About the course
If you are keen to become a teacher and work with children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, then train to teach on the Chadsgrove School Direct programme. We offer trainees an exceptional opportunity to qualify as a Primary teacher, but with additional enhanced skills to effectively teach pupils with SEND. Previous trainees have gone on to be teachers in both mainstream and special schools.
On our salaried course you will be employed by your host special school and train in the classroom as an unqualified teacher, working alongside exceptional teachers. You will be mentored by experienced and enthusiastic practitioners who will provide the highest quality support whilst challenging you to become a confident and truly effective classroom teacher.
Our course runs from September to July, and during this time you will spend 120 days on placement in two schools (8 weeks in mainstream and the remainder in a special school or specialist base), developing your professional skills, knowledge and understanding in motivating, supportive and inspiring settings. The proportion of time that you will be expected to directly teach pupils will increase during the year, so that by the later summer term you will be teaching up to 90% of the timetable. You will not be expected to teach classes unsupported until you and the school know that you are ready to do so. Your school-based mentor will formally observe your teaching during each placement, and provide feedback on your progress toward meeting the Teachers’ Standards. On three occasions during the year you will also be observed by a Lead Mentor from Chadsgrove or your Link Tutor from the university.
You will also spend around 25 days studying with the University of Birmingham, and attend school-based training days at Chadsgrove or one of our partner schools. Training days will cover topics such as subject knowledge, pedagogy, assessment, professional conduct, and effective support for pupils with a range of special educational needs and disabilities.
The University of Birmingham will award your PGCE from two assessed assignments; one relating to maths pedagogy to be submitted early in the spring term, and a SEND focussed assignment to be submitted early in the summer term.
Selection is a rigorous and thorough process designed to identify the applicants with the strongest aptitude. Chadsgrove, as the lead school in the partnership, coordinates the recruitment process in close liaison with the University of Birmingham and our partner schools.
Our interview process takes place on one day over a period of around 2½ hours. The process typically comprises an interview with a panel of 3 headteachers of partner schools, an interview with school council , an activity led by you with a group of pupils, and the university's Maths and English tests.
How school placements work
During the course you will undertake placements in both specialist and mainstream primary settings.
Trainees undertake an eight-week placement in a mainstream primary class during the autumn term, and during this time attend the university for block weeks and occasional single training days. For your mainstream placement we look to schools closest to your residential address.
You will spend the majority of your training experience, spring and summer terms, in your employing special school. During this period you will be in school for four days each week and attend training one day each week, either at Chadsgrove or at one of our partner schools.
For the period of your training on the salaried school direct programme you will be employed by your host school (including during your mainstream placement) and paid a salary of Unqualified Pay Range 1, and will be taxed on earnings.
The current rate for Unqualified Pay Range 1 is available here
You will not be required to pay any tuition fees.
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.
Our academic criteria are GCSE grade 1-3 in English, Mathematics and a science subject, and a degree classification of 2:1 or above; though for applicants with significant paid employment within a classroom we will consider a 2:2 degree classification.
We are seeking highly motivated individuals, who have a passion to inspire minds, transform lives, and make a difference. We are particularly looking for people with experience of working with children, preferably in an educational setting, and who can demonstrate the ability to engage and inspire young minds. We want our teachers in training to be ambitious, passionate and enthusiastic about teaching pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, and who are committed to providing outstanding teaching and achieving the highest outcomes for their pupils.
All applicants will need to obtain an enhanced DBS check and will also need to pass the Professional Skills Tests.
About the training provider
For those seeking the rewarding experience of teaching in special schools, Chadsgrove Teaching School offers an exceptional opportunity to qualify as a primary teacher, but with additional enhanced skills to effectively teach pupils with SEND in both mainstream and specialist settings. You will train in vibrant schools offering exceptional opportunities to train alongside supportive colleagues with specialist skills and knowledge. Employment rates on completion of the course are extremely high, with all previous trainees attaining grade 1 or 2 at the end of their course and progressing to NQT years in both special and mainstream schools.
Our course integrates whole day sessions at the University of Birmingham (which involve a blend of lectures, subject workshops, seminars, tutorials or group-working sessions) with school-based training and teaching experience in both mainstream primary school and special school settings, enabling you to gain Primary Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) with particular expertise in special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
We aim to equip teachers of the future with exemplary skills to meet the needs of learners with Special Educational Needs, through providing the highest quality of training experiences to nurture excellent practitioners. Our training partners include 11 special schools and specialist bases and mainstream primary schools covering south Birmingham, Worcestershire, Dudley, Sandwell, and Wolverhampton. School-based training days focus on a range of topics including curriculum subject teaching and planning, assessment, and understanding of specific SEND. All sessions are delivered by highly experienced practitioners and nationally acknowledged experts in their field.
Training with disabilities and other needs
We believe a person is only disabled when confronted by adverse attitudes and environmental barriers, and we aim to provide a positive, supportive and inclusive learning environment. Adults with disabilities are under-represented in the teaching profession and we welcome applications from everyone with a passion and commitment to becoming a teacher. We see training teachers with additional needs as an opportunity to provide role models to our own pupils. Our programme is hosted by schools teaching pupils with a range of physical, medical, sensory and cognitive special educational needs and disabilities.
All teacher training providers have a responsibility to ensure equality of access, whilst at the same time ensuring that trainees have the health and physical capacity to teach and will not put children and young people at risk of harm, and a condition of acceptance onto the course will therefore be to satisfy the requirements for Fitness to Teach. Applicants will need to be able to travel independently to the university campus in Edgbaston and to the training schools.
Every individual will have different circumstances and needs and for this reason we welcome confidential discussion of any special arrangements you may need for interview or subsequent school placement.
Each of our partner schools will be able to provide specific accessibility information for their sites. Information about disability access for postgraduate students at the University of Birmingham can be found here
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