Torbay Teaching School Alliance
Primary (299N)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
University of Plymouth
Financial support
Student finance if you’re eligible

A postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS) allows you to teach in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It’s also recognised internationally.

Many PGCE courses include credits that count toward a Master’s degree.

Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
9 October 2018
Date course starts
September 2019

About the course

First and foremost, training is tailored to the trainee teacher. Each School Direct trainee is assigned to a class in the base school with a teacher-tutor, overseen by an experienced mentor. Meetings with the mentor are scheduled weekly as trainees are supported in their ongoing development as a teacher.

On the Torbay Teaching School Alliance School Direct Primary programme, taught modules are delivered in the Training Room at Oldway Primary School or on campus at Plymouth University. These comprise a wide range of teaching strategies including lectures, seminars, tutorials, directed tasks and practical workshops which complement the developmental experiences of teaching and assessing in the placement schools. Sessions are delivered by Plymouth University tutors and experienced practitioners and subject leaders from Oldway and other alliance schools.

Primary trainees study the whole of the National Curriculum with a particular emphasis on the core subjects of English, mathematics and science in Key Stages 1 & 2 as well as developing an awareness of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Taught sessions are carefully integrated with placements in order to allow trainees to apply and develop their teaching skills in a reflective way, drawing on professional learning, academic research and current practice.

In the Torbay Teaching School Alliance School Direct Primary Programme, trainees are enrolled alongside the whole cohort of other PGCE students at Plymouth University. Trainees have induction opportunities on campus (as well as induction in the base school) with all that entails in terms of facilities, resources, study support, social and academic opportunities.

Trainees also attend key events arranged by Plymouth University for all PGCE students e.g. conferences, guest speaker seminars etc. In common with students on other courses, trainees are full members of the university.

Monitoring and assessment

Trainees’ progress is monitored and assessed weekly through lesson observations, reflective diary and weekly meetings with the mentor. Trainees’ progress towards the Teachers' Standards is also monitored through three assignments which may meet Level 6 criteria or Level 7 criteria which results in Masters credits.

Interview process

Applicants should allow a full morning for interview as there will be a range of tasks including:

A. a group discussion task on an article and a short video sent to you prior to the interview

B. an activity that you will lead with a small group of 8 children. You may select any age group from Year 1 to Year 6 and any activity (e.g. a photograph, a book or artifact to share) to last approximately 20 minutes.

C. written tasks relating to English and maths and an IT self-audit

D. a formal interview

The interview panel normally comprises the TTSA School Direct Lead, the Plymouth University Academic Lead and a Headteacher or ITE Lead representative from one of our partner schools.

How school placements work

Training commences by working alongside the class teacher, initially with small groups of children. This gradually builds up over the year to working with an entire class and includes a second placement in a contrasting Alliance school within Torbay.

A unique feature of the Torbay Teaching School Alliance School Direct Programme is the addition of a third short placement in a Torbay Teaching School Alliance special school, where trainees will have enriched opportunities to develop their skills with pupils who have complex special educational needs and/or a disability and especially, to focus on differentiation and on the management of personalised learning in the classroom.


The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
EU students £9,250

Financial support

You may be eligible for a loan while you study.

Financial support if you’re from outside the UK.



  • GCSE or equivalent is required in English, mathematics and science at Grade C or above.
  • A second class honours degree or equivalent, from a recognised university. Masters and PhDs also count towards entry requirements. A Masters degree will be considered as a second class upper degree and a PhD as a first. This will also apply to international applicants. It is not necessary for the degree to be in a National Curriculum subject.
  • It is a requirement that all Professional Skills Tests (PSTs) are passed before starting any postgraduate ITE programme.

Personal qualities

For this intensive and challenging programme, we seek to recruit top quality candidates who can show academic capability and teaching potential. Candidates will be energetic and motivated with a high level of commitment to children and to teaching and learning. They will have excellent organisational skills and the ability to work constructively in a team as well as study independently; they will be committed to becoming a reflective and evaluative practitioner.

Candidates will be eager, questioning professionals who view this programme as the beginning of their professional learning showing their commitment to life-long development as a teacher.

Other requirements

Applicants are expected to be able to discuss, at interview, their observations of pupils and classrooms. You will need to give details of your experience within your application.

About the training provider

Oldway Primary School is proud to be judged Outstanding by Ofsted, four inspections in a row. As an acclaimed primary school, it is exceedingly well-placed to lead the Torbay Teaching School Alliance School Direct Programme in conjunction with Plymouth University.

Oldway has taken the lead in the South West in establishing Torbay Teaching School Alliance which is directly involved in the training and professional development of teachers at all levels: at initial teacher training level, with NQTs, in providing CPD for serving teachers, middle and senior leaders and for head teachers.

The fourth cohort of School Direct primary has just finished the year. All trainees have successfully completed the programme, gained QTS and a PGCE and secured teaching posts within alliance schools and beyond for the next academic year.

Training with disabilities and other needs

All schools within the Torbay Teaching School Alliance have full disability access in line with legislation.

Where a trainee teacher has met the entrance criteria but also has a disability or a Special Educational Need, reasonable adjustments in line with school policy, can be made.

Contact details

Oldway Primary School
Higher Polsham Road


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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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