Skip to content ↓


What is the difference between the PGCE and QTS only? 

Both routes are fully accredited by the DfE in England, however a PGCE is an internationally recognised academic qualification that will enable you to teach around the world. A PGCE can also award up to 60 credits at Master’s level which you could use towards a full Master’s qualification. This is usually 180 credits. 

Can I speak to someone who has recently completed this course?

See our Success Stories where we have recent trainees who give their thoughts and honest opinions on our course. 

What is the basic structure of the course and what hours are involved? How long will I be in school for each day?

The programme is integrated to give you time in school and time learning from expert professionals with an opportunity to implement this into your own classroom practice immediately. See the sample timetable in the e-Brochure which outlines the days in school and studying with Xavier Teach SouthEast. Whilst in school, you will discuss your own school’s expectations and class teacher mentor’s working routines. We advise that to get the most out of this course and to enable as much time with your mentor as possible, you bring your attendance in line with these expectations.

What books do you recommend I read to get ahead?

Once you’ve been accepted onto the course you’ll be sent a reading list, however in the meantime we recommend the following:

Principles of Instruction by Rosenshine

How to be an Outstanding Primary Teacher by David Dunn

About our Schools by Tom Brighouse and Mick Waters

Spin: Time and Task Management in Teaching by David Gumbrell

How will I be supported in class/school?

You will receive day to day practical support from your mentor, who will provide you with daily informal feedback and guide you to improve your classroom practice. As a lead school, the team at St Polycarp’s will regularly communicate with you through bulletins, so you know what to expect and observe you in class to support with the feedback process.

What is the expectation in terms of teaching within the first term?

You will not be expected to teach anything that you have not been able to observe in practice. We recognise that everyone has a different starting point on the course and have the flexibility to be able to personalise your timetable to suit your individual needs. By the end of the first term all trainee teachers should be aiming to teach 40% of the timetable.

Do I have to go into one of the partnership schools listed on the website or can I choose one of my own?

The partnership schools listed on our website are those with whom we have a strong relationship, where we know there are experienced mentors in place to help you. However, we regularly work with new schools that trainees have a preference for, or with whom they have a prior relationship. In these circumstances, we will visit these schools, train mentors as appropriate and ensure all expectations are clear prior to the start of the course in September.

I have no experience of teaching. Can I still apply?

There is no requirement for you to have any experience of teaching before you apply for teacher training. We would encourage you to spend some time in school before the September start, and we arrange this for you if you wish.

How can I enhance my application?

The best applications for teaching that we receive are those who demonstrate a real commitment to teaching and demonstrate consideration of the kind of teacher they aspire to be. Having many different experiences which relate to learning will support you with your interview answers.

If I can’t meet all the requirements, can I still apply?

Yes. All offers are conditional as requirements such as DBS need to be in place by September, therefore candidates who do not fully meet the requirements at the point of application, have until September to comply.

A Grade 4 (C) or above in English, maths and science, or equivalent qualification is required before you can start our ITT course. Candidates with pending GCSEs will be considered, and Equivalency tests will be accepted in English, maths or science.

We accept an equivalency from Equivalency Testing and A Star Equivalency 

Are you a SCITT?

We work with the Xavier Teach SouthEast SCITT. SCITTs (School Centred Initial Teacher Training) are based exclusively in school, rather than University. With us, you will be based in school for the entirety of your training, but part of your training will be delivered by subject specialists from within the SCITT, specialists in their field and at the forefront of teaching within our network of schools. 

How many placements will I have?

Across the year you will have 2 different placements across two schools. This provides a breadth of teaching opportunities across a full range of year groups. We also offer SEND placements, days in KS3, EYFS and other specialist environments.

What can I expect at interview?

We welcome candidates to interview at St. Polycarp’s School, where our goal is to understand your motivations for pursuing a career in teaching. Our interview process consists of three elements. First, prepare a short activity to deliver to a group of children and present it to the interview panel. Next, complete a brief written task. Finally, answer questions about why you wish to become a teacher. Candidates are not required to sit any additional skills tests during the interview.