Orwell Education Alliance Primary (39SF)

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

Accredited body
Colchester Teacher Training Consortium
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 - full time
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

Our Primary School Direct Programme (Tuition) offers high quality training, leading to the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), including credits at Master’s level..

The course is 37 weeks long and combines practical teaching with professional training. It has been designed to give Trainee Teachers the necessary learning opportunities and support to enable them to demonstrate they have developed the knowledge, skills and behaviours to meet the Teachers’ Standards for QTS. There are built-in assessment structures which help Trainees track their progression throughout the CTTC curriculum. This curriculum is centred around 4 key values: CREATIVITY, TARGETED INTERVENTION, THINKING CRITICALLY AND COLLABORATION and ensures trainees have full access to their entitlement under the Initial Teacher Training Core Content Framework. The training consists of placements within two schools across opposite key stages, along with centre-based training sessions. There is also the opportunity to gain experience within SEND, secondary and nursery settings.

During the first half of the Autumn term the Trainee gains experience of their Host Placement Class whilst also spending time in other classes and age groups within this setting. In the second half of the Autumn Term, the Trainee will be in school for ten consecutive days when they will be expected to teach whole class lessons. After some preparation and planning time at the end of the Autumn Term, the Trainee Teacher will undertake a five week block practice in their Twin Placement School in the Spring Term, teaching 50% of the timetable. In the Summer Term the Trainee will teach 80% of the timetable during their eight-week block practice.

The Trainee Teacher will receive support and guidance from their personal Mentor, Training Manager, Lead Practitioners and the Course Director drawn from the Orwell Education Alliance and Colchester Consortium as appropriate. The Training Manager is the Trainee’s line manager and oversees them throughout the year. The personal Mentor is an experienced member of the school.

School placements

Orwell Education Alliance has strong connections with a variety of schools in communities with differing needs and we ensure that all our placements are high standard and trainees are supported as well as challenged. Trainees are supported by school mentors who are enthusiastic, committed and well-trained individuals to ensure that they are well equipped for the role. We will determine placements in discussion with the trainee to accommodate the specific aspirations and development needs and during placements there is added support from the Training Manager to ensure the goals of the placement are being met.

Trainees spend at least 120 days on school placement. Most of this is in the main placement school in the autumn and summer terms, with at least 6 weeks in the spring term in a contrasting school.

The distance to school placements will vary. These take into account the trainee’s home address, whether they have their own transport and the placement that the school is able to offer. Our policy is to endeavour to keep journey times to school to a maximum of 50 minutes each way.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree, 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

Teaching is a demanding but very satisfying career and we are interested in people who are passionate about children’s learning with a desire to open up minds to new possibilities. You will need to be willing to listen, respond to challenge, be organised and self-motivated - there is lots of support but you will need to be committed to the task throughout the training year. We have worked successfully with many trainees and, with the right mind set, we believe committed trainees can develop in to great teachers.

Other requirements

We recognise that applicants will bring with them other relevant experience such as working with people and applying their subject knowledge to a range of context.

Offers of a training place are subject to safer recruitment procedures including pre-course screening checks. Safeguarding references will be sought and all applicants will be required to undertake an Enhanced DBS check. In addition, on-line searches will be carried out and overseas police checks will be sought for anyone who has spent more than three months outside of the UK.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for UK students in 2023 to 2024 are £9,200.

About the training provider

The Orwell Education Alliance’s constituent schools have been training teachers for many years as we have always believed in the importance of using our skilled practitioners to develop the next generation of teachers. We are proud of our track record in producing consistently good and outstanding teachers who often progress rapidly to becoming excellent classroom practitioners, move into positions of leadership or added responsibility. We have an established process that takes our trainees through an induction and training programme including detailed mentor meetings, and placement in a year group team. Key to our success has been consistent high expectations backed by the expertise of our mentors who are outstanding practitioners able to challenge and coach trainees to a high standard. We *will* challenge you but with that will come close support to help you develop the depth of skill and practical experience needed to become an outstanding teacher.

We have excellent contacts with other schools, training partners and organisations that allow development tailored to your needs and ambitions. We are proud to be the Ipswich Hub for the outstanding Colchester Teacher Training Consortium who share our ideals and goals to provide an excellent ITT experience that equips our trainees with the skills and knowledge for a rewarding career in education.

A recent quote from a Training partner: “Feedback from our trainees and colleagues has been exceptional about the overall experience and the confidence they have gained from being in your school”

For further information, email orwellea@omat.org.uk or ring 01473 683932.

Interview process

We invite short-listed applicants to participate in a selection process involving the following:

  • Delivering a lesson to group of six pupils
  • English task
  • Maths task
  • Interview

All interviews are warmly welcomed to one of our partner schools where they will have the opportunity to deliver a lesson they have planned to a small group of children, the topic of which will be chosen by the candidate.

Applicants will then be asked to complete a Maths and English task, including a written letter. This gives the opportunity for applicants to demonstrate they can communicate in writing, accurately and effectively.

The applicant will then be interviewed by a panel made up of a CTTC Consortium Director and a member of the school or training team. The interview will last approximately 30 and questions will be framed around the applicant’s previous relevant experience, skills, knowledge of the curriculum and aptitude for becoming a teacher of the future.

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

We are committed to supporting trainees with disabilities and other needs, so please let us know if you would like us to make any adjustments to support you during the application, interview process and throughout your programme.

Bespoke support is provided for trainees with a variety of needs. Examples include:

  • Personal tutor for the PGCE
  • Resources to allow easier access on computer applications if required
  • Expert pastoral care

Contact this training provider

Orwell Education Alliance
Prince of Wales Drive

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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