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If you’re applying for the first time since applications opened in October 2020, apply no later than 6pm on 7 September 2021.

If your application did not lead to a place and you’re applying again, apply no later than 6pm on 21 September 2021.

Think North East School Direct Partnership English (J466)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
Durham University
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
11 to 16
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
20 October 2020
Date course starts
September 2021


About the course

Our School Direct programme is accredited by Durham University.

The duration of the course is one academic year and comprises two placements. You will complete one longer placement at your host school, with a second, shorter placement in another of our partner schools, in the middle.

During each school placement you will be supported by a Subject Mentor who will support you in developing your practice day to day. You will undertake a range of lesson observations, observing excellent classroom practice, and will further-develop the skills needed to plan and deliver effective learning sequences for students in your subject area.

Alongside your in-school training you will benefit from approximately 60 days of training delivered by Durham University, allowing you to take advantage of the university’s academic and research expertise. This training is organised as three modules, providing an opportunity to explore issues relating to teaching and learning through lectures and seminar groups:

  • Research-Related Professional Practice - These sessions explore classroom-based issues and examine techniques for making each subject accessible and stimulating in a classroom environment. This module is further-supported by the university’s innovative Professional Opportunities for Development (POD) programme, which enables trainees to participate in training led and delivered by Sedgefield Community College, working in partnership with other local secondary schools. This provides an invaluable opportunity for trainees to see first-hand how educational theory is applied in practice in a range of real-school contexts.
  • Teaching and Learning in the Curriculum - This module draws on the international research expertise within Durham University’s School of Education.
  • Self-directed Study - This module is orientated towards your subject specialism and draws on your experience from school visits and small-scale action research.

Training and support provided by our partner schools and Durham University offer subject-specific training in the following areas:

  • The National Curriculum and literacy strategy
  • Planning lessons and schemes of work
  • Approaches to reading
  • Writing and responding
  • Assessment in English
  • Teaching Poetry
  • Speaking and listening
  • Classroom management and English teaching
  • English at key stage 4
  • Drama in the English Curriculum
  • Shakespeare in Schools
  • English post-16
  • Media Studies

Successful completion of the programme leads to the award of qualified teacher status (QTS) and Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), with 90 credits.

Applications close 30th June 2021.

School placements

Think North East is a teacher training partnership comprising five schools located across County Durham, Sunderland and Newcastle upon Tyne. The partnership is led by Sedgefield Community College, working alongside Academy 360, Durham Johnston Comprehensive School, Excelsior Academy and Wellfield School. Where other training providers may see you placed in schools located far and wide, we are able to work with you to help ensure you are placed in schools that allow you to carry out your other commitments when training.

Across the training year you will complete placements in two schools from within the Think North East Partnership. Your main placement will be in your host school, with a shorter placement at a second school in the middle of this.

At each placement school you will be supported by a Professional Tutor who oversees all aspects of Initial Teacher Training at the school, as well as Subject Mentor who will support you in developing your teaching practice on a day to day basis.


You can select one of the following locations when you apply.

List of locations and vacancies
Location Vacancies
Durham Johnston Comprehensive School
Crossgate Moor, Durham, County Durham, DH1 4SU
Sedgefield Community College
Hawthorn Road, Sedgefield, County Durham, TS21 3DD

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

You must have

  • an undergraduate degree (2.2 or higher) in your chosen subject area, 50% of which should be relevant to the subject you will teach;
  • GCSE Grade 4 (or C) or above (or suitable equivalent) in both English Language and Mathematics.

If your undergraduate degree is not in the subject you are looking to teach, but you do hold an A-Level in your chosen subject, you may be able to apply for the course subject to successful completion of a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course.

Other requirements

Offers of a training place with Think North East are conditional on completion of a satisfactory DBS check.

A five day Primary School Experience must also be completed before QTS is awarded. This may be done before training commences, or during the training year.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for 2021 to 2022 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £20,500

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please note that fees are subject to final confirmation from Durham University.

About the training provider

Think North East is a teacher training partnership comprising five schools located across County Durham, Sunderland and Newcastle upon Tyne. The partnership is led by Sedgefield Community College, working alongside Academy 360, Durham Johnston, Excelsior Academy, and Wellfield School.

As our name suggests, we are a partnership with a shared commitment to giving careful thought to all aspects of our initial teacher training programme. We strive to develop teachers who are able to think critically and creatively about their practice in order to make rapid progress in their role as a teacher.

About the accredited body

Our courses are all accredited by Durham University. The university is ranked within the top 100 universities in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2020, with a record 18 subjects also featuring in the World Top 100.

Durham University is also ranked amongst the world Top 100 universities in the Times Higher Education (THE) World Reputation Rankings 2019. Nationally, it is consistently ranked in the top ten UK universities and is ranked fifth in the Guardian University Guide 2020.

Such rankings demonstrate the university’s excellence in teaching and research, combined with a positive student experience.

Interview process

Successful applicants will be invited to attend a selection day, which are held at Think North East partner schools throughout the year as long as places remain available.

You will be asked in advance to prepare a short presentation entitled ‘the area of my subject specialism which most interests and excites me’ and will present this on the day to members of the interview panel and a selected group of students.

You will be asked to complete a short written task on the day and a formal interview will take place, providing an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge, understanding and desire of becoming a secondary school teacher.

All interviews will be held on an individual basis.

Any offers made by Think North East are conditional on:

  • a DBS check and satisfactory checks to cover any time spent overseas;
  • provision of original documentary evidence of degree and GCSE qualifications (or equivalents).

In some cases, it may be necessary for you to complete a subject knowledge enhancement course (SKE) before your training begins, this can be discussed at interview.

Training with disabilities and other needs

We are able to provide full access and support for candidates with disabilities and other needs. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your specific needs and how we could support you.

Contact this training provider

01740 617 777
Sedgefield Community College
Hawthorn Road
County Durham
TS21 3DD

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).

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