Train to Teach

TCAT’s School Direct Initial Teacher Training (ITT) programme, based in the TCAT Development Centre at Bridgewater High School, recruits and trains high quality graduates to become the next generation of outstanding teachers to help lead our schools to future success. Our programme leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and PGCE with Liverpool John Moores University enabling our students to find permanent employment in schools in the North West and beyond.

Our students complete two placements at contrasting TCAT secondary schools from September to February, and February to June. After an initial observation period in their placement school, four days per week are spent training in TCAT classrooms under the guidance of a Curriculum Mentor.

Every Friday throughout the year, our students return to the Professional Development Centre at Bridgewater to focus on their growing professional, personal and academic knowledge, understanding and skills. During these Friday Conference sessions, our students learn the pedagogy of teaching from TCAT experienced current practitioners to ensure they have all the skills to become an effective teacher.

There is a wealth of opportunities within TCAT and our students are strongly encouraged to experience all our schools can offer during the course. Between the main school placements, our teachers experience enhancement placements within TCAT Primaries and at Priestley College.

They also have the opportunity to experience the strengths that exist within our different schools to enhance their training experience. If our students want to extend their school experience further we can accommodate them on a third placement at Priestley college or explore the other opportunities that TCAT can offer.

Our programme allows our students to progress through a carefully designed bespoke pathway tailored to their individual needs whilst developing knowledge, skills and understanding of teaching and learning. We want graduates of our programme to be outstanding, resilient teachers with a passion for learning and teaching, who really want to make a difference to the lives of young people.

If you are a graduate and this training course sounds like the course for you then please contact Jill Hodgson in the Development Centre for more details . We can arrange for you to come into school and speak to the people you will be working with.

Our website also has a lot more information and we can support with your application which is made though Apply or UCAS. The Department for Education also has useful advice on its website:


'Throughout my teacher training at The Challenge Academy Trust, I was provided with exceptional support and the opportunities to develop my teaching skillset, whilst being offered a realistic viewpoint of the role of a teacher. Being able to complete my teacher training at two different schools allowed me to develop skills that are crucial for a successful teacher. It also increased my teaching network, with my current role being acquired from one of my placement schools.'
James Johnson
ITT Class of 2020, now a Teacher of PE at Sir Thomas Boteler Church of England High School
'The team at The Challenge Academy Trust were incredibly supportive both during and after completing my teacher training. The course was thorough and realistically prepared me for my teaching career.'
Jess Guttridge
ITT Class of 2020, now a Teacher of Art at Sir Thomas Boteler Church of England High School