Why train on the Bishop Rawstorne PGCE School-Based programme?

Teaching is an enormously challenging profession but the rewards are immense. We firmly believe that the training programme and the support that follows must be of the highest quality in order to prepare our teachers to face the demands of any classroom, within any context. Having successfully recruited a number of high calibre applicants to our previous School Direct provision, we have much pleasure in recruiting to our new and improved PGCE School-Based Programme for 2024 - 2025 (11-16).

We have an established and an ever growing partnership of schools who work closely with us to ensure that our unique Initial Teacher Training Programme is of the highest quality and will provide you with all of the support and resources you will need. We also have a close working relationship with the University of Cumbria and work collaboratively with staff from the university (who provide specialist input) to make sure that your experiences in school, and when completing assignments, are positive ones.

Schools within our partnership have been carefully selected to ensure that we can offer a wide range of opportunities that allow you to personalise your school based experiences. The main purpose of our alliance is to secure and promote high quality entrants to the profession, to facilitate high quality placements, and to offer a creative approach with a wide range of school experiences.  If you secure a place on our School Direct programme, we will ensure that you will work with outstanding practitioners who are committed to securing outstanding outcomes. Our schools are conveniently located across the Northwest and will provide you with a diverse range of teaching and learning experiences.  The schools that we are fortunate to have as our placement cluster schools include: Penwortham Girls’ High School, Parklands Academy, Brownedge St. Mary’s Catholic High School, Lostock Hall Academy, Balshaw's Church of England High School and St.Michael's Church of England High School. Moreover, at Bishop Rawstorne, and our cluster schools, we pride ourselves on supporting all trainee teachers throughout their teacher training experience and on our ability to secure employment for them, often within our own school or our partnership schools, at the end of the placement.

In addition, as we are an outstanding school in the North West, you will have the benefit of many extras; for example, you may have access to free  CPD and networking groups. We are also a national Computer Hub, so you will get to see cutting edge experts in all digital skills. Such experiences will give you opportunities for further networking, as well as the chance to gain excellent training from experienced staff, many of whom are specialists. We also offer you incalculable support with preparing for interviews and our trainees have a fantastic track record of securing employment.

In many respects, the most important people that you will meet in our schools are the pupils. Their friendly and welcoming demeanour helps to ensure that each of our schools can provide placements where you will be able to work with happy, confident, well behaved young people.  Staff also fully support this ethos and will help you to both 'find your feet' in school and then support your progress in developing your own teaching style. They have a wealth of experience and are eager to share their skills and knowledge with you.

About the programme

The training lasts for one academic year and leads to a qualification of a University of Cumbria PGCE and QTS; you will also have the opportunity to gain Masters Levels credits. The PGCE awarded is teaching at secondary level but what is special about our partnership is that there will also be opportunities for you to personalise your experiences during your placement by, for example, attending a primary school and a post-16 learning environment, preparing the teachers of tomorrow to meet the individual learning needs of all children.

Our distinct training programme will provide you with opportunities to work alongside expert and friendly practitioners from within the partnership who will support your professional development throughout the course and beyond.  Each of our schools has a Professional Mentor who runs a weekly programme of training events which will help you to understand your role within the context of the wider school. You will also be provided with your own Subject Mentor who will support your developing classroom practice and work with you as both a subject specialist and a coach.

The programme is ‘hands on’ with you undergoing two placements within one of our partner schools. The majority of the training that takes place will be conducted by ourselves, as well as our cluster schools or subject specialists. As an outward facing school, we are fortunate to have access to a wealth of experience within our alliance schools, who can all offer the support and skills, we believe you will need to become an outstanding teacher in your own right. 

In addition, you will be required to spend 12 training days at the University of Cumbria, in Lancaster. Here you will have multiple opportunities to develop your understanding of how different pedagogical approaches can be used to teach your subject through a subject knowledge development programme. During these sessions, you will work with a highly experienced tutor, from within your subject specialism, who will help you to make the transition from a subject expert to a teacher of that subject.

What our trainees say

‘The PM sessions were tailored to our needs therefore each session was relevant and not a repetition of previous meetings. The School-Based Lead made us feel that we could go to them at any time and they always made time for us. I feel very lucky’ 

‘Positive environment, continuous support throughout and dedicated staff. Overall, an amazing first teaching experience’ 

‘Staff are very welcoming and willing to give you guidance or advice’

‘The support from the school has been outstanding and the only downside is that I don’t get to stay here longer’

'I cannot express how glad I am to have chosen Bishop Rawstorne School-Based programme to complete my teacher training. The support you have provided is unparalleled and has undeniably contributed to my finding a career that I enjoy more than I ever thought I could'


Our 2024-2025 entry requirements for our Bishop Rawstorne School-Based programme are as follows:

* A degree from a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification. You must have met this requirement prior to commencement of the course. If you are in your final year, a successful outcome should be predicted by the referee. 

* A standard equivalent to a grade 4 in the GCSE examinations in English and mathematics. You must have met this requirement prior to commencement of the course.

* Prior to the award of QTS be able to demonstrate secure knowledge of fundamental English and mathematics.

* If a formal offer is accepted, applicants will be required to meet the Department for Education's standards for physical and mental fitness to teach and clearance to work with children. Further information, including a Declaration of Health questionnaire and details of how to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS, previously CRB) Enhanced Disclosure will be sent to you after you have firmly accepted an offer.

*Subject enhancement courses are available for some secondary subjects. If your degree subject does not link to your chosen teaching subject, we can arrange for you to undertake a subject knowledge enhancement course before you begin training (specific subjects only).

Prior experience in a school is not required before applying but you may find this useful. We are more than happy to arrange this, if you so wish.

How to apply

First of all find your course code under our news item 'Looking for a Course'.  Go onto the Department for Education (Find postgraduate teacher training service) website and search for courses by postcode PR26 9HH. Courses will show under the university name eg. University of Cumbria.  Select the course displaying the correct course code and Bishop Rawstorne will be listed in the text as the course provider.  You can also apply direct on Apply. 

Why teach?

Bishop Rawstorne have been working closely with the Department for Education to support their 'Get into Teaching' campaign. Please see the attached link which explains why our teachers and pupils are so passionate about teaching and why it is such a rewarding profession:


Maths, English, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, History, Computing, Art and Design and MFL (French and German).


We have a fantastic track record of employability!

100% of our trainees this year said they would recommend our programme!


Please see our 'Red Rose Alliance' page for more details on the application process.

If you would like to spend a day observing lessons in your chosen subject area, or simply have further questions, please contact us at You may also find it useful to look at the 'Get into Teaching' website.