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 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 in addition to the 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.
School Direct Salaried Primary at UCL
We offer excellent teacher training in partnership with UCL. The Salaried route leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and trainees on this route attend university sessions over approximately 15 days (10 days' Professional Studies and five days subject-specific training) spread over the autumn and spring terms.
Students do not undertake academic credits on this programme. However, all components will need to be assessed to gain QTS.
Core modules - Professional Practice
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.
The route is only available with UCL with one 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 school.
The interview day will include a tour of the school and a panel interview. Some time will also be spent in a class. All interview tasks for primary applicants are completed at the school interview day and a second interview at UCL is not required. The day will include of a number of tasks, further information will be provided when candidates are invited to attend interview.
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 the school prior to application.
How school placements work
The applicant will be employed by the school for one academic year and will be expected to attend school from the beginning of the autumn term. Term dates will be confirmed upon acceptance of an offer.
For this programme students will spend the majority of the programme in school, employed as an unqualified teacher.
There are two compulsory school placements. Students are expected to complete the associated tasks, and to build a portfolio of evidence during the academic year to demonstrate they have met national teaching standards.
Both placements are in Catholic schools and you will work with a mentor in each setting.
The school offering the place is part of a federation of schools. The second placement will be in another school within the federation. Although both schools are one-form entry primary schools, each has a distinct character, offering applicants the opportunity to experience very distinct educational environments. Your placements will be in adjacent Key Stages and the settings will offer a unique contrast. As part of the interview process we are usually able to arrange tours of both schools.
St James the Great Primary School
Teaching and learning
The programme supplemented by a series of lectures and workshop at the UCL Institute of Education for 15 days spread over the autumn and spring terms. The placement schools will provide an additional 45 days of training activities, alongside the practical teaching experience. Students are assessed on their practical teaching and their progress in achieving the standards for Qualified Teacher Status by gathering evidence in the form of a portfolio.
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.
All applicants following the School Direct Salaried route are paid a salary on Level 1 of the Unqualified Teachers' Pay Scale. Further details will be provided at the point of interview or can be discussed prior to application by contacting the CTA Co-ordinator, Clare Barclay via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that this course only offers the option for the award of Qualified Teacher Status. Further information on the PGCE options available for Salaried School Direct applicants with UCL can be obtained directly from the university.
Trainees on this route are not eligible for a government bursary, student loan or other benefits associated with being a student (Student Oyster Card, exemption from Council Tax, entitlement to an NUS card with associated discounts).
Financial support isn’t available for this course because it comes with a salary.
If you choose a course without a salary, you may be eligible for financial support while you study, including bursaries, scholarships and loans.
UCL requires a minimum of a 2:2 honours degree.
No specific subjects required.
A GCSE, or comparable qualification, at grade C (or grade 5 for GCSEs sat in 2017 onwards) or above is required in English Language, Mathematics and Science. 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 Primary School Direct Salaried
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 who have been working for a number of years should provide a reference from their current or most recent employer. Where possible an academic reference should also be included in your application.
For the School Direct Salaried route, you must have 3 years’ work experience in any field.
In addition, 2 weeks’ classroom experience is recommended. Where it hasn't been possible to arrange this prior to interview, experience of working with children and young people, at sports clubs, youth groups and in a voluntary capacity should be referenced in your 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:-
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
Student Wellbeing Service
University College London
School Direct students are entitled to support from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) team. You can find more information here
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Support and advice
For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.
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