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Whitefield Alliance Primary (3BM6)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
University of East London
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
7 to 14
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
13 October 2020
Date course starts
September 2021


About the course

This PRIMARY (SEN) UNSALARIED School Direct training programme is being offered at Whitefield Academy Trust ( and the university of East London (UEL).

Entry requirements: GCSE Maths/English/Science of grade C or above, and a degree of 2:2 or above.

All successful candidates are recommended to undertake some school experience prior to the start of the course. The experience of working with children in an educational setting will give you a clearer insight into the learning environment, new teaching methods, and the chance to observe the teaching skills of experienced practitioners.

What we are looking for: Experience of working with SEN pupils Interest in, and commitment to, education and young people. Enthusiastic about working with SEN children, and possess an ability to relate to them. On the training programme, you will be supported to develop good working relationships with teachers and their pupils.

Communication skills are very important to a teacher’s role and your skills can grow and develop through teaching and your school experience. Throughout the course, you will have the chance to take part in discussions, and read/respond to written materials. We provide training that will help you develop a wide range of interpersonal, communication and writing skills to meet your needs and professional demands.

Becoming a teacher is very much about being a team member, and this will be reflected over the tenure of your programme. You will need to work effectively on joint projects, work as a member of the team and accept leadership roles. It may be beneficial to have a keen interest or hobby as you could bring this to the school as an extra-curricular activity.

How we select our trainees We require two references, of which one will be academic. For applicants who finished their studies more than five years ago, we realise that this may not be the most appropriate. In such cases, employers or teachers from the school(s) you visited whilst gaining your school experience can be used to provide a reference; they would be able to comment on your suitability for the teaching profession.

School placements

Unsalaried / Training is open to high quality graduates. You will be based at the University of East London (UEL) and the course will run for one year. You will also spend plenty of time in your placement schools – a minimum of 24 weeks. This will help you develop your practical teaching skills and ability to manage and plan classes effectively. Our course will lead to qualified teacher status (QTS) and PGCE. You could be eligible for a tax free bursary, depending on the degree class that you hold.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

Check your eligibility: In order to apply for a place on School Direct, you must have:

  • A UK undergraduate degree (or a recognised equivalent qualification) of minimum 2:2
  • A GCSE (or equivalent) Grade C or above in Maths, English and Science

Personal qualities

  • Interest in SEN, and commitment to education and young people
  • Enthusiastic about working with SEN children, and possess an ability to relate to them.
  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills and aptitude for learning
  • Ability to work effectively on joint projects, work as a member of the team and accept leadership roles. It may be beneficial to have a keen interest or hobby as you could bring this to the school as an extra-curricular activity.

Other requirements

DBS FOR PRIMARY It is the duty of all schools to protect vulnerable children and adults. If you are offered a place on the programme, the school will apply for a DBS check for you, as it is a vital entry requirement for this training programme. The form 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 the school to make an assessment of your suitability for access to these vulnerable groups. Please visit:

Fees and financial support

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

The amount providers charge varies – for UK and EU students, it can be up to £9,250 per year for a full-time programme starting in 2018. It’s a big investment, but there’s often funding available to help you. UCAS does not arrange student finance, but can give you information and advice about funding and support to help point you in the right direction.

  • Bursaries – tax-free bursaries are available for training to teach a range of subjects. The level of funding and eligibility will vary depending on the subject you choose to teach, and your degree classification. For more information, visit Get Into Teaching.
  • Tuition fee and maintenance loans – if you’re not eligible to receive a bursary or scholarship, you can still apply for a student loan to cover your training programme fees and living costs. Find out more from Student Finance England.
  • Extra student funding – if you have dependents, you could access further funding to support your teacher training, such as Parents’ Learning Allowances, Childcare Grants, or Child Tax Credits. The student finance calculator from Student Finance England allows you to estimate the level of funding that may be available.
  • Disabled students and care leavers – universities and colleges have different ways of supporting you in higher education. Check if you are entitled to additional support and funding.

About the training provider

PRIMARY MAINSTREAM WITH SEN For a special child, you need a special person. If you are interested in the challenge of teaching pupils with special needs, we offer you the chance of learning to teach in a special school. Pupils have complex needs, autism, visual impairment or global delay and are from 5-11 years. Placements are in both Mainstream and SEN schools. A PGCE add on is available. SCHOOL DIRECT SALARIED ROUTE leading to Qualified Teacher Status validated by the University of East London. The Trainee is based in one of the special schools within our Alliance in Waltham Forest, Havering, Haringey or Hillingdon. An experienced member of staff with current or recent classroom experience will encourage you to reflect on your practice and work with you to develop your progress. We actively encourage further study at Postgraduate and Masters Levels. The NON_SALARIED TUITION FEE ROUTE is based at a school and includes a placement in a contrasting school. Trainees attend lectures, tutorials and seminars throughout the year . After achieving QTS, many Trainees go on to work in one of their placement schools in their NQT year. SECONDARY MAINSTREAM: various subjects We have places for the sciences, maths, history and English based in a Mainstream secondary in Highams Park and a SEN school in Hillingdon. Personal support is provided towards achieving QTS. A PGCE add on is available.

About the accredited body

We have been in partnership with UEL since 2013. UEL offer High levels of support - Personalised professional support for every trainee, “ensuring that they develop good practice as a result” (Ofsted, 2012)

  • Continuing support through your NQT year and beyond – Once you’re qualified, we’ll keep in touch, invite you to sessions to develop your practice, and provide support to move you forward in your career.
  • * Diverse learning - You’ll be become part of a richly diverse group of trainee teachers, with “an unwavering commitment to raising standards and aspirations in the communities in which they work” (Ofsted, 2012)

Interview process

We interview all shortlisted candidates prior to making an offer to train with us. If invited to interview, you will be expected to be familiar with key issues and developments in schools.

Interviews may include any of the following:

  • Small group or class teaching
  • Meeting pupils and staff
  • Tour of school
  • Introduction to the training programme
  • Group discussion of general issues in education/what it means to be a teacher
  • Presentations by applicants
  • Individual interviews.

You will be judged on your ability to communicate clearly and on your engagement with the audience.

You will participate in a written task. All teachers need to be able to write English clearly without errors of spelling, grammar or punctuation because it is part of their job to teach pupils to do this. This task with help identify any difficulties you may have to address before joining the programme. The individual interview will explore subject specific issues as well as your reasons for teaching. It will explore your attitudes to young people and your understanding of what teaching entails. You will be judged against the criteria listed below:

  • Appropriateness of subject qualifications and relevance to subject teaching
  • Capacity to extend subject knowledge
  • Awareness of the role/responsibilities of a teacher
  • Teaching experience
  • Resilience
  • Ability to communicate effectively
  • Enthusiasm for, and commitment to teaching
  • Awareness of personal strengths/weaknesses

Training with disabilities and other needs

The Whitefield Teaching Alliance consists of a group of special needs schools, as well as Mainstream, so we have complete understanding of any extra educational and non-educational issues that may affect your training and working. We provide two personal mentors for each trainee, one from the school and one from the university. In addition, the Research and Development Centre provides further personal support where necessary. We currently have Teacher Trainees with additional needs whom we are supporting. We put extra support in where necessary. All schools have programmes to ensure well-being and good mental health. In addition to this, the University of East London has a large student support department. Their Disability and Dyslexia Service provides support and advice for disabled students and those with specific learning difficulties including dyslexia. The University states, “If you have a disability, long-term medical condition or a specific learning difficulty, we can help to identify and address any barriers to your education so that you can access your course and reach your potential.” The progress and inclusion of all trainees is very important to us. We provide equal opportunity for all.

Contact this training provider

Whitefield Academy Trust
Macdonald Road
E17 4AZ

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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