Middlesbrough Schools' Teaching Alliance
Primary (25QJ)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
York St John University
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

The Middlesbrough Schools' Teaching Alliance (MSTA) PGCE Primary School Direct programme is a full time course run in partnership with York St John University and covers the 3 – 11 age range. Candidates can choose to focus on either the 3 – 7 or 7 – 11 age range.

The training programme consists of school experience in two MSTA schools combined with taught sessions of subject knowledge, pedagogy and academic assignments at the university and partnership schools. You will have a comprehensive induction prior to commencing the course.

Placements involve opportunities to observe teaching, to work collaboratively, and to progressively increase the percentage of independent teaching. We feel it is important for you to feel welcome in the school community and valued as members of staff from the start of your training. You will also attend school meetings e.g. staff meetings, participate in school training days and other professional development events as appropriate. You are given the opportunity to participate in all aspects of school life and the wider school context.

There is strong support provided by school staff, mentors and university staff. MSTA and the university work together to ensure that student teachers become creative educators in a supportive and encouraging environment.

The key aim of the PGCE primary programme is to deliver a high quality, current and relevant programme of training that equips you with the professional knowledge, understanding, skills and attributes that you need to become outstanding teachers and leaders in primary schools.

Assessments are varied and include assignments, portfolios and presentations within and alongside school experience. These are designed so that you can demonstrate the appropriate skills required of a 21st century primary teacher.

Whilst you will be allocated to one school for the majority of your training you will also have experiences in at least one other school within the Alliance. The progressive nature of school experience and immersion into the life of the school (which is a distinctive part of the School Direct approach) will enable you to progress effectively by building upon your developing skills. The time in school will ensure the NCTL requirement for 120 days of school-based training on primary postgraduate courses of one year’s duration.

The programme leads to the award of a PGCE with a recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status. Successful completion of the professional development modules also count as 60 credits towards a Masters degree.

Interview process

Pallister Park Primary School is the designated National Teaching School and will co-ordinate and participate in the recruitment process with York St John University. Applications will be shortlisted and the selection process takes place in schools with the involvement of school and university staff.

The recruitment process is rigorous and thorough. It is designed to enable MSTA and York St John University to assess each candidate's suitability for training and to appoint the best candidates for the places available.

Selection is based on evidence given throughout the application process, for example the personal statement, references, detailed breakdown of degree content, details of other academic, professional or vocational qualifications, evidence of prior experience and achievements.

At interview candidates will be required to engage with pupils in delivering a teaching task and undertake other tasks which assess your suitability to teach. This will also include a formal interview to further explore the candidate's subject knowledge, knowledge of primary education and suitability for training.

Our whole process is rigorous and very thorough designed to get the best match of applicant to the places available.

Selection is based on evidence given throughout the application process: personal statement, references, detailed breakdown of degree content, details of other academic, professional or vocational qualifications, and overall performance at interview.

At the end of the interview process participating staff will collectively consider each candidate's suitability for a place on the course. We aim to tell candidates their outcome on the day of the interview.

How school placements work

We take great care in matching successful School Direct applicants to their host school. In 2019/20 we anticipate 25 primary schools will engage in the programme along with many other schools who may offer diversity placements for short periods. It is important to us that your host school, as well as your consolidation placement in a second school in the spring term, meet your professional learning needs as well as those of the schools engaged.

All our placement schools are experienced in working with colleagues training to be teachers. You will have the opportunity to work alongside highly effective practitioners in the classroom whilst being guided and supported by school based and University mentors.

You will gain full information about your placements in our Keeping in Touch (KIT) programme prior to the course starting and through our on-going communications with you as your course progresses.

School experience will closely complement taught elements of the programme, ensuring that student teachers are able to deepen their pedagogical knowledge. Student teachers will have opportunities within their school-based practice to observe young people in classes and will be encouraged to reflect upon their observations and related tasks within their own studies.

MSTA and University-based staff work closely together to support you in developing your professional practice and provide excellent opportunities for you to engage with professional issues related to both the primary curriculum and wider educational issues.

A strength of the school-centred programme will be that it draws upon the expertise of school-based practitioners in highly effective schools to support you in developing your subject knowledge and pedagogical skills.

We want you to feel 'professional' from the first moment you meet with your placement schools. This supportive theme permeates all we do in making you feel a valued member of the school community.

Our belief is that MSTA's unique offer is based on the fact that we see School Direct as a 'family thing' where you will join with other trainees, your tutors and mentors in making the very best of each opportunity afforded to you on your placements.


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.



You must be a graduate of an approved university or other institution granting equivalent qualifications acceptable to the University.

You must be a graduate preferably with a degree qualification of 2:2 or above. 3rd class degrees will be considered with significant evidence

of other learning gained that supports your application.

  • GCSE in English Language (or YSJ approved equivalent) at Grade C/Grade 4 or above
  • GCSE in mathematics (or YSJ approved equivalent) at Grade C/Grade 4 or above
  • GCSE in Science (or YSJU approved equivalent) at grade C /Grade 4

Pending GCSEs will be considered.

Personal qualities

We are looking for trainee teachers with passion, commitment and drive. You must have the academic rigour and at times a highly practical and pragmatic approach that sees you 'roll up your sleeves' and pitch in with our learning communities.

We will need to see this evidenced before we consider offering you a place at both application and interview stages. And even more so we will need to see it in 'bucket loads' throughout your training programme as our children, and the professional staff you work with, simply deserve the best future generation of teachers we can find.

Other requirements

Applicants must satisfy the Univeristy that they have the intellectual capability for the demands of teaching, that they are physically and mentally fit for teaching and that there is no evidence of a criminal background that should prevent them from working with children or young people. All successful applicants will need to satisfy the University that they meet these criteria through an enhanced DBS check and the submission of a medical health questionnaire to the YSJU Medical Service, who may then require additional reports/examinations to determine fitness to undertake the programme.

Contact details

01642 266294
Gribdale Road
Pallister Park


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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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