The Grand Union Training Partnership
The Grand Union Training Partnership is an experienced school-centred initial teacher training consortium with 16 years experience training secondary school teachers in Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes. Since September 2014 we have been offering the same high quality training in the primary sector. Working with a close network of primary and secondary partnership schools most of our trainees live in the Northampton and the Milton Keynes area and the scheme is very conscious of its role in training local people for employment in their home area.
Alongside our Primary (General) course, we provide Secondary PGCE courses, validated by The University of Leicester, in Business Studies, English, History, Mathematics, Computer Science, Geography, Modern Foreign Languages, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. We aim to give trainees, whom we refer to as Associate Teachers, as much practical experience of working in the partnership schools as possible. Each Associate Teachers work and programme of study is supervised by a mentor who will take a close interest in your development as a teacher and colleague. This part of the course is complemented by a general professional studies programme provided in co-operation with The University of Leicester.
Our overall aim is to produce reflective professionals confident in applying for and starting their first jobs as school teachers. Traditionally, over half of our secondary Associate Teachers take up their first teaching posts in the scheme's partnership schools.
Associate Teachers are selected from a wide range of ages and experience, some will be straight from university; others may have had considerable experience of another career. A majority of our Associate Teachers come from within a 25 mile radius of the partnership schools and typically live in Northampton, Milton Keynes, Daventry and Brackley. However, past trainees have commuted from Bedfordshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire and Oxfordshire. We value the experiences that our Associate Teachers bring with them and we try to be flexible in meeting their particular needs when placing them in their host schools.
Some special features of this course
• As a school centred scheme we are able to ensure that Associate Teachers are involved in the classroom right from the start of the course, observing experienced teachers teach and then gradually developing their confidence and ability to take an increasing responsibility for the planning and delivery of lessons.
• Associate Teachers form close working relationships with their mentors and with other colleagues in the departments in which they are placed.
• The views of the Associate Teachers are valued: they attend regular consultative committee meetings so that concerns and suggestions can be responded to and acted upon.
How this course is organised
• A typical week would involve: general professional studies sessions provided by staff from The University of Leicester and further sessions of an even more practical nature provided by teachers in the partnership schools; a regular meeting with your mentor and a subject-specific training session provided by one of the team of mentors; and regular time spent in the classroom observing colleagues or being observed yourself at work in the classroom.
• For both primary and secondary Associate Teachers, there are two block teaching practices during the course. The shorter one in the second half term which takes place in your host school and a 10 week practice which begins in February and which takes place in one of the other partnership schools.
• Primary trainees may have a short additional placement to ensure they have sufficient experience across all Key Stages and types of primary schools.
Arrangements for teaching placements
• Primary Associate Teachers will spend the first two weeks of the course observing, the first in an Early Years environment and the second in Key Stage 3. After this, they will be based in one of the partnership schools except for their main block practice when they will be placed in one of the other schools in the partnership. There may also be a requirement for a third placement to ensure a complete programme of study.
• Secondary Associate Teachers spend the first week of the course observing in a primary school. From the second week of the course Associate Teachers are based in one of the partnership schools after which they are placed in one of the other schools in the partnership to include the ten week main block practice.
What is taught on this course
• Subject knowledge
• Teaching methodology
• ICT skills
• General professional studies topics such as how children learn, behaviour management strategies, phonics etc.
• What it is to be fully involved in all aspects of school life.
Assessment is by a variety of methods:
• A portfolio of evidence built up over the full course
• A standards log to measure your progress against the NCTL standards as in Qualifying to Teach
• The standards logs and three assignments both of which aim to develop powers of observation and reflection, the ability to relate published data to your own classroom research and, finally, the ability to experiment with different teaching styles and methodologies.
Our graduates say that the course is the best type of preparation for working in a school. All those who have successfully completed the course in the last three years have taken up careers in teaching, many of them in the area and, indeed, 80% of those who completed the course since 2005 have taken up positions in local schools.
The Grand Union Training Partnership can only offer places on their initial Teacher Training course to students who are eligible for a NCTL funded place. NCTL funding is normally available for all trainees who are eligible for government support, such as fees, a maintenance grant and a student loan, whether you actually choose to take up that support or not. You may apply for student funding and assess your personal eligibility through the www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance website.
You might find it helpful to check your eligibility on the Course Funding pages of the NCTL website www.education.gov.uk. The full regulations regarding 'home' and EU trainees can be found in the Education Support Regulations 2008.
Those eligible for NCTL funding may also be eligible for the following support:-
• Tuition Fee Loan
• The Maintenance Grant
• NCTL Bursary
• Student Loan (for maintenance)
Our course fees from September 2017 have been set at £9,000.
You will be liable for the payment of tuition fees. You will be asked to sign an agreement, before starting the course, to say that you will accept this liability. You may pay your tuition fees directly to the GUTP or you may apply for a Student Tuition Fee Loan which will cover the cost of your tuition fees. You do not start repayments until you have completed the course and are employed earning over £21,000.
You can also apply for a Student Maintenance Loan and a means-tested Maintenance Grant. You need to contact Student Finance England to get the financial support that you are entitled to. Please phone 0845 300 50 90 or log on to www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance for further information.
To assist you in completing their forms it will help you to know:
• That this is a one year, full time PGCE course. It is NOT a franchised course.
• The ‘University or College’ you will be attending is The Grand Union Training Partnership and the UCAS code is G60.
Support and incentives for graduates:
In 2011 the Government consulted on a new ITT Strategy, which proposed a new system of financial incentives for trainees with good degrees in shortage subjects, as a result of this there are important changes to Financial Incentives / Bursaries from Academic Year for 2017-2018, full details of these can be found on the NCTL website, www.education.gov.uk
Bursaries are available for trainees on eligible postgraduate courses in England who are not employed as a teacher. Bursary amounts will vary depending on teaching subject and degree class.
You must be able to support yourself financially for the whole period of the training. This means that all living and accommodation expenses will have to be paid by you.