View full details in the curriculum handbook
The Independent Postgraduate Certificate in Education for Independent Schools and Academies has been 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.
We also offer a Scottish PGCE leading to full registration. If you are teaching in Scotland, you may find it preferable to apply for this programme.
The course consists of an individualised programme of school-based training, combined with three three-day 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.
How does this differ from the PGCE with QTS?
It does not require a second school placement, and there is no requirement to attend an interview or to undertake professional skills assessments. You can have fewer teaching hours on your timetable than is required for QTS. In addition, you do not need to teach across two key stages – which is a requirement of QTS.
The 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 four residential courses (nine days overall) to attend and these are 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; there are three essays to write.
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
Different school subjects demand different teaching methods and resources, so part of the residential course will be taught by a subject specialist. Our subject specialists this year include Art, Music, Design Technology, Business Studies & Economics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Computer Science, English, Drama, Classics, Modern Languages, Geography, History, Religious Studies, Psychology, and PE.