Washington and Chester le Street Teacher Training Alliance Primary (U815)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
University of Sunderland
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
12 October 2021
Date course starts
September 2022


About the course

Our PGCE course with QTS, is focussed on the Foundation and Primary age range (age 3 to 11). Qualified teacher status is awarded based on 3 periods of in-school assessment across the academic year, alongside University based assignments and evidencing of teaching standards.

Our trainees will be based in their ‘home’ school from the first day of the school year, being allocated their own class and teacher mentor for support. Over time, responsibility and percentage of teaching is gradually passed over to the trainee as they find their feet via observation, group teaching and in school learning tasks. Towards the end of term, trainees enter their first assessed period, where teaching delivery and preparation begin to be graded, in order to offer prompts for improvement.

During the Spring term (after Christmas) trainees move to an exchange school (within our local group of schools), fulfilling government training requirements to experience two school settings and a different age range of children. A second assessed period then monitors the continual improvement of our trainees as they complete this middle placement.

As they approach the end of their year-long school placement, our trainees return to their ‘home’ school, to complete a final assessed period, with partnership and university mentors using this period to measure the consistent standard which trainees can reach against the teacher standards document.

Alongside in school training and assessment requirement, trainees access weekly Friday University lectures and workshops, supporting them to increase their theoretical knowledge of education and to integrate this in to their classroom practice, via a series of assignments and tasks.

School placements

Term 1 (Sep to Dec) - placement in your home school. Get to know the profession, school, staff, children in your class etc by being there consistently and living the daily life of a primary school teacher. Experience lessons, planning sessions, curriculum development but also the unseen work of a teacher - registers, duties, visits and visitors, parent communication, staff meetings, after school clubs etc. As you begin to feel at home, your involvement in teaching and planning will gradually increase at a pace comfortable for yourself and the class mentor. The placement will finish with a 5 week assessed period where your teaching will start to be graded in order to highlight your areas of strength and areas for focus.

Term 2 (Jan to Mar) - exchange placement in one of our partner schools. Develop your abilities by experiencing a new school setting and age group of children. See different routines and experience different teaching styles, safe in the knowledge that the school will still be local and the paper work and expectations are standardised across our partnership. Complete the placement with another 5 week assessed period to monitor how your teaching is progressing and the impact of the new environment on your style and expectations.

Term 3 (Apr to June) - return to your home school to complete your final assessed period, where mentors will ascertain the consistent level of your planning and delivery in preparation for your university based grading.

Throughout the year, your Friday University release day will give you access to the theory and practical guidance you need in order to complete the tasks and assignments required to work alongside your school based placement.

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’ll consider candidates with pending GCSEs.

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

Candidates would need to arrange and fund any equivalence tests themselves, ensuring they are of an acceptable level with the University of Sunderland. These must be complete before the commencement of the training year.

Personal qualities

There are many different qualities which make an outstanding teacher. We believe that passion and enthusiasm for the role and someone who thrives on helping children to be the best they can be are the most important.

The role of a teacher is one which will require a huge amount of team work and resilience. As a trainee, being open to help and accepting constructive criticism will certainly be of benefit.

Other requirements

Safeguarding of all pupils is our utmost priority and, as such, you will be required to undertake a DBS enhanced certificate and check against the working with children barred list.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for UK students in 2022 to 2023 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.

Financial support from the training provider

We do not offer or arrange student finance, but we can give you information and advice about funding and support to help point you in the right direction.

Scholarships – for certain in-demand subjects, you can apply for a tax-free scholarship to support your training. To be eligible, you will typically need a 2:1 degree or above in the subject you want to teach (or a closely related subject). Visit Get Into Teaching to find out more.

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

Our partnership has been established to offer local people the chance to train to teach in local schools, who offer warm, friendly mentorship in the hope of creating an outstanding workforce for the future of our children.

All of the schools in our partnership are in the close vicinity of the Washington and Chester le Street area. The short distance between our schools means that support between trainees and our partnership of schools is always close at hand. Trainees truly become part of our training ‘family’ and benefit from the strong, local relationships this creates.

Training ‘School Direct’ is the most hands-on, practical way to gain qualified teacher status, ensuring that you become an integral part of your home school and see the life of a school from day 1 in September for the full academic year - perfect preparation for the year after when you go it alone as a qualified teacher.

Future employment of trainees in their home school, partner schools or within the local area by word of mouth is the focus of our training.

About the accredited body

By joining with the University of Sunderland Education Department, we offer our trainees access to high quality, theoretical training via a one day a week release and ongoing assessment through online evidencing, with an education department recently recognised for its quality by the Guardian University guide.

A clear routine, in which trainees are based in their school from Monday to Thursday and released to the University each Friday, benefits pupils, staff and trainees in establishing clear working patterns.

Interview process

We want to ensure that we select trainees capable of reaching the highest standards and who go on to be the outstanding teachers of tomorrow. This process begins at interview, where we want to ensure trainees have the strong basic skills needed to both access the University elements of the course and also to deliver the high level of basic skills which the current National Curriculum requires pupils to achieve.

When we receive an application, which can come at any time across the academic year from October, we will make contact with you in person. If qualifications are at the correct level, you will then be invited for interview. An agreed date will be arranged and a letter outlining some simple interview tasks will be sent, allowing you to be fully prepared.

The interview sessions will usually last 1 - 2 hours and may be for one individual or a group of applicants depending on how many applications have been received at that time.

During the interview, the pre-described tasks are designed to assess applicants written and verbal communication skills, with both adults and children. We are interested to know why you hope to enter the profession and the journey you have taken to get there. We also want to see how well you relate to primary age children.

The important message about our interview process is that we are not looking for an experienced teacher; we are looking for someone with the potential to be an outstanding one.

International students

We cannot sponsor visas. You’ll need to get the right visa or status to study in the UK.

You do not need a visa if you already have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or if you’re an Irish citizen.

Candidates with qualifications from non-UK institutions may need to provide evidence of comparability by applying for a UK ENIC statement.

Training with disabilities and other needs

Our partnership of schools are supportive of equality and diversity, being keen to welcome any candidates who are committed to the profession and keen to learn from our experienced mentors.

The close proximity of our schools, and the university, ensures that trainees are easily supported and never presented with undue travel or access issues no matter which establishment they need to attend.

Contact this training provider

Vigo Lane
Tyne and Wear
NE38 9EZ

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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