English with RSA Academies' Teaching School Alliance Accredited provider: Birmingham City University

Course offered
PGCE with QTS full time with salary
Financial support

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

Our Teaching School Alliance is led by three outstanding schools, all of which are designated National Teaching Schools: Arrow Vale RSA Academy in Redditch; Holyhead School in Birmingham; and Whitley Academy in Coventry. We also work in partnership with the RSA, and with secondary and primary schools across the region, driving forward action research projects, undertaking innovations in teaching and optimising the talents and commitment of our staff to develop creative ways of providing education. We try where possible to ensure links to the RSA are interleaved into your training programme.

The training programmes start with your school experience and will comprise of two contrasting teaching experiences over the course of the year, this will ensure you have access to a range of teaching strategies. All trainees will also attend subject and professional studies sessions which are spread throughout the year, these are delivered within an RSA School or at BCU campus. The programme combines both academic based assignments and the practical teaching experience. The assignments range from professional studies to subject specific and trainees are able to submit at master’s level. You will complete three assignments throughout the year. The last assignment is a research project and we have employed a specialist to deliver the Design Thinking Module to support completion of this project, this is unique to RSA Academies' Teaching School Alliance. This year 75% of secondary trainees passed at Grade 1 and we have a completion rate of 90%. We offer a multi level support structure, to allow trainees access to a wide network of support.

School Direct is a school-based approach to teacher training, which enables you to experience the life of a ‘real’ teacher as you will be based in school from the very start of your training. We are working in partnership with Birmingham City University (BCU), and on successful completion of the course, you will be awarded a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE with QTS) with the opportunity to obtain additional Masters’ credits.

Interview process

The RSA Academies’ Teaching School Alliance and BCU will check all applications. Those applicants meeting the entry criteria will be shortlisted and invited for interview which will involve:

A range of tests and activities to test suitability for teaching

*A formal interview which will consist of a three person on the panel asking a series of questions, covering a variety of topics

*A short interaction with students. This will include a teaching element of up to 30 minutes

*A 30 minute written task. Applicants will be given material to study relating to the task before the interview

Once all applicants have been interviewed, the Director of ITT and representatives from the TSA will meet to discuss the outcome of the interviews, and begin to match up potentially successful applicants the allocations available.

Once a list of selected applicants have been finalised, a provisional offer will be made in writing. This offer is provisional until several checks and agreements have been made.

These include:

*References (if not already done)


*Physical & mental fitness to teach

*Verification of qualifications (if not already done)

*Skills tests

All applicants applying to start a teacher training course are required to pass literacy and numeracy skills tests prior to entry/enrolment. We will interview you prior to tests being completed. Any offers made will be conditional on passing these tests.

How school placements work

Unlike other Teaching Alliances, we are led by three outstanding schools each of which are located in different areas within the West Midlands, within the family of schools, we can offer training in Birmingham, Dudley, Coventry, Redditch (South Birmingham). Our training facilities in each of our schools are leading edge and comprehensive to ensure all training needs are met. We also offer specialist training through the large variety of specialisms across, not only our lead schools, but also our strategic partners. During your training year, you will undertake two high quality school placements across our Teaching School Alliance.

You will have the opportunity of teaching all age ranges, including Post 16 and have access to teach a second subject to broaden your teaching knowledge and skills - this could be solo teaching or team teaching. You will spend a majority of your training in your host school, Sep - July. You will also undertake a second placement between Jan - Feb for a duration of 6 weeks. During this time you will also undertake a day in a Primary School setting. Our programme ensures you experience all key stages and have the opportunity to develop subject knowledge in a second subject.


Salaried Trainees are paid at Unqualified Point 1

Financial support

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.



First degree of a UK Higher Education Institution or equivalent qualification. A 2:1 is desirable but not essential; we will consider a lower class degree if applicants have sufficient subject/classroom experience.

Secondary candidates should note at least 50% of their subject knowledge at degree level should match the subject/s taught.

 *All entrants have achieved a standard equivalent grade C in English language and literature, mathematics and science.

* All entrants hold a First degree of a United Kingdom Higher Education Institution or equivalent qualification (including overseas qualifications)

 *All entrants hold suitable qualifications in their chosen subject area.

Personal qualities

We are looking for people who have the right personal qualities and potential to be a passionate and committed teacher to improve the outcomes for the young people we work with. While extensive experience of working with young people is not essential, it is often found that the strongest applicants are those who have shown an interest in working with young people.

We are looking for :

*Excellent communication and organisational skills

*Commitment to working hard

*Ability to establish good working relationships

*Confidence and ability to engage with children

*Commitment to a professional team

*Commitment to excellence in education


Other requirements

All entrants have provided suitable references, and have been subject to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

For applicants that have studied outside the United Kingdom must check their qualifications with NARIC (National Academic Recognition Information Centre) before making an application to confirm that their qualifications are of an equivalent level to UK GCSEs A Levels and undergraduate degrees.

For more information visit:www.naric.org.uk

Must be able to demonstrate an ability to communicate clearly and grammatically in spoken and written Standard English.

About the training provider

RSA Academies’ Teaching School Alliance and Birmingham City University are proud to be working together to provide an innovative and creative route into teaching. We provide trainee teachers with the opportunities they need to become creative and inspirational leaders of learning who will motivate and engage all learners, thus producing highly skilled graduate teachers who have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of teaching and learning,

You will enjoy a bespoke programme of training, our programmes are designed to build your confidence and subject knowledge as well as providing you with the necessary skills to become an effective classroom practitioner.

We strongly believe in school-led training because we can support you to become the very best practitioners, and in turn transform students’ outcomes through challenging and stimulating teaching. We provide one-to-one support and access to a comprehensive and tailored CPD package, which will ensure you are fully supported during your training year and for your professional development.

Working within the RSA brings endless opportunities and brings unique benefits. There is strong encouragement and support for teachers as researchers, who are encouraged to try out new things and share their findings.

Unlike other Teaching Alliances, we are led by three outstanding schools and can offer training in Birmingham, Dudley, Coventry, Redditch (South Birmingham). Our training facilities in each of our schools are leading edge and comprehensive to ensure all training needs are met.

75% trainees passed at Grade 1 and a completion rate of 90%

Why train with us- (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sswl1BJEuW0)

About the accredited provider

RSA Academies’ Teaching School Alliance and Birmingham City University work closely together to deliver a programme to meet the needs of local schools, learners and teachers.

Central to the curriculum is the study of education, pedagogy and professional practice from both generic and subject-specific perspectives, which is delivered using a combination of practical workshops, taught sessions, seminar groups and individual study.

In the latest Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) Survey (2011-13 aggregated data) 95% of Birmingham City University trained newly qualified secondary teachers rated the quality of their training good or very good.

Training with disabilities and other needs

We provide one-to-one support and access to a comprehensive and tailored CPD package, which will ensure you are fully supported during your training year and for your professional development.

RSA Academies' Teaching School Alliance support equal opportunities in recruitment of our trainees.

Contact details

0121 523 1960
Milestone Lane


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: 26A
  • Training programme code: 2VK8

Choose a training location

You’ll also need to choose a training location and give the relevant training location code.

Code Name Address
- Main Site Milestone Lane B21 0HN

Advice and support

For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.

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