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Postgraduate Certificate in Education - PGCE (Secondary) (North Essex Teacher Training)


One year full-time.

Two years part-time. 

Typical Offer: 

Qualifications and management experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Please see Entry Requirements below.



Students applying for the SCITT programmes must apply through the Teacher Training application form found on UCAS.

Please visit for more information. 


This PGCE programme combines the very best of school and university training.

It lasts one year and is full-time. It provides trainees with an intellectually stimulating course that challenges their assumptions, while providing them with an in-depth practical experience of the classroom environment.

The course offers a range of opportunities for study in differing schools. Most importantly, it creates the opportunity to work full-time within a school environment and to be part of a school community.

The major aim of the course is to prepare trainee teachers effectively as specialists in their chosen subject and to produce teachers who are confident and competent in the craft of teaching, as well as being able to contribute within an active school environment.

The course also aims to facilitate trainee teachers in their development of critical inquiry, and to engage trainee teachers in the application of educational theory and current research. These latter elements contribute to the PGCE qualification awarded to trainees along with the QTS Certificate.

Placement Locations
The course is based in the largely rural Tendring area of north east Essex which stretches from Colchester to Harwich. The area is pleasant and welcoming with a comprehensive range of social and educational amenities. Educational facilities are extensive, including the University of Suffolk, the University of Essex and Colchester Institute. The Training Centre is located at Tendring Education Centre and during teaching practice trainees will travel to two partner schools in Clacton, Harwich, Brightlingsea, Thorpe-le-Soken and Frinton-on-Sea.

Students applying for the SCITT programmes must apply through the Teacher Training application form on UCAS.

Please visit for more information on applying to North East Essex schools.

Howard Lay's Top 5 Tips

Howard Lay, Executive Principal of Samuel Ward Academy and Chief Executive of the Samuel Award Academy Trust, was awarded an Honorary Fellowship at the 2014 Graduation Ceremony for the Department of Children, Young People and Education. During his speech, Howard shared his top 5 tips for graduates:

  • Listen to advice but trust your gut. Your goal is to become an authentic teacher. By all means steal ideas but be sure that they align and resonate with your core beliefs. Trust you inner voice.
  • Don t wear your really cool clothes at school. Have comfortable clothes with pockets, which do not reveal attractive or unattractive flesh, and are impervious to all bodily fluids, and getting snagged on pencil sharpeners.
  • You are the adult in the room. Don t get into power struggles with students, where you feel the need to come out ahead by cracking down. Remind yourself: you have already won you are the teacher. You can be magnanimous, decide on the outcome to benefit all kids, rather than gratifying your ever present sense of control
  • The most important people to get on side are the secretary, the kitchen staff and the caretaker. Make cleaning up at the end of the day a habit out of respect for the cleaner. Its good karma and means that he or she will hustle to your room when someone throws up.
  • Expect to make hideous mistakes. Expect crushing disappointments. Expect to feel like quitting, at least a dozen times. Expect to anticipate holidays with pathetic longing. And know that experienced teachers experience these things too.

Course modules

Programme delivery is strongly influenced by trainee-centred strategies which involve group and individual reflection, negotiation and individual learning audits, and contracts and individual development profiles. During the first term there is an intensive induction programme. Trainees will spend two days a week following both a general educational theory course and a subject specific course. The remainder of the week is spent in the base school, observing experienced teachers and preparing for the first teaching practice. Students will also be expected to complete two assignments.

The second term provides students with five to six weeks of teaching practice in the base school followed by a primary school placement, plus further subject and general theory sessions and preparations for the second teaching practice in a different confederation school. Students will also be expected to complete one assignment and a primary school report.

In the third term, students complete their second teaching practice placement, complete their final theory sessions and prepare for final assessment. They will also be expected to complete a critical review and a career entry profile.

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

Further information about the University's relationship with the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) and Ofsted is available in the PSRB register.

Fees and finance

Trainees undertaking PGCE through North East Essex Secondary SCITT will be charged tuition fees in accordance with SCITT and should contact SCITT directly for further finance related information.

Further Information

  • At the University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with you course that you will need to budget for.

Entry requirements