About the course
Why should I join the CTA?
We believe that the single most significant factor of a child’s success in school is the quality of their teachers. The Catholic Teaching Alliance is, therefore, dedicated to developing staff with high expectations and a clear understanding of how to create a learning environment in which their students can flourish. Our focus is on developing teaching and learning through innovative ideas, creativity and intelligent collaboration. Our strong and supportive network is based on the shared values of our schools and colleges.
We at the CTA are passionate about developing a generation of outstanding teachers and want to provide as much support as we can to ensure committed, enthusiastic and capable people make it on to our teacher training scheme. We offer excellent teacher training in partnership with UCL, with all courses resulting in a PGCE qualification.
We run an extensive CPD programme including two Early Career Conferences in the autumn and summer terms and School Study Visits in the spring term, providing networking opportunities and the chance to observe teaching in other schools within the Catholic Teaching Alliance, in line with both your university studies and personal areas of development. Opportunities for school-based research and reflection, along with the sharing of outstanding expertise within a business-like model form the heart of our work.
An induction programme will be provided in school to supplement your university provision. The weekly sessions will cover a range of topics relevant to your training, including safeguarding; lesson planning, marking, and pastoral aspects such as the role of a form tutor. You will be fully involved in the life of the school attending parents' evenings and participating in school trips.
About the University Course
UCL Institute of Education (IOE) is a global leader in teacher education. Their programmes are recognised by Ofsted as “outstanding” in every criterion across Primary and Secondary Education.
The PGCE is a 60-credit, Masters-level course and students must pass the two M-level modules and demonstrate that they have met the Teachers’ Standards.
School Direct Business Education at UCL
You will attend university training days at UCL Institute of Education alongside students recruited via other routes and other School Direct partnerships. On the Tuition Fee routes you will carry out academic assignments leading to the award of masters level credits.
All UCL School Direct students have full access to UCL student support services and facilities.
At the CTA we are looking for candidates who can support our shared vision: Growing Teachers, Growing Learners, Growing Schools.
When applying please select your preferred school. All applications submitted on UCAS are vetted upon receipt. Once your application has passed this process you will be invited to an interview at the location to which you have applied.
The interview day will include a tour of the school and a panel interview. Some time will also be spent in a class with the Head of Department where a school can arrange this. If you are successful at this point a recommendation will be make to UCL.
If you are successful at the school interview you will be invited to a second-stage interview at UCL Institute of Education. At your interview day you will take part in a combination of group and individual interviews with members of the programme team, and may also be asked to undertake written or presentation tasks, depending on your subject. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and take a self-guided campus tour.
Candidates usually apply to schools that are located close to where they live and we are happy to arrange tours and an observation day in your preferred school prior to application.
How school placements work
School Direct trainees start at their chosen school during the first week of the autumn term. Term dates will be confirmed upon acceptance of an offer.
University sessions start the following week and will be offered in a number of blocks at the start of each term in addition to one day a week. As with all PGCE courses you will be expected to attend all university sessions. The course runs from September to June and trainees will spend 120 days in school over the course of the year and 43 days at university.
UCL offer an AB placement structure. The academic year will be split equally between two schools and you will spend 12 weeks in one school and 13 weeks in another. You will be allocated a Subject Mentor and Professional Co-ordinating Mentor in each school and both placements will be hosted in Catholic Schools.
Around half of the 38 schools within the Catholic Teaching Alliance offer training placements. Those who are able to support the main placement are listed for each respective course.
At the start of the training year we will contact all registered trainees to confirm where you are living and to ask about the type of school that you would like to be placed in for your second placement. Where possible, we will try to accommodate your request and placements are arranged with a maximum commuting distance of 1 hour 15 minutes based upon the address provided. Travel time is usually significantly less than this.
We are able to offer contrasting placements in single-sex or mixed schools and in schools with sixth forms where your main placement school is 11-16. Where you have completed a placement in a single-sex school your second placement will be in a mixed school or a school with students of the opposite sex.
Your tutor from the Institute of Education will visit you in school on a regular basis and liaise with your school mentor regarding your training and development. Your Institute tutor will carry out your final assessment in school against the national Teachers’ Standards.
The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
You’ll get a bursary of £9,000 if you have a degree of 2:2 or above in any subject.
You don’t have to apply for a bursary - if you’re eligible, you’ll automatically start receiving it once you begin your course. Find out about eligibility and how you’ll be paid.
You may also be eligible for a loan while you study.
Find out about financial support if you’re from outside the UK.
First degree - A minimum of a lower second-class UK Bachelor’s degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in a Business-related subject.
A levels - No specific subjects required.
GCSEs in English Language and Maths (for Secondary programmes) at grade C/5 or above. UCL does not accept ‘additional’ or ‘applied’ GCSE subjects.
Applicants who do not hold a GCSE in English, Mathematics or Science may demonstrate an equivalent standard by completing either the Mathematics Foundation, Mathematics Higher or English test from Equivalency Testing and achieving at least a grade 5.
UCL Business Education
We are looking for individuals who have the capacity to develop into outstanding teachers. This requires a combination of personal and academic skills.
You should demonstrate awareness of what good teaching entails and show a desire to teach.
There are three main attributes required for teaching:
1) Subject Knowledge - you need to show that you have a specialist understanding.
2) An ability to communicate with an audience. Your class will be your audience and the relationship and command of this group is crucial.
3) Good Interpersonal Skills - you need to demonstrate that you can work well with others.
Candidates completing their degree, or who have recently left university, should provide an academic reference from a tutor at their university. Candidates who have been working for a number of years should provide a reference from their current or most recent employer.
UCL recommend that you aim to gain some experience in a classroom prior to interview. However, we understand that this isn't always possible, as such, some applicants who have experience of working with children and young people, at sports clubs, youth groups and voluntary work are asked to make reference to these activities in their application.
About the training provider
The Catholic Teaching Alliance (CTA) is a strong and growing alliance of 38 schools. It is a cross-phase partnership from primary, through to secondary and sixth form colleges. Our partner schools are based throughout South-East London and Kent covering Southwark, Lewisham, Bromley, Bexleyheath and Chatham. This diversity in type of school and location gives a richness to our shared work. Our shared vision is Growing Teachers, Growing Learners, Growing Schools.
Our schools have a long history of Initial Teacher Education and have offered School Direct places since the initiative began. We have selected several universities that match our ethos. By carefully selecting the right universities to work with we are able to offer you an excellent start to your career in education.
We offer both Primary Salaried and Tuition Fee School Direct places and are able to provide training in a range of secondary subjects. Some subjects are available with a choice of provider.
We run an extensive CPD programme for trainees and most secure an NQT position within the group of schools. We also provide flexibility as your career progresses, with opportunities to move between schools.
We would encourage applicants to contact us to arrange a school tour prior to application and we are happy to answer any questions that you may have. Please contact the CTA Co-ordinator, Clare Barclay for more information or visit our website here to find out more about our schools and the career opportunities that we are able to offer.
About the accredited body
UCL Institute of Education is the world’s leading centre for research and teaching in education and related social sciences. You can view UCL’s online teacher training prospectus is here:-
Our university partner for some programmes is UCL Institute of Education (IOE), a global leader in teacher education. Their programmes are recognised by Ofsted as “outstanding” in every criterion across Primary and Secondary education.
Training with disabilities and other needs
All School Direct trainees must meet the Secretary of State's requirements for physical and mental health, but few health problems past or present preclude applicants from teaching.
The activities that a teacher must be able to perform are set out in the Education (Health Standards) (England) Regulations 2003.
We welcome applications from people with additional needs and disabilities. Successful applicants will be asked to complete a fitness questionnaire prior to commencing the programme.
Within our group of 38 schools, we are able to provide support for a range of disabilities and other needs and are usually able to arrange appropriate school placements and additional support as required. We have trained applicants with dyslexia, physical, hearing and visual impairments, as well as students with mental health issues. If you have any questions about health, disability, or the support provided or wish to discuss your own requirements further, please contact the CTA Co-ordinator, Clare Barclay, email@example.com.
For further information on the support provided by our university partners please see the links below.
King's College London
St Mary's University
University College London
School Direct students can access the services provided by UCL’s Student Support and Wellbeing team. You can find more information here
Apply on the UCAS website. You’ll need to register with UCAS before you can apply.
Visit Get into Teaching for guidance on applying for teacher training.
When you apply you’ll need these codes for the Choices section of your application form:
Training provider code:
Training programme code:
Choose a training location
You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.
St Michael's Catholic College
Llewellyn Street, Bermondsey, London SE16 4UN
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
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