Aspire Academy Trust Primary (age 3-7) (D561)

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

Accredited body
Cornwall School Centred Initial Teacher Training. (Cornwall 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
3 to 7
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

We work in close partnership with Cornwall SCITT as our accredited course provider. This means that everything on offer directly from Cornwall SCITT’s own courses are also part of our offer, plus we offer all the benefits below.

  • Train in Reception and Key Stage 1 - but qualify to teach across primary
  • Intensive, hands-on experience in Aspire schools, with excellent support from skilled colleagues
  • Achieve Qualified Teacher Status with a PGCE, validated by Bath Spa University.
  • 1-year, full-time course
  • Be part of the Aspire cohort of trainees, as well as part of the wider Cornwall SCITT cohort of trainees
  • A long-term commitment to building your future career in Aspire

Course Structure

  • Around 75% of course time is spent in the classroom gaining practical experience and learning skills in a supportive environment.
  • The remaining course time is spent with expert colleagues at Cornwall SCITT at their training centre at Heartlands, Pool.
  • Time is arranged in full-week blocks, either with whole weeks in school or with Cornwall SCITT, allowing trainees to be fully immersed in school or their own development time.

Support Available

  • Expert mentors and colleagues to learn from
  • Weekly protected entitlement to 2-hour mentoring time with the class teacher
  • Shared Planning, Preparation and Assessment time with the class teacher to develop skills
  • Carefully chosen placements to match trainees and their placement schools together
  • Mentoring support from Cornwall SCITT’s tutors, along with pastoral support
  • Support meetings with the Aspire cohort of trainees, as well as support from Aspire colleagues
  • Personal-issue laptop for the duration of the course, giving access to a wealth of resources, shared networks and tools to communicate with colleagues across the trust
  • Where vacancies and circumstances allow, we seek to find Early Career Teacher (ECT) roles for trainees on successful completion of the course.

Training in a strong multi-academy trust creates broader opportunities for initial teacher training – with a much wider group of colleagues to learn from, a supportive and nurturing environment to learn in, and of course the chance to work with our wonderful children!

We believe our initial teacher training programme is the best way to grow our own teachers – we invest our time and energy in you to become the best teacher you can be. Training with us means you become part of the Aspire Family.

School placements

Aspire Academy Trust has over 30 schools of varying sizes across Cornwall and we are continuing to grow. Our schools are friendly, inviting places to be and each year we extend a warm welcome to our trainees.

  • All school placements are in our Aspire academies - we have a wide range of schools across Cornwall.
  • We aim to have trainees travel no more than 30 minutes to their placement school where possible - we know how important time and the cost of travel is, so we try to keep this to a minimum for you
  • We carefully consider getting the right match between a trainee and their placement school
  • Placements are arranged as follows: Autumn - Year 1 class, Spring - Year 2 class, Summer - Reception class
  • Ideally, Autumn and Summer placements are in the same school, to give you continuity and a sense of familiarity when you return in the Summer

We do consider whether our trainees have a prior connection to a school, such as through previous employment, voluntary roles or through family attending or working in the setting. We will usually look to place you in a setting with no prior connections to ensure that you have a fresh and new beginning, which gives the best possible foundation for training.

There is always lots of support in place - you will have excellent guidance from your class teacher (also called a school-based trainer), plus the Head of School and wider colleagues in the placement school.

We actively encourage our trainees to stay in touch and support each other too during placements, which is helped by access to our Trust IT networks and Teams. As a cohort of trainees, we meet with you all regularly throughout your placements to find out how you are getting on and so you can share your experiences and learning with each other.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree at class 2:2 or above, or equivalent.

Grade 4 (C) or above in English, maths and science, or equivalent qualification.

We will not consider candidates with pending GCSEs.

We’ll consider candidates who need to take a GCSE equivalency test in English, maths or science.

Equivalency tests can be arranged through our partners, Cornwall SCITT, who will be able to supply up to date details of charges and requirements.

It is preferable that tests are at least booked at the point of application - any offers made will be on condition of passing these within a reasonable time-frame - please make this clear on your application if applicable.

Personal qualities

We are looking for trainees who have the potential to be fantastic teachers, who are passionate about teaching, learning, collaboration and giving children the best education experience. We are looking for creativity, enthusiasm and energy to spark children’s interest to achieve their full potential.

We’re seeking trainees who are flexible, adaptable and willing to respond to mentoring feedback to develop practice and rise to the challenge. We see a teaching career as a lifelong learning opportunity.

We’d love to hear about your experience with children and how you can be resourceful and build relationships with others (adults and children).

Other requirements

All trainees will be required to undertake an enhanced DBS.

We strongly recommend that you have undertaken employment or relevant work experience to demonstrate your skills, knowledge and practice, sharing this with us in your application and interview.

We’d also be really interested to hear about any other experience, qualifications or training that you think would be relevant in your application to train to teach.

Fees and financial support

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

About the training provider

Aspire Academy Trust offers a unique opportunity to train in a modern and forward-thinking Multi-Academy Trust of 29 primary schools across Cornwall. Each of our academies is unique, giving access to a broad selection of schools of different sizes, demographics and geographical areas to strengthen and enrich the training experience.

Training with us gives greater flexibility, unique opportunities and benefits including:

  • Career prospects. Training with us is the start of an Aspire career. Where vacancies are available and circumstances allow, following successful completion of the course, we will seek to place trainees as Early Career Teachers in our Aspire schools, taking away the stress of applying for jobs and interviews whilst training.

  • A personal-issue laptop for the duration of training to connect and be fully integrated into the Aspire networks and our online community of resources.

  • Dedicated mentor time with excellent class teachers to develop practice.

  • Our class teachers working with trainees also have access to mentoring themselves to help them give complete support to trainees.

  • All placements are in Aspire schools, carefully chosen to give trainees the best experiences.

  • Support from a wide range of expert practitioners and teachers across a range of areas.

Trainees will have high-quality training, development and support from Aspire Academy Trust, right from day one. Our aim is to produce outstanding system leaders of the future; with multiple career opportunities and specialisms available within our Trust, we recognise talent for the future.

Interview process

Our interviews are as much a chance for you to find out about us, as for us to find out about you and your potential. Interviews may include some of the following:

  • Applicants may be asked to plan and prepare a short activity for a small group of children prior to interview, which they will then be observed delivering as part of the interview activities.

  • A written task where the standard of English and handwriting are assessed.

  • A formal interview where we will look to see what motivates you to pursue a teaching career and why this is your chosen career.

Application Tips

  • It is really important that application forms are completed correctly and in full.
  • If you completed academic (university level) study within the last 5 years, one of your referees must be an academic tutor.
  • Include all roles in your work history, ensuring there are no gaps - even if roles or voluntary positions held were not school-related.
  • Make sure your references match your work history - and use professional email addresses for these, not personal (i.e. Gmail or Hotmail) for these

Where possible, if an applicant is applying to Aspire Academy Trust as well as directly to Cornwall SCITT, we will try to combine interviews for you.

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

Aspire Academy Trust are a fully inclusive organisation, as are our carefully selected partners, Cornwall SCITT.

Wellbeing and inclusion are high on the Aspire agenda, with all our academies fully committed to supporting those with disabilities or other needs, making appropriate reasonable adjustments. We take great pride in matching trainees with placements, so trainees can be fully supported. Our trainees also complete a ‘fitness to teach’ check in advance of starting the course.

Trainees with additional learning needs will have access to individual support from an academic tutor. Those with physical needs, such as hearing or visual impairments, will be supported to ensure full access to the course, with support for classroom strategies as needed.

All trainees have mentor support. Ensuring development, mental health and wellbeing are of equally high importance throughout the course is fundamental to our approach. We want to get the best from our trainees, by giving them the best support we can.

Contact this training provider

01726 438613
Aspire Academy Trust
Unit 20
St Austell Business Park, StAustell,
PL25 4FD

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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