About the course
You can choose to train as a teacher at a school instead of at a university. You’ll graduate with a Post Graduate Certificate of Education and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
As well as receiving a salary, you won’t have to pay tuition fees, as these will be covered by the Department for Education (DfE).
We are proud to work in partnership with the University of Sunderland. The University has successfully trained teachers for over 100 years making a difference in educating the next generation of learners.
Through our partnership with the University, our Trainee Teachers benefit from the support of University tutors who are experts in their subject fields and related pedagogies. The School of Education is world leading in research according to the latest Research Excellence Framework. Trainees are allocated a Personal Tutor from the University who will work with their School Mentor to give academic, pastoral and placement support.
How school placements work
The training you receive will take place at both your school and the University of Sunderland. You will spend 20% of your time on campus undertaking study and other tasks.
Work-based learning will be based in your school. You will usually have a phase/subject trainer and a generic trainer. You will be assessed with written work and assessment of your teaching practice.
Although you will be based at your placement school for most of the academic year, you will be required to complete an alternative placement at another school during the course.
For the period of their training all trainees must be employed by a school as an unqualified teacher. Trainees in maintained schools must be paid in accordance with at least the minimum of the unqualified teachers’ pay range. Non Local Authority maintained schools such as Academies and Free Schools have the freedom and flexibility to adopt pay arrangements that best reflect their local circumstances. They will need to ensure that pay rates are clearly advertised to the trainee beforehand.
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.
For both Primary and Secondary routes you will usually need a 2:2 (or above) honours degree from a UK Higher Education institution or an equivalent qualification and be deemed suitable to train to teach by the School of Education at the University of Sunderland.
You should also hold a GCSE grade C or above (or equivalent) in Mathematics, Science, and English Language and a range of National Curriculum subjects. If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above. We will only accept equivalencies from equivalencytesting.com.
You must have:
Supportive academic/professional references.
An enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
A completed medical proforma (based on DFEE Circular 8/92).
About the training provider
West Park Darlington Partnership is a commitment to ensuring that all learners within our partnership schools and wider partners have access to bespoke learning pathways enabling them to succeed. This ethos applies to our children and young people as well as our trainees, teachers and support staff as learners. We work closely with the University of Sunderland, the partnership schools and our own strategic partners to provide continuity of experiences to ensure judgements and training reaches the required standards.
Training as a PGCE School Direct student ensures that you will be in your host school from your first day on the course and will have the opportunity to spend the year being part of an accomplished and experienced school staff team working within the wider curriculum. You will complete an additional placement in the spring term in one of our contrasting partner schools. You will study at the University of Sunderland for around fifteen days during your full training year.
West Park Academy (W) is the lead school for the partnership and as a Lead School we help to advertise School Direct vacancies for our host schools. The Darlington primary schools in the partnership are West Park Primary School (W), Red Hall Primary (R) Reid Street Primary (S) and George Dent Nursery School (G). In Sunderland we have St Mary's RC Primary (M).
The school that you are applying for will be one of two placement schools where you will be placed throughout the year.
Training with disabilities and other needs
We follow the University of Sunderland Diversity Statement:
“We celebrate and value the diversity of all students and staff, working to ensure that all are welcome in our community and do not face discrimination or encounter barriers with regard to their disability. “
The University of Sunderland Disability Support Team provides advice, information and guidance to students with a disability; students with mental illness or mental health difficulties; students with Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) such as dyslexia.
On application please contact the Disability Support Team for disability-related queries:
Website: Disability Services Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 0191 515 2952
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.
Alderman Leach Drive, Darlington DL2 2GF
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 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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