The Learning Institute South West Primary (U093)

Postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS)

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
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

We at Westcountry Schools Trust Learning Institute are excited to offer Primary school-based teacher training routes across age 5-11 carrying the awards of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and a PGCE (60 masters credits). Our programme is designed by a teacher training provider with 20 years of experience and school-based specialists drawn from a Trust of 27 schools.

We have high aspirations for our trainees. Our high-quality, research-informed curriculum and training methods will ready trainees to become confident, capable teachers and the next generation of leaders in schools. WeST Primary Headteachers actively look to recruit from our pool of trainee teachers each year. Therefore, we ensure that our trainees leave our programme with:

  • a deep, rich knowledge and understanding of the curriculum.
  • a strong understanding effective pedagogical approaches
  • the ability to confidently design and deliver engaging sequences of lessons in all National Curriculum subjects which support pupils in knowing more, remembering more and doing more.
  • a good understanding of the needs of pupils as they develop, including SEN and EAL.

You will receive 44 days of training. These are integrated with over 150 days in placement enabling you to put theoretical knowledge into practice. This provides more school experience than your average PGCE programme. During your placements, you will be supported by an experienced School-Based Mentor, as well as a member of our visiting tutor team.

In the Autumn, after four weeks of training at our base in Morley Meadow Primary School, you will be school-based in your main placement school, returning together for training as a cohort for a day a week throughout the Autumn. This pattern is repeated in the Spring term whilst based in your second placement school. After Easter, your centre-based training comes to an end, allowing you to focus on developing your quantity of teaching back in your main placement in preparation for your first teaching post.

Our model of placements and training ensures that you can maintain links with your peers, who will provide a valuable support network as well as having regular contact with our supportive course leads to discuss any questions or queries.

As a SCITT which has trained hundreds of teachers over the past two decades, we know what candidates need in order to complete their training feeling confident and prepared for teaching in schools.

School placements

You will train across ages 5-11 (KS1/2). Over the year all trainee teachers will experience two contrasting placements in their selected age range. You will spend the Autumn and Summer term in one placement school with a second placement during the Spring term. These placements will be within our 19 trust primary schools in the Plymouth area. For trainees based in Cornwall, we work in partnership with a selection of Cornish schools to provide high quality placements in the West of the region. For trainees with a particular interest in Early Years, EYFS experiences can be arranged.

You will also experience four intensive placement and practice weeks over the course of the year. These weeks will focus on: ‘early reading’; ‘managing behaviour’; ‘modelling’, ‘explaining and scaffolding’ & ‘assessment’. These placements will enable you to learn in school settings with other trainees whilst being taught by our experienced staff and practising teachers. There will be time during these weeks to put into practice the skills and knowledge you have acquired straight away under the supervision of an experienced mentor.

Our alternative placement week in the Spring term is where you will have the opportunity to visit a range of settings to widen your training experience, including the stage before and after the ones in which you are training. We offer a residential visit in the second half of the Spring Term. During this week trainees will be provided with directed experiences of large multicultural primary and secondary schools in an urban location, featuring extensive EAL and SEND provision. The remaining days of the week can be spent in provision of your choice. Trainees often choose to visit alternative education, forest schools and pupil referral units.


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

List of locations and vacancies
Location Vacancies
Ashburton Primary School
Whistley Hill, , Newton Abbott, Devon, TQ13 7DW
Austin Farm Academy
Delamere Road, Plymouth, Devon, PL6 5XQ
Boringdon Primary School
Courtland Crescent , Plymouth, Devon, PL7 4HJ
Buckfastleigh Primary School
Bossell Road, Buckfastleigh, Devon, TQ11 0DD
Camelford Community Primary School
Station Road, Camelford, Cornwall, PL32 9UE
Chaddlewood Primary School
Hemerdon Heights, Plympton, Plymouth, PL7 2EU
Ermington Primary School
School Road, Ivybridge, Devon, PL21 9NH
Glen Park Primary School
Glen Road, Plymouth, PL7 2DE
Holbeton Primary School
The Square, Plymouth, Devon, PL8 1LT
Manor Primary School
Manor Way, Ivybridge, Devon, PL21 9BG
Marazion School
School Lane, Marazion, Cornwall, TR17 0DG
Morley Meadow Primary School
51 Encombe Street, Plymouth, PL9 7GN
Nanstallon School
Nanstallon, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL30 5JZ
Oreston Community Academy
Oreston Road, Plymstock, Plymouth, PL9 7JY
Parc Eglos School
Church Hill, Helston, Cornwall, TR13 8UP
Pendeen School
Church Road, Pendeen, Penzance, Cornwall, TR19 7SE
Penpol School
2 St George’s Road, Hayle, Cornwall, TR27 4AH
Perranporth Primary School
Liskey Hill, , , Perranporth, Cornwall, TR6 0EU
Plympton St Maurice Primary School
Plympton Hill, Plymouth, PL7 1UB
Porthleven Community Primary School
Torleven Road, Helston, Cornwall, TR13 9BX
Sherford Vale School
Hercules Road, , , Sherford, Devon, PL9 8FA
St Erme with Trispen Community Primary School
Trispen, , , Truro, Cornwall, TR4 9BJ
Stowford School
Exeter Road, Ivybridge, Devon, PL21 0BG
Training base at Morley Meadow Primary School in Plymouth. Placements in the Trust schools in the Plymouth area, as well as in partner schools from Penzance to Ashburton
51 Encombe Street, Plymouth, PL9 7GN
Tywardreath School
Southpark Road, Par, Cornwall, PL24 2PT
Ugborough Primary School
Ugborough, Ivybridge, Devon, PL21 0NJ
Wadebridge Primary Academy
Gonvena Hill, , , Wadebridge, Cornwall, PL27 6BL
Wembury Primary School
Nighton Road, , , Plymouth, Devon, PL9 0EB
Woodford Primary School
Litchaton Way, , , Plymouth, PL7 4RR
Woodlands Park Primary School
Abbot Road, Ivybridge, Devon, PL21 9TF
Yealmpton Primary School
Stray Park, Plymouth, Devon, PL8 2HF

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 successful at interview and who accept our offer will have access to our equivalency testing service at approximately £50 per test. We also accept tests taken at AStar Equivalency.

Personal qualities

We are looking for trainee teachers who are:

  • passionate about teaching children, enabling them to know, remember and do more
  • confident in their ability to improve the life-chances of children
  • committed to the safeguarding and well-being of children
  • open to new and unfamiliar ideas from reliable sources
  • focussed on improving outcomes by using what they have learnt to plan for change
  • inclined to take responsibility for making change happen in their own lives and the lives of others
  • strong communicators who collaborate effectively with colleagues, the general public and children

Fees and financial support

The course fees for UK students in 2023 to 2024 are £9,250.

About the training provider

WeST Learning Institute is a SCITT with nearly two decades of experience training Primary and Secondary teachers. We have a long-standing reputation for training excellent and highly employable teachers.

As an integral part of Westcountry Schools Trust we can offer:

  • Access to many high quality placements in Plymouth and within partner schools across Cornwall.
  • High quality face to face training designed and lead by our experienced teacher training leads and specialists from across the trust.
  • High levels of mentoring and support from experienced course leaders, visiting tutors and school-based mentors
  • An academic award of a PGCE with 60 masters credits.

We actively welcome applications from a range of career and study backgrounds and recognise the valuable experiences career changer can bring to teaching. We encourage all who meet our entry requirements to apply.

Interview process

Trainees are recruited through a rigorous selection process that includes an initial check to ensure that all entry requirements are met. Suitable candidates are invited to interview at one of our partner schools. At interview, you will be asked to:

  • Choose a book to discuss and read with children
  • Engage in an observed group discussion activity
  • Complete tasks to establish subject knowledge in English and maths
  • 30 minute interview
  • Complete a declaration of criminal convictions

Applicants invited for interview will receive a comprehensive interview pack with detailed information about the day. We want all our applicants to feel prepared and ready for the interview process.

Applicants will be informed of the interview panel’s decision once all the necessary paperwork has been processed. Applicants can track their progress through the DfE portal. Offers of places will be conditional on suitable references being provided following the interview.

This post is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 and you are therefore required to disclose all criminal convictions, including any which may be ‘spent’. You should also include details of any cautions, reprimands or final warnings at the time of interview.

International candidates

You’ll need the right to study in the UK. You already have this if, for example, you:

  • are an Irish citizen
  • have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (you may still be able to apply)
  • have indefinite leave to remain in the UK

If you do not already have the right to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa. The main visa for fee-paying courses (those that you have to pay for) is the Student visa.

To apply for a Student visa, you’ll need to be sponsored by your training provider.

Sponsorship is not available for this course.

If you need a visa, filter your course search to find courses with visa sponsorship.

Alternatively, check if you’re eligible for a different type of visa, such as a Graduate or Family visa, that allows you to train to be a teacher without being sponsored.

Find out more about training to teach in England.

International qualifications

If your qualifications come from a non-UK institution, we may want to see a ‘statement of comparability’ from UK ENIC. This will show us how they compare to UK qualifications.

You can call Get Into Teaching on 0800 389 2500 for:

  • guidance on the UK equivalents of your qualifications
  • a free statement of comparability once you’ve submitted your application (if we ask you for this)

Training with disabilities and other needs

WeST Learning Institute offers a range of support services to trainee teachers. We have a dedicated support team who can provide support, advice and guidance to students who have a disability, medical condition or Specific Learning Difficulty. We also offer support and advice to staff on how to meet the needs of disabled students. We can provide assistance through:

  • Implementing special arrangements for taught sessions such as notes being provided in advance
  • Where appropriate, we can arrange note takers, academic support tutors, library assistance, interpreters and transcribers.
  • Help with applying for the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) which is there to fund these types of support in higher education.
  • Confidential advice and support for students and staff
  • Assistive technology
  • Counselling support

Contact this training provider

Rm B304, Beacon Place, Station Approach
PL26 8LG

Support and advice

You can speak to a teacher training adviser for free, dedicated advice. They are all experienced teachers who can give you one-to-one support with your application. They can also help you get school experience, and find events where you can speak to training providers and teachers.

Call Get Into Teaching free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or chat online Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm (except public holidays).

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