Primary Teacher Training

Primary Teacher Programme

Do you want to train to be a primary school teacher?

As a trainee teacher on the South Cumbria School Direct Programme you will spend a much greater proportion of time in school than you would on a traditional PGCE programme and the curriculum will be delivered by outstanding teachers who work in our partnership schools in the Barrow and Furness area..


We offer this course:

General Primary

(5-11 yrs old)

We are working in partnership with Ripley ITT and Leeds Beckett University to offer a School Direct Programme which offers a superb route into our rich and rewarding profession. If you study with us, you will be working towards a PGCE course at Masters Level which will lead to qualified teacher status (QTS).

You will train in a range of ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ schools in the Barrow and Furness area who are very experienced at delivering high quality teacher training and have a range of contrasting contexts. You will learn from and work alongside excellent teachers and experienced staff in over 22 schools comprising early years and primary.

Our programme begins early September and from the outset you will have 2 days per week of School Embedded Learning (when not on assessed placement) in one of our partner schools.  A valuable opportunity to learn from being in a classroom environment and to make connections between your experience and your taught module content. The remainder of the week comprises of Pedagogy and Practice (P&P) training sessions, hosted and delivered by Headteachers, Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) and other outstanding classroom practitioners who currently teach in our partner schools.  The P&P sessions will be held in several of our school venues according to the best expertise available for each topic.     

You will have training and experience in important primary education topics, including phonics and early reading, assessment, special needs and inclusion, working with support staff and leadership. There are many different subjects taught in primary education and you will audit your subject knowledge for the topics you will need to teach at KS1 and KS2. Some of the P&P sessions will focus specifically on these subjects.

Leeds Beckett University provide the PGCE for our programme and this is all online. The modules perfectly compliment the training we deliver and you will gain 60 Master’s level credits (

You study three modules in total, all learning will integrate theory and practical application.

As you will be studying a PGCE, you will have academic assignments at Masters level which require you to read, research and reflect on your learning and experiences within the training year.

Assessment of trainees for QTS is provided by Ripley ITT who have been highly praised by Ofsted for their approach to trainee workload and for keeping requirements concise yet effective. 

Assessment of trainees for QTS is based on all of the following:

  • Regular observations of lessons with feedback and target setting
  • Grading against our curriculum strands at the end of each placement
  • Formative feedback about progress against our curriculum throughout the placement and against the Teachers’ Standards at the end of the course
  • Assessment of a Best Evidence Portfolio at the end of the programme.

You will complete three school placements which take place within two or three of our twenty-two partner schools in the Barrow and Furness area. The first placement will begin in September, an excellent time to see how rules and routines are established at the start of the academic year. You will start with focused lesson observations before you begin to plan and teach parts of lessons. After a few weeks you will be planning and delivering whole lessons, building up to approximately 50% by the end of your beginning placement.

The second and third placements will be in different schools which will give you a contrasting experience and broaden your professional development. Again, you will gradually increase your teaching timetable and will be teaching up to 70% by the end of your extending placement in July.

You will have three assessed placement blocks:


  • Beginning Placement 4 weeks in the autumn term
  • Developing Placement 5 weeks in the new year/winter term
  • Extending Placement 9 weeks in the spring & summer term

These will occur in at least two different schools and in 2 different key stages to meet the requirements of gaining QTS.

You will have 2 days per week of School Embedded Learning (when not on assessed placement) you will be in school but not teaching. A valuable opportunity to learn from being in a classroom environment and to make connections between your experience and your taught module content.

Placements are selected for you on the basis of high quality mentoring, individual training needs, the opportunity to experience the full primary age range, contrasting schools and reasonable commuting distance. We have 22 partner schools in the Barrow and Furness area in which you can carry out your placements.

Your first two placements (beginning & developing) will take place in a EYFS and KS1 setting (Early Years), KS1 and KS2 setting (Gen Primary), for your third placement (extending) we will try and accommodate your preference for either EYFS, KS1 or KS2.

You will have the opportunity to learn in the following schools:

Barrow Island Primary

Cambridge Primary

Chetwydne School

Dalton St Mary’s CE Primary

George Romney Junior School

Greengate Junior School

Newbarns Primary

Ormsgill Primary

Parkside Academy
Roose Nursery & PrimarySir John Barrow

South Walney Junior School

St James’ Junior School

Victoria Academy (Lead School)Yarlside Academy

The South Cumbria School Direct programme will be delivered within the Ripley ITT partnership. As the Lead School in the partnership, Ripley St Thomas has a successful track record in training teachers. All The schools in the partnership are highly experienced and have all been graded outstanding or good by Ofsted.

Rated “Outstanding” by Ofsted

“The highly integrated structure and content of the programme produces confident teachers who are very well equipped to contribute immediately to their employing schools” – Ofsted

Read the full report here

Course Fees and Funding

National ITT bursaries, scholarships and tuition fee loans apply – please see the Department for Education website for more details.

  • £9250 PGCE and QTS
Bursaries and Scholarship Information

Please see Get into Teaching and The Department for Education website for bursary and scholarship details.

Applicants who meet the entry requirements will be invited to interview at Furness Academy in Barrow in Furness. The interview process includes a written task, subject knowledge audit, short teaching task and panel interview. You will be interviewed by the SDCD Programme Leader and the Furness Education Trust Executive Primary Lead . We are looking for the potential to be an excellent trainee, someone who is ready to start training in a school setting from early September. We are also looking for potential employees in our schools and the vast majority of our trainees go on to gain positions in local schools.

Throughout the selection process, the panel will consider your:

  • Quality of subject knowledge.
  • Ability to communicate effectively.
  • Capacity to establish effective relationships inside and outside the classroom.
  • Passion and drive to deliver the highest quality of educational standards.
  • Commitment to develop as an educator of character.
  • Suitability to train to teach and to meet the Teachers’ Standards by the end of training.
  • Flexibility to adapt to change and ability to think instantaneously.
  • Resilience and your ability to commit to tasks.
  • Time management and organisation.
  • Enrolment procedures and pre-course support

If successful at the  interview process, SCSD will then provide you with a conditional offer based on the selection process outcomes. If you choose to accept the offer, we will enrol you in our pre-course Microsoft Team so that you can begin to get to know your new colleagues from your cohort. We will also use this Team to get information to you and share some resources to prepare you for the start of your course. We will also invite you to Victoria Academy for a pre-course session to give you further information and answer any questions you may have about next steps.

Qualifications Required

UK Bachelors degree or equivalent. Ideally your degree would be a class 2:2 or above

GCSE Maths, Science and English at grade C/4 or above.

Personal Qualities

We are looking for people who are keen to learn in a school setting and this model suits trainees who are able to learn as they go along and incorporate their own experience into this learning process. Successful applicants will have an understanding of the professionalism and resilience needed to become a teacher and to be reflective learners. A real commitment to a career in teaching, passionate and enthusiastic with an interest in teaching all subjects and a positive attitude towards children are essential qualities.


As part of the enrolment process, you will be required to complete documentation including safeguarding checks which are outlined below.

Statutory Safeguarding Checks

South Cumbria School Direct are required by statutory guidance to make specific safeguarding checks on everyone we place in schools. We undertake the following documentary checks as part of our programme registration process.


South Cumbria School Direct checks your identity against the DBS approved list of documents, most commonly:

  • Passport
  • Photo driving licence (UK)
  • Utility bill or bank statement (dated in the last 3 months)

Right to Work in the UK

  • Valid or Expired UK/EU passport or
  • Non-EU passport with visa and Biometric Residence Permit or
  • EU National ID card or
  • Full UK birth certificate and NI number or
  • Certificate of Naturalisation and NI number

Criminal Record Check

  • Enhanced DBS Enclosure from Protocol Education dated within 12 months or
  • Enhanced DBS Enclosure with valid Update Service subscription
  • Overseas Police Check (where applicable)

Barred List

  • Checked as part the Enhanced DBS Check and then re-checked annually

Prohibition from Teaching Orders

  • Checked against the DfE database

Entry References (2 required)

  • Most recent employer
  • One other professional reference
  • University tutor and references from school placements (work-based and volunteering)
  • Non-school references and character references are accepted where you have not previously worked in schools.

Health Check

Before being accepted onto the programme, all trainees must satisfy the DfE requirements with regards to health and capacity to teach. You will be required to complete a confidential medical questionnaire if you are offered a place on our training courses.


All applicants who are successful at interview will need the following before they can start:
  • DBS and barred list check
  • Medical check
  • Have the right to live and work in the UK for the duration of the programme
It is important that you have a good awareness of what the role of a teacher involves so that you can be sure it is the right career choice for you. We offer school experience for people at all stages of this career decision, including after interview, in order to support you with this. We welcome applicants of all ages, from university graduation to mature career changers.

Interested in becoming a teacher?