Spires Academy Teaching Alliance
Biology (3B54)

QTS full time

Accredited body
Canterbury Christ Church University
Financial support
Bursary or student finance if you’re eligible

QTS (qualified teacher status) allows you to teach in state schools in England.

It may also allow you to teach in the EU, the EEA and Switzerland. You should check with the institution you’d like to teach in for confirmation. The status of QTS in these countries may change after the UK leaves the EU. Please check GOV.UK for updates.

To teach in the rest of the UK or internationally, you may wish to consider a ‘PGCE (or PGDE) with QTS’ qualification instead.

Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
8 October 2019
Date course starts
September 2020

About the course

School Direct is a training programme for graduates and for those wishing to change their career path. The programme allows you to learn on the job as you work towards your Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and offers you the chance to work and learn alongside teachers within the full time setting of a school. It is a popular choice for those who wish to secure a teaching post in the network of schools in which they are training.

School Direct courses within the Spires’ Teaching Partnership are designed in conjunction with Canterbury Christ Church University and are based on the skills required to become a qualified teacher. We are part of a growing number of schools leading the way for more school-led teacher training. This is really important to us because it means we can choose talented trainees to develop into teachers. Being able to choose who we train as teachers helps us to deliver the best outcomes for the students.

What will I learn?

By the end of your training course you will:

• Set high standards which inspire, motivate and challenge pupils

• Promote good progress and outcomes by pupils

• Demonstrate good subject and curriculum knowledge

• Plan and teach well-structured lessons

• Adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils

• Make accurate and productive use of assessment

• Manage behaviour effectively to ensure a good and safe learning environment

This course is offered as school direct non salaried (tuition fee).

Interview process

Interview process

Once you have applied through UCAS applicants will know if they have been successful within 40 school days. If your initial application is of interest, you will have a formal interview at Spires Academy. You will receive full details of the format of the day and expectations in advance. On that day you will be asked to undertake Literacy and Numeracy tests – these are different to the formal skills tests you have done/will do online. You will also be asked to lead part of a lesson - details of the year group (including SEN), the topic and focus will be provided in advance. The interview process is not designed to test your abilities to teach now, but on your potential to be trained on the programme.

The interview day is likely to include a tour of the school and meet with departmental staff to give you an idea of the environment you will be working in.

We can also provide you with support and guidance on your application form and offer you school experience if you just want a taster of what teaching could be like.

How school placements work

The key feature of this course is that the majority of the year is spent on placement working alongside experienced colleagues in schools. The course aims to harness the knowledge and experience of school colleagues in the delivery of courses, working in partnership with the experience of an accredited ITT provider. Each trainee is allocated a mentor who will support you over the course of the year. They will design a training programme based on your needs, ensuring that you have a broad and varied experience. Each trainee will also spend at least 20 days in a second school in order to gain experience in a different setting.


The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £5,960
EU students £5,960
International students £12,430

Fees above are for 2019/202 - please check with the provider for updated fees

Financial support

You’ll get a bursary of £26,000 if you have a degree of 2:2 or above in any subject.

You don’t have to apply for a bursary - if you’re eligible, you’ll automatically start receiving it once you begin your course. Find out about eligibility and how you’ll be paid.

You may also be eligible for a loan while you study.

Find out about financial support if you’re from outside the UK.



The minimum criteria is:

• A good honours degree (at least 2:2)

We look for 50% of the degree in the subject you intend to teach but if your degree isn’t in the subject you wish to teach, you may be eligible for a funded course to increase your subject knowledge before starting training.

• GCSE’s in Maths and English, grade C or above

• NARIC equivalency certificates for any degree or school qualification gained outside the United Kingdom. For further information visit www.naric.org.uk/naric

Personal qualities

A great teacher is one a student remembers and cherishes forever; teachers have long-lasting impacts on the lives of their students. As a partnership we have successfully trained teachers from a wide range of backgrounds, all with different experiences prior to making the decision to teach. Whatever your background you will need to be patient and caring with a love of your subject. A willingness to dedicate yourself to the success and well-being of the students is essential

Other requirements

The Spires’ Teaching Partnership is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. Applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening, including an enhanced disclosure check.

For further information on what becoming a teacher might involve more generally, you can also visit:


Contact details

Spires Academy Teaching Alliance
Bredlands 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: 2K5
  • Training programme code: 3B54

Choose a training location

You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.

Location Vacancies Code
Main Site
Bredlands Lane, Sturry, Canterbury, Kent CT2 0HD
Yes -

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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