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Courses starting in the 2021 to 2022 academic year are closed.

You can start or continue your application to get it ready for courses starting in the 2022 to 2023 academic year.

You’ll be able to find courses from 9am on 5 October 2021 and submit your application from 9am on 12 October 2021.

Pioneer Learning Trust Primary (3-11) (AE28)

QTS full time with salary

Accredited body
The Shire Foundation
Financial support

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.

Age range
3 to 11
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
13 October 2020
Date course starts
September 2021


About the course

You will be employed as an unqualified teacher for the duration of the training year and as such will complete most of your training within your employing school, following a personalised training plan. Placement schools will be in the West Area Partnership in Luton, including: Chantry Primary Academy, Southfield Primary, Whitefield Primary Academy, Pirton Hill Primary, Ferrars Junior, Ferrars Academy, Downside Primary and Beechwood Primary.

In the autumn and spring terms you will have responsibility for a maximum of 70% whole class teaching each week, with this rising to a maximum of 80% in the latter half of the summer term. In the second half of the spring term, you will complete a 6-week teaching practice in a second school, within a consecutive age phase.

Training time will be allocated each week. This will include attending 23 days of centre-based training at The Shire Foundation training venue based at Hillborough Junior School. These sessions include a focus on curriculum studies (core subject areas and the foundation subjects), alongside professional studies (planning, assessment, behaviour management, working with pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and working with pupils with English as an additional language). Training activities will also take place within the employing school setting, including observations of good practice, discussions with other professionals, INSET training and opportunities to complete reading and research.

You will be allocated a school based tutor from your school, who will oversee your training and development over the course of the training year. They will meet with you for at least an hour on a weekly basis, as well as observing your teaching, in collaboration with other members of your school staff. At the end of the training year you will be assessed against the Teachers’ Standards through the submission of an evidence portfolio and a final assessment interview.

Shire will also nominate a Visiting Tutor who will support and monitor your progress. They will spend a day each term visiting you within your school.

Trainees following this route may also opt to complete a PGCE qualification alongside QTS. 60 credits at masters level, accredited by the University of Buckingham, will be awarded on the successful completion of 3 academic assignments. Please note that there is an additional fee for this option.

School placements

The Shire Foundation is accredited to award QTS within the 3-11 primary range and we work with nursery, primary, middle and special schools.

As there is no longer any government funding for this route, candidates are required to already have a potential employing school in place, prior to application

We endeavour to organise second school placements within the partnership. This will be within a contrasting school and a different age phase.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

Degree Applicants should have an Honours classification usually of 2:2 or above, or equivalent.

GCSE All trainees must have GCSE Grade C/4 or above in English Language, Maths and Science (or equivalent). We will consider applicants who have one of these qualifications pending, but they must all be in place by the date of enrolment of the programme. Recognised equivalency tests are accepted.

Overseas Qualifications Overseas equivalent qualifications are accepted if they have been certified through NARIC. We will not call any candidate to interview until these qualifications have been verified.

Personal qualities

Command of the English language Trainees must demonstrate an ability to communicate clearly and grammatically in spoken and written English.

Other requirements

Assessments of fundamental English and mathematics knowledge will be undertaken prior to the award of QTS. Shortfalls must be addressed by the trainee teacher.

Prior experience in school is not required. However, where candidates have been able to gain experience in schools, Shire might find references from these schools a helpful part of our R&S process.

Disclosure and Barring Service/Medical We are committed to safeguarding the welfare of children. All applicants who are offered a training place will be required to undertake a Disclosure and Barring Check and a medical check prior to the start of their employment in school.


For the duration of the training year, trainees are employed as an unqualified teacher within their employing school. The salary is at least point one on the unqualified teacher scale (or equivalent) and the full cost of this should be met by the employing school.

The tuition fee for this course is £5,000. There is no longer any government funding for this route, so the school and/or trainee is responsible for its payment.

For trainees undertaking the optional PGCE qualification, there will be an additional course fee. Please contact Shire for details.

Fees and financial support

About the training provider

The Pioneer Learning Trust is a small MAT, in Luton, currently consisting of Chantry Primary Academy, Southfield Primary School and Whitefield Primary Academy, working in close partnership with other local schools within their proximity. Chantry Primary Academy, the Lead School for our partnership with the Shire Foundation is judged good by Ofsted and has been an active member of the Luton First Teaching School Alliance for the past 6 years. Our Trust has a strong focus on continuous professional development and has worked with Initial Teacher Training organisations for many, many years.

The School Direct (Salaried) training is accredited by the Shire Foundation which is a well-established (since 1994) school-centred teacher training provider working with schools (nursery, primary and special), within a 30 mile radius of Luton.

The schools within the Trust have worked in partnership with The Shire Foundation for a large number of years and have built up an excellent reputation in teacher training in the local area. Trainees consistently rate the quality of the course and support as very high. Shire has a consistently excellent NQT employment rate (98 - 100% in recent years), with a high percentage of trainees securing a teaching job within their placement school.

During the training year you will be employed within one of the schools within the Trust, or at one of its alliance schools within the West Area Partnership of Luton.

Interview process

The interview process Interviews begin in early November and continue until places are filled.

There is a two stage interview process- both stages must be passed for a candidate to be able to undertake the School Direct (Salaried) route.

Stage 1 is currently held online. It is conducted by a team of experienced Shire staff and includes an assessed presentation which tests oral communication and delivery skills, a test of maths and of written English, grammar and spelling. During the personal interviews applicants are asked to respond to a range of set questions designed to draw on their experience, ability to articulate their thoughts, opinions and ideas about various aspects of teaching, to assess personal qualities, emotional resilience and the potential to teach. Candidates are asked similar set questions. The interviews are scored according to set criteria and candidates meeting the criteria then proceed to the second stage interview.

Stage 2 is based at the potential employing school. This involves an assessment of suitability to teach by an observation of the candidate teaching a lesson in the school. This is then followed by an interview by the Head Teacher and members of the school Senior Management Team.

The interviews are scored according to set criteria and candidates meeting the criteria will then be offered a place, which will be subject to meeting criteria such as DBS, fitness to teach checks and academic qualifications.

Training with disabilities and other needs

Training accommodation at Shire, which is based at Hillborough Junior School in Luton, and the partner schools has appropriate disability access.

Each year we work successfully with trainees with disabilities and other needs. Our personalised approach to training ensures that support and provision is tailored to each trainee’s particular needs, in order to facilitate success during all aspects of the training year.

Contact this training provider

01582 522121
The Shire Foundation, Hillborough Junior School, Hillborough Road

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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Courses are currently closed but you can still start or continue an application anyway.

You'll be able to:

  • find courses starting in the 2022 to 2023 academic year from 9am on 5 October 2021
  • submit your application from 9am on 12 October 2021