Picking the right route to take when training to teach can be confusing. Our guide below has information on the three different routes available with the University of Leicester, so you can make an informed choice.
There are three different ways you can study for the Leicester PGCE and qualify to become a teacher:
- By applying for our University-led course
- By applying to one of our School Direct partners
- By applying to one of our School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) partners
Whichever study route you choose, your PGCE course will cover the same core elements, including taught sessions, a minimum of 120 days in school on a variety of teaching placements, and two written assignments.
How the routes compare
- Taught sessions: Delivered on campus by academics, subject specialists, practising teachers and visiting experts
- School placements: We organise your placements, drawn from a wide range of schools in and around Leicester and the surrounding counties
- Employment prospects: According to our last data, 95% of our PGCE students gained a full-time teaching post within a year of graduating
School Direct PGCE
- Taught sessions: Course content is the same as the University-led PGCE, though some elements are delivered by the School Direct provider in the school environment. Other elements are delivered on campus, as with the University-led PGCE
- School placements: Your lead school organises your placements within the teaching alliance's schools
- Employment prospects: School Direct providers will be assessing you for possible future employment when recruiting you to their PGCE programme. However, a job is not guaranteed
- Taught sessions: Sessions are delivered by current practitioners, from the partnership of schools, with some input by University tutors
- School placements: The SCITT organises all placements, within their network of schools
- Employment prospects: While not guaranteed, many trainees will find full-time employment within their SCITT partnership following the conclusion of their training
Choosing a route
Watch this informative video to help you decide which route might be right for you:
We've also put together a list of frequently asked questions to help you:
Will I need access to transport?
Ideally, yes. For your placement experiences at local schools, we allow for a reasonable maximum travel time up to 60 minutes each way, dependent on your term-time address. If you have a car, this will help your daily commute to the placement. Alternatively, public transport may be required, though you may be able to reach your school via bicycle or walking. If you apply for School Direct, you will need to be able to travel within the cluster of schools and to the University.
What's the difference between the styles of placements available?
If you want to be part of a family of schools, and to be part of the school community from day one, School Direct and SCITT courses can offer this. If you would prefer to have a more diverse range of placements in a variety of schools, our University-led course may be more suitable, because we're able to draw from a huge range of partnership schools.
Will I be employed in the same family of schools in which I trained?
School Direct and SCITT partners may look to employ you at the end of your PGCE year, although this isn't guaranteed. According to our last data, over 95% of our University-led PGCE students are settled in a teaching post after 12 months, and many of our students go on to gain employment within partnership schools, whichever route they follow.
If I study on a SCITT course, will I still attend the University of Leicester?
If you study on a SCITT course, you will not attend the University of Leicester. Although SCITT students register with the University and have access to our facilities and support, you will be based within a school environment. Our tutors may deliver some elements of training related to the Masters level elements of the programme, but your training will not take place on the University campus.
If I study on a School Direct course, will I still attend the University of Leicester?
If you study on a School Direct course, you will attend the University of Leicester. All School Direct students will benefit from the experience of our tutors and have opportunities to share ideas with students on our University-led PGCE course. The number of days spent at the University will vary from one School Direct provider to another.
If I study on a School Direct course, which elements will be delivered in-school?
All your teaching experience placements as a School Direct student will be organised within the teaching alliance. In addition to this, some School Direct providers may opt to deliver part of your training within the school environment. Where this is the case, experts from within the alliance will deliver some of the taught elements of the course which, for University-led PGCE students, are covered in a university setting.
If I study on a School Direct or SCITT course, will I be paid?
Our School Direct and SCITT PGCEs are unsalaried. School Direct students are required to pay tuition fees to the University, and SCITT students pay fees directly to the school provider. School Direct and SCITT students are eligible to receive the same bursaries as other PGCE students.
If you're still unsure, or you need general advice on the course and how to apply, please feel free to contact our PGCE team, who will be happy to help.
Alternatively, come along to one of our regular Routes into Teaching events to find out more about your options and chat to representatives from all routes.