View full details in the curriculum handbook
The Independent Postgraduate Certificate in Education for Independent Schools and Academies was developed in close consultation with the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC). Since 2002 it has been offering teachers in the independent sector, who have not undergone a period of formal teacher training, the opportunity to participate in a structured programme of professional development. This course is for those teaching in Primary, Preparatory and Senior Schools, as well as all Academies.
If you would prefer to qualify with QTS and you teach in a school in England, please look at either our Primary, Prep or Secondary PGCE with QTS courses.
The course consists of an individualised programme of school-based training, combined with three residentials where trainees will attend lectures, workshops, seminars and discussion groups led by experts in their field. The course encourages reflective practice, focusing on the subjects being taught, the craft of the classroom and the underpinning educational values of the teacher.
We are making the most of the independent route to offer a new PGCE course from September 2024. This course will not need to follow the compliance requirements that might make the QTS routes problematic, for example timetable issues and hours required for Mentor training. There is no need for a second school placement with the Independent PGCE.
From September 2024 onwards we are offering a course with a new PGCE at the heart of the training. The course will continue to have half term residentials to cover a full and varied curriculum.
The PGCE will be assessed by three assignments, but for IPGCE students there will be an opportunity to specialise for two of the modules and receive more training on areas such as:
- Coaching and Mentoring
- Philosophy of Education
- International Education and other educational topics.
This will be alongside a core module focusing on the fundamentals of teaching and learning. We also want to include coaching for students in order to support schools with career development.
Why do this course rather than the government-sponsored QTS course?
- Teachers do not have to be away from school for 3 weeks doing a second school placement.
- Training days will be during half term breaks not during the school week.
- Teachers will have a chance to specialise with their PGCE work that can lead to a specialist Masters qualification.
- Your teacher does not have to do the Maths and English skills tests required by the government’s course.
- Timetable compliance rules are less prescriptive with this course than the government’s course.
We also offer individual coaching to trainees on this course about their future career plans.
If QTS is still required post-IPGCE there are routes to achieve this either via QTS conversion courses or an Assessment Only Route as long as all compliance aspects required by the DfE are met.
The Independent PGCE is a 37-week school-based course, during which time you will work under the guidance of a mentor and receive weekly tutorials to review progress and set targets. It is available in most subjects and to all age levels.
There are seven days of residential training and two days of online learning, supplemented by a weekly programme on the University’s online resources. You will be assigned a university tutor who visits once per term to assess your progress and guide your development. You will be supported and assessed by both your mentor and your tutor. As it is a Postgraduate Certificate in Education it is a Level 7 course and if you complete this successfully you will gain 60 L7 credits that you can put towards a Masters. This is assessed by three essays.
2024/2025 Residential dates
You need to be available to attend residential courses; draft dates are:
- Primary & PE: 21-23 October 2024
- Prep & Secondary: 23-25 October 2024
- Primary & PE: 10-12 February 2025
- Prep & Secondary: 12-14 February 2025
- Primary & PE: 27-28 May 2025
- Prep & Secondary: 29-30 May 2025
For teachers undertaking their first year of teaching we highly recommend participation in our Ab Initio course as an addition to the PGCE. This will provide you with some basic knowledge and skills to start teaching.
Your subject specialism
For Secondary IPGCE trainees, different school subjects demand different teaching methods and resources, so part of the course will be taught by a subject specialist. We can teach all school subjects including Art, Music, Design Technology, Food Technology, Business Studies & Economics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Computing, English, Drama, Classics, Modern Languages, Arabic, Geography, History, Politics, Citizenship and PSHE, Religious Studies, Psychology and PE.