TCAT Train to Teach Primary (Y403)

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

Accredited body
Bright Futures SCITT
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

School Direct is an innovative Initial Teacher Training programme offering an outstanding, in school, experience with the highest and most rigorous expectations and intended outcomes.

The TCAT Train to Teach Primary comprises of eleven primary partner schools with a proven, long-standing, track record in training the outstanding teachers of tomorrow. Our commitment is to create confident, creative and innovative classroom practitioners who share and embrace our aspiration to excellence.

Working closely with Bright Futures in a supportive and complementary relationship, we will offer all our successful applicants a school-based programme, in a range of good and outstanding schools and contexts, with a clear focus upon enhanced employability and leadership capacity. The Train to Teach School Direct partnership programme will lead to the award of QTS status and a PGCE including credits towards Masters-level accreditation.

Throughout the school year there are three school-based placements: Key Stage 1, lower Key Stage 2 and upper Key Stage 2. The school-based programme is assessed at three review points, ensuring that there is support at each stage of the learning journey.

We are looking to recruit outstanding graduates with a passion for working with young people with the commitment to make a difference each and every day.

School placements

During the teaching year there are three school-based placements: Key Stage 1 and lower and upper Key Stage 2. These placements are planned for the year during a meeting with all school leaders within the trust.

All of the Train to Teach Alliance schools are within Warrington, ensuring travel is kept to a minimum. The wishes of the trainees are also considered during the planning of these placements, so that the very best match can be made with the trainees and the eleven partner schools.

Within each placement, there will be a professional and a class-based mentor who will meet with you weekly to discuss your progress and support you in your areas for development.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree at class 2:1 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.

Personal qualities

We are looking to recruit outstanding graduates with a passion for working with young people with the commitment to make a difference each and every day.

We are keen to hear about your experience in education, alongside other personal interests that could be brought into the classroom environment to benefit the children.

Other requirements

A minimum of a two-week work experience placement/voluntary work within a primary school.

DBS and Health checks will be required prior to the course commencing.

Fees and financial support

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

About the training provider

There’s nowhere better to start your career in teaching than with The Challenge Academy Trust (TCAT). As well as learning from experienced practitioners, we can also guarantee you will spend more time teaching and less time commuting as all placements are within a five-mile radius in Warrington.

Our course leads to QTS and a PGCE qualification with the University of Manchester. You will gain PSHE experience that can lead to formal accreditation.

Your classroom practice is supported by a subject based Curriculum Mentor who will support and mentor you throughout your placement. They will model exemplary practice in planning, teaching and assessment. You will also be guided by a Professional Mentor in each placement school. Your health and wellbeing are a priority, and you are supported by our enthusiastic and dedicated staff to ensure you fulfil your potential.

You will attend Subject Knowledge days throughout the year to enhance and further your subject knowledge via the most recent research and reading, as well as having the opportunity to network with teachers in other schools.

This is a bespoke course and we will encourage you to enrich and expand your experience beyond your two placement schools and experience what the Trust can offer. Our inclusive schools enable you to work with students from a diverse range of social backgrounds, from SEND to the most able.

If you join us, our team will ensure you are supported to fulfil your potential, and become the best teacher possible to inspire the future generation.

About the accredited body

We work in partnership with Bright Futures SCITT, a dynamic high-quality provider of teacher training who accredit our QTS course. Bright Futures SCITT have a proven track record of providing teacher training in the North West. Our partnership ensures you will be given access to the widest range of training resources of the highest standard to ensure you are as well prepared as possible for your career in teaching.

Interview process

Forms are carefully screened to select applicants for interview. Primary School Leaders within the trust will consider how much recent experience candidates have had in primary schools, academic qualifications including predictions, personal qualities and suitability for teaching, and additional interests or experiences.

Selected applicants will be invited to attend an interview. Offers of places cannot be made until an interview has taken place.

Applicants invited to attend an interview will complete a number of activities on the day. Typically, applicants will be asked to carry out a teaching activity with a small group of children, complete a series of school-based tasks and have an individual interview with head teachers or leaders from various schools within the alliance.

Please note that you will certainly be asked about your experience of working with children and your knowledge of how primary schools operate. The interviewers will be trying to find out about your commitment to teaching and whether you have properly considered what a career as a primary teacher will involve. You may bring along any evidence of your work with children in school, such as portfolios of work or letters from head teachers, to discuss with your interviewers. You will also be given the opportunity to ask questions about the programme. All relevant information regarding the day is forwarded in good time to those applicants invited for interview.

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, you may need to apply for a visa. The main visa for fee-paying courses (those that you have to pay for) is the Student visa.

To apply for a Student visa, you’ll need to be sponsored by your training provider.

Sponsorship is not available for this course.

If you need a visa, filter your course search to find courses with visa sponsorship.

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

TCAT is an inclusive Trust, for both pupils and members of staff, and everyone is treated as an individual. Our Secondary schools vary in size: we have small, medium and large schools within the Trust including a large split site school. Every school is accessible and has additional modifications to support the members of staff and pupils working within. We would encourage anyone with disabilities or other needs to come and visit our schools to experience our environments and we endeavour to accommodate every applicant that applied to train with us where possible.

Staff within the trust and alliance of schools would support students in identifying the most appropriate solutions to potential barriers to learning. This includes students with disabilities, specific learning differences, long standing health conditions, mental health conditions, Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome and sensory impairments.

Contact this training provider

01925 263919
TCAT Professional Development Centre
Broomfields Road, Appleton

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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