Optimus Alliance
Primary (2YFN)

QTS full time

Accredited body
The Manchester Metropolitan University
Financial support
Student finance 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
8 October 2019
Date course starts
September 2020


About the course

Our School Direct programme offers the highest quality training in a supportive, learning-rich environment, and we look forward to hearing from you if you feel inspired to be part of our Alliance.

Our Accredited Provider is: Manchester Metropolitan University

Your training will include the following:

A placement in a high-quality primary school with support from school based mentors and a university tutor throughout the programme. (Placement A)

A different experience in a second placement school. This will be a chance to experience another key stage. (Placement B)

A chance to experience other educational settings such as EYFS, a secondary school and a special school.

A programme of weekly academic learning and training. You will cover all aspects of education and pedagogy in your training. Study includes subject knowledge work in Maths, English, Science, Computing and the Foundation subjects. This is supported by professional development in areas such as managing behaviour, how to prepare, plan and structure lessons, questioning techniques, demonstrating progress and co-operative learning strategies. This is also a fantastic opportunity to network with like-minded primary colleagues, share good practice and engage in peer coaching.

As well as securing your QTS, you will achieve a PGCE with up to 60 credits towards a Masters qualification.

Research experience. As part of your study you will undertake research and learn how research can inform, and have a positive impact upon your practice.

Interview process


After the initial selection process selected applicants will be invited to an Assessment Day interview at one of our partner schools. From this process we will see whether the trainee has the passion and drive to potentially be an outstanding teacher.

The Assessment Day has a number of parts:

  • Welcome and introduction to the course.
  • An Ice Break Activity - we would like you to come prepared to deliver a 10 - 15 minute ‘ice breaker’ activity of your choosing to a small mixed ability specified Year Group.
  • A 2-3 minute presentation on any issue facing teachers today which will be observed by the other candidates and followed by a group discussion that will be observed by the interview panel.
  • Interview – you may be invited to stay for a formal interview with the panel, which will include staff representatives from the Optimus Alliance partnership schools. During the interview you will be asked about your reasons for wanting to be a teacher and to comment on your recent school experience. During the day you will have the opportunity to ask questions about the programme and talk to members of staff.

How school placements work

Timings: 16.5% lectures, seminars or in school training; 67% placement; 16.5% independent study.

Your first placement (Phase A1) in the MAIN school will be where you begin to teach and build your confidence.

The second placement (Phase B) will offer you a change of context and an opportunity to experience another school’s systems and practices. Here you will be able to work with new classes and colleagues and develop your ability to adapt to a different environment.

In the third and final placement (Phase A2) you will usually return to your MAIN school for the consolidation phase of the training.

Throughout your training you will receive the highest level of support from experienced mentors who are committed to helping you develop the skills to be an outstanding teacher.

From the first training day you will work very closely with your Subject Mentor. They will work intensively with you within your curriculum area to build your skills and confidence in teaching. You will observe and assist in lessons, learning the fundamentals through co-planning and team-teaching as you gradually take on more responsibility and autonomy in the classroom.

Your Subject Mentor will offer you verbal and written feedback on your teaching and review your progress in a weekly tutorial.

You will work in partnership with your mentor reflecting on your progress and setting targets for further development.


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 £15,500

Specialist Costs All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 each year for books and printing.

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

The course is Non-Salaried only.



Applicants must possess a 2:2 UK undergraduate honours degree (or international equivalent) and GCSE Grade C/4 or above in English Language, Mathematics and Science.

Applicants can apply with GCSE results pending and we may also be able to offer MMU Science equivalency test to those applicants who do not have GCSE Science, however, this will be at the discretion of the Admissions Tutor after interview.

Successful candidates will demonstrate a good understanding of teaching and learning within a primary school setting. (3 weeks)

Professional skills tests in Numeracy and Literacy.

Personal qualities

The personal qualities we are looking for include:

  • commitment to a career in teaching
  • effective communication skills, including use of written and spoken English
  • use of initiative
  • ability to relate to and engage with young people
  • displays a range of personal characteristics including flexibility, communication, independence and resilience
  • ability to work effectively in a group
  • A friendly and approachable nature
  • High levels of personal organisation and time management
  • A passion for teaching and a desire to continue learning
  • A positive and cheerful outlook
  • A creative and innovative approach
  • The ability to reflect on and improve practice

Other requirements

If you are due to graduate or have graduated within the last three years your principal referee must be a University lecturer.

A Disclosure and Barring Service Check and satisfactory health check are also required.

About the training provider

Lacey Green Primary Academy (An Outstanding Academy) is the lead school in the Optimus Alliance and is situated in Wilmslow.

To support the development of our trainees we will provide experience training within Schools and Academies from across our Alliance.

As part of the training you:

  • Are supported by outstanding teachers, have a school-based mentor and an academic tutor from the university who will be an expert specialist in the field. All of these will be dedicated to your development towards becoming a high quality reflective practitioner.

  • Gain a PGCE which includes qualified teacher status and can be used as the first third of a master’s degree if you wish to continue with this accredited professional development in the early part of your career.

  • Benefit from high quality sessions with other trainees across The Optimus Alliance to develop your knowledge and application of effective strategies that underpin learning and achievement in the classroom.

  • We will utilise outstanding current teachers and school leaders to lead taught sessions, ensuring you learn from those who working within our schools.We also buy in external providers for English, Maths, IT and PE training.

  • Benefit from high quality sessions with other PGCE students at the university, where research-informed practice and theoretical underpinning of classroom practice will be shared and critiqued.

Alliance Website:

About the accredited body

Manchester Metropolitan University are part of the UK’s most popular student city. They are taking a leading role in shaping the future. They are a great, modern university, in a great global city, who have a driving ambition to discover and disseminate knowledge, to make higher education accessible and beneficial to all those with the passion and ability to succeed.

The campus is designed around your student experience – based in the heart of the city, you’ll never be bored.

Whatever you’re into – from sports and shopping to culture and clubbing – Manchester has it covered.

Student Life

Training with disabilities and other needs

The Optimus Alliance is committed to offering the same level of access to training regardless of disability.

Where appropriate all training venues will be accessible to all.

Training materials can be adapted to meet individual needs.

All schools in the alliance will make reasonable adjustments under the DDA to enable disabled students to carry out their training effectively.

Contact details

Barlow Road


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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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