school experience placement in one of our partnership schools before starting the WGSP Programme. During this experience, you will be expected to use the professional teaching standards to shape how you work with the children. This will help you in starting to develop self-reflective skills (essential in teaching) and to be clear and understand what your professional responsibilities are as a teacher and why the standards are required.

Training with disabilities and other needs

WGSP schools are actively inclusive and promote positive attitudes towards children and adults with disabilities.

It is our policy to discuss any specific requirements with students individually but we have experience with helping students and staff who attend our training with support in areas such as dyslexia and visual impairment. In addition, most of the schools involved in our School Direct Programme can accommodate staff with physical disabilities.

As part of the School Direct Programme, our students receive sessions on well-being which put the role of teaching into context and provide strategies to help them look after themselves and have a good work-life balance.

Contact this training provider

01594 842172
Schools Direct
Lydney CofE Primary
Bream Road
Lydney, Gloucestershire
GL15 5JH

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).

Find out about the different ways to train if you do not have a degree, or are already an experienced teacher.

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