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School Based Training

Why train with the ALP?

Watford Grammar School for Girls is the lead school of a group of schools in Hertfordshire and North London, known as the Advanced Learning Partnership, who have worked very closely over many years to train teachers via the School-based route. We have developed a clear and distinctive ethos. Initial enquiries can be made to Director of Teaching & Learning, Jane Hart: or via any of the schools in the group. We very much welcome enquiries prior to application and aim to offer a bespoke service of consultation.

  • The Schools in our partnership are wonderful places to train, work and learn. Working in Partnership with 7 Schools in South West Hertfordshire and North London we offer training in a diverse range of schools including a number of schools listed in the top 100 best achieving state schools in the country.
  • We can also offer experiences in single sex, mixed, selective and community schools. As a consortium we have worked together for many years and have trained well over 100 teachers in partnership with Hertfordshire University.
  • Our schools are passionate about training and development of new staff; we believe that it takes a whole school to train a teacher and nurture their development.
  • All the schools in the consortium have substantial numbers of former trainees working in their schools, some of whom are now in middle and senior leadership roles. Whilst employment in the training school cannot be guaranteed, we have an excellent record of our trainees finding employment in a post which suits them.
  • We pride ourselves that our teachers are inspiring, enthusiastic and experts in their field and as such are excellent role models and mentors for our trainees.
  • Our training is based on supporting trainees to develop their academic subject knowledge as well as their understanding of pedagogy in a supportive atmosphere tailoring experiences to the needs and prior experience of the individual. All trainees are viewed as individuals and placement school, courses of study, choice of mentor and speed of progression is all devised with individual needs in mind.

What do we offer?

PGCE Secondary

  • This route leads to the PGCE qualification which comprises 60 Masters’ level credits and Qualified Teacher Status.
  • A wide range of subjects are offered.
  • Students are appointed as supernumerary (an additional member staff to the class teacher) and must not be in receipt of a salary from the training school.
  • Students will be registered as full-time students of the University of Hertfordshire.
  • Students will train to teach in the secondary age phase and will train within a designated age-range: either 11-16; or 14-19 depending on subject specialism.
  • This route is recognised as ‘supervised teaching practice’ in many international countries.
  • Students pay course fees, currently £9250.
  • All students following the PGCE route must undertake a consecutive 6-week Second School Teaching Experience (SSTE).
  • The opportunity to observe lessons before application.
  • Several of the schools offer the opportunity to work as an LSA or Cover Supervisor ahead of application.
  • You will be based at school for 4 days a week and spend one day of the week at university.
  • You will be introduced to the principles and theories of secondary teaching through both subject studies and a developing professional practice course. Tutor led sessions at university which will include lectures, seminars and workshops and where active participation is encouraged.
  • In School trainees are supported by both a subject mentor and a professional mentor with weekly meetings to support the individual needs of the trainee. There are a wide range of opportunities for observation, training, and complementary experiences within our consortium.
  • For information on aspects of the masters credits please consult the University of Hertfordshire website.
  • You could be eligible for a bursary (limited to certain subjects)

A smaller range of employment based training posts may also be offered leading to QTS.

Course Requirements

  • Honours degree (2.2 or higher), awarded by a UK university or an overseas award recognised as equivalent by UK ENIC. We require the degree to have a minimum 50% content of the subject in which the applicant is applying.
  • GCSE English (or equivalent) at Grade 4 or above (Grade C or above under the old grading structure). GCSE Mathematics (or equivalent) Grade 4 or above (Grade C or above under the old grading structure).
  • Applicants from non-majority English speaking countries may require proof of English language proficiency, equivalent to an overall IELTS Academic score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each band. This must be no more than two years old at the point of application.
    Please note: an applicant does not require an IELTS Academic Test if they have GCSE English language at grade 4 or above – or when ENIC specifically indicate their English Language qualification is comparable (i.e. with English studied as a first language)
  • International qualifications GCSE equivalent qualifications achieved overseas
    must be recognised as comparable to grades 4/C or above by UK ENIC.

What do people say about us?

“This is a fantastic school to learn and teach in, I have had the privilege of carrying out hands-on training on site by opting for the School Direct route. The increased engagement and participation enabled me to link theory with practice, practicing teaching in a safe environment with dedicated mentors guiding me every step of the way.”

“I loved training here because the staff gave me the confidence and supportiveness to teach lessons from the outset. There's a different topic to discuss each week with the training team and you can bounce ideas off other like-minded trainees.”

“Training here was a hugely positive experience. I greatly benefited from observing a variety of subjects and learning from many outstanding teachers. I am extremely grateful for the support, guidance, and opportunities I received throughout the year and very much look forward to continuing my career in education with the new skills I have developed.”

How to Apply

All postgraduate applications for Initial Teacher Education courses are managed through DfE Apply.

Find postgraduate teacher training courses (DfE “Find”) Open from 3rd October 2023.
A service (for prospective student teachers) to find postgraduate teaching courses in England if applicants want to teach in a state school.

Apply for teacher training (DfE “Apply”) Open from 10th October 2023.
A service (for prospective student teachers) to apply for a postgraduate teacher training course to teach in a state school.

We are really keen to support you in your application and to answer any
questions you may have. Please contact the school you are interested in or email Jane Hart

  • School Based Training
  • ECTs