Unity Teaching School Alliance
Primary (N226)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
The University of Warwick
Financial support
Student finance if you’re eligible

A postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS) allows you to teach in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It’s also recognised internationally.

Many PGCE courses include credits that count toward a Master’s degree.

Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
8 October 2019
Date course starts
August 2020


About the course

The Unity Teaching School Alliance School Direct programme provides a structured and fully supported route to gaining Qualified Teaching Status. You will gain valuable hands on experience in the classroom, whilst completing a post-graduate academic programme at the University of Warwick.

The Unity Teaching School Alliance is based in North Solihull and consists of eight primary schools and two special schools that have an established history of working together, with the aim improve the life chances of children and families in the area.

Each successful candidate with be allocated a 'Host' school; you will spend two terms in your host school and one term at a placement school, ensuring that you gain school experience in a different setting.

Throughout the year, you will:

  • learn how effective teaching can impact a child’s educational progress;
  • developing teaching skills informed by theory and subject knowledge;
  • apply your knowledge in a classroom setting;
  • learn how to build effective relationships with both children and adults;
  • observe outstanding practitioners, including Specialist Leaders of Education, and
  • gain valuable skills in effective classroom organisation and behaviour management.

During the placement you will be closely supported by a school based Mentor who will support you on your placement and a University Tutor who will guide you through the academic requirements for the PGCE and will provide moderation of your placement.

In addition to your 'Outstanding' University based academic programme you will have the opportunity to access high quality Professional Development opportunities, through Unity Teaching School Alliance.

Interview process

Appropriately qualified candidates will be invited to interview at one of our schools.

You will be asked to prepare a teaching activity to deliver to a group of children, which will be observed by members of the interview panel and host school. You will be given information regarding this in advance, to enable you to prepare.

You will then have an interview with teaching colleagues from our schools, which will include questions related to your understanding of and commitment to teaching, your experience of working with young people to date and a reflection on your chosen teaching activity with pupils. The interview will give you the opportunity to discuss why you want to teach, what you would bring to the profession, and show us your resilience and initiative.

You will also complete short written exercise to gauge what additional support you might need, if any, to undertake professional tasks and to demonstrate your ability to read effectively and communicate clearly and accurately in standard English, at a post-graduate level.

How school placements work

You are required to teach in two schools during the course of the year. The first placement and the third placement will be in your 'host' school. In the Spring term you will spend time teaching in another school to give you experience of a different setting.

As well as training in your host school you will participate in workshops and other activities with student teachers from across our Alliance of schools.

When you are ready, you will start to take responsibility to deliver parts of lessons on your own. As the course progresses you will build your confidence and subject knowledge and give you the necessary skills to become an effective classroom practitioner. As you become more confident and competent you will take on greater responsibility until you are teaching full lessons.

Placements will be allocated subject to availability and whilst a preference for a particular school may be expressed it is not guaranteed that this will be met.


The course fees for 2020 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
EU students £9,250

Financial support

You may also be eligible for a loan while you study - note that you'll have to apply for undergraduate student finance.

Find out about financial support if you’re from outside the UK.



  • First degree from a UK Higher Education Institution at 2:2 or above, or equivalent qualification
  • A standard equivalent to a grace C in the GCSE examinations in English Language, Mathematics and Science
  • Relevant experience in the age phase you intend to teach
  • A good understanding of issues in education

Personal qualities

You will be able to demonstrate -

  • A high degree of emotional intelligence, the ability to empathise and have a sound understanding of equality and diversity.
  • Commitment, resilience and the ability to reflect in order to learn from your own experiences as well as the experiences of others.
  • A strong sense of purpose, to want the very best for all of your pupils, all of the time.
  • A good sense of humour and the willingness to be part of a team

Other requirements

Unity TSA is committed to safeguarding and ensuring the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults. The suitability of all Candidates will be assessed during the recruitment process in line with this commitment. This will include appropriate references, identity checks and an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check.

It is strongly recommended that you have had some work experience in a primary school, so that you are familiar with the context and demands of a primary school setting.

About the training provider

Unity Teaching School Alliance builds on over 20 years of partnership working between schools in the north of Solihull.

Over the last five years, a group of eight primary and two special schools have formalised their collaborative working relationship to directly impact on the delivery of improved outcomes for children.

This has included developing teaching and learning through the provision of high quality professional learning and development and training opportunities.

On achieving Teaching School Status, via the outstanding lead teaching school Castle Bromwich Infant and Nursery School, the Alliance has now expanded its offer to include high quality teacher training through the School Direct programme, in partnership with the University of Warwick.

Training with disabilities and other needs

Unity TSA is committed to being an inclusive organisation for both children and adults. Our schools have experience in support teaching staff with a wide range of needs and disabilities.

Please contact Unity TSA directly if you wish to discuss any specific needs that you may have and how you will be supported.

Contact details

0121 779 8071
Green Lane
Castle Bromwich
West Midlands
B36 0BX


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Support and advice

For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.

Get support and advice about teaching

Register with Get into Teaching, the Department for Education’s free support and advice service, for personalised guidance from teaching experts. They can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events. You can also call them free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or speak to an adviser using their online chat service, from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.

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