Schools Direct

WGSP School Direct Programme 2019-20


UCAS INFORMATION: WGSP Schools Direct Primary: 3CPC

Working in conjunction with the University of Gloucestershire


The West Gloucestershire Schools Partnership or WGSP as it more commonly known, is a strong cohesive partnership which provides support and development to all staff and governors within the 39 primary schools from Newent down to Tutshill plus one in Tewkesbury, and the Gloucester & Forest Alternative Provision School.


The Forest of Dean is in the West of Gloucestershire, a county within the South West region which is made up of 6 districts:

  • Cheltenham
  • Cotswold
  • Forest of Dean
  • Gloucester
  • Stroud
  • Tewkesbury

Our WGSP Schools Direct programme is based in the idyllic setting of the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire where programmes and films such as Star Wars, Merlin, Primeval and Dr Who were filmed - it was also the childhood home of JK Rowling and provided her with some of the inspiration behind Harry Potter!

However, behind the picturesque views and the beautiful forests, there is another story....

The Forest is a rural area between the Rivers Severn and Wye, covering 526km2 . 30.5% of the population live in four market towns, the remainder in smaller, rural and widely scattered settlements. Some areas are in the most 10% of deprived wards nationally for Education, Skills & Training and Income Deprivation Affecting Children. The Forest:

  • Was the worst performing KS4 Gloucestershire District in the last census;
  • Had the greatest decline in L3 APS/student across Gloucestershire over the last five years;
  • The second lowest county proportion of adults with L4/L4+ qualifications (below national average);
  • The highest proportion (25%) with no qualifications (above national average).

There is a real need to raise aspirations of children at an early age to make an impact in adult life

and this is where you come in!


We are looking for the next generation of stand-out teachers - students who are excited about making a difference - to our children and our schools. We are passionate about developing our staff as we believe this is the key to improving standards and outcomes for our children. We have an excellent reputation for providing continuous professional development that meets the needs of all our staff including our students - last year we held 178 training sessions plus 1 INSET Day - attended by 2,506 people. Last year's INSET Day for DIGITAL LITERACY showed how technology and creative ideas can be used to raise standards across the curriculum to engage, inspire and transform learning.

We also organise the Country Dance Festival which has been running for more than 60 years. Last year, 560 children from 30 schools performed traditional country dances, one of which was written especially for us. Next year, you could be joining in with the dancing!

But we don't just want anybody! We want people who have:

  • Excellent communication and organisational skills
  • Commitment to working hard
  • Ability to establish good working relationships
  • Confidence and ability to engage with children
  • Commitment to a professional team
  • Commitment to excellence in education
  • Flexibility - crucial in this active and constantly changing environment

We also want people with good academic ability:

  • A 1st or a 2:1 degree - we are willing to consider applicants with a 2:2 should they be able to demonstrate relevant experience in teaching and education
  • At least grade C/4 in English, Maths and Science GCSE
  • Prior to the beginning of the course, you should pass the skills test in English and Maths and undertake an assessed one-week placement in one of our schools
  • You must be able to demonstrate an ability to communicate clearly and grammatically in spoken and written Standard English


Choosing the WGSP Schools Direct Training Pathway means that you will be in school from the first day of the school year enabling you to feel part of the team and be treated like a member of staff, attending staff meetings and development days. You will spend most of your time in school but will also spend time at the University of Gloucestershire for the academic element of your programme. You will have two substantial teaching practice schools during the academic year and the opportunity for an enhancement block or time back at your host school to ensure you have a wide range of experience. You will be assigned a mentor from your school who will meet with you on a regular basis. Our mentors are experienced teachers, who undertake rigorous professional development to ensure they carefully support, coach and mentor the students. In addition, students from across the partnership will meet regularly to reflect on progress and build opportunities for inter-school working.

Our programme brings teacher education pedagogy and up to date research within a school based setting, providing enriched, school-based essential classroom experiences that allows you to put theory into practice as you develop into a outstanding teacher. You will receive a CPD programmes specifically tailored for our students which will prepare you to teach primary school age children; equipping you with the skills, knowledge and understanding to teach the full breadth of the National Curriculum and hit the ground running once you qualify. By the end of the programme, you will be able to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the Teachers' Standards.

We are offering places across all of our schools. You can express a preference for a placement at a specific school in the partnership, however we cannot promise to meet your request as we will take into account any requests, strengths and weaknesses of our students to ensure they are in placements which provide the best learning environments for your needs.

As a Schools Direct student, you will be enrolled alongside PGCE students at the University of Gloucestershire with access to the full range of facilities, resources and both social and academic opportunities and you will also be allocated a Link Tutor. As a full member of the University, you will benefit from all aspects of student life and student support facilities on offer there.


As a Schools Direct student teacher working with us, you will have the opportunity to develop your professional skills, knowledge and understanding in diverse, supportive and innovative settings which provide experience of working alongside good and outstanding practitioners across the partnership. Placements may include single and mixed age classes, town and rural schools, church and non-denominational, mainstream and alternative provision schools. You will also gain experience of working with children with SEND and due to our location, Forest Schools sessions delivered in woods in our beautiful Forest of Dean. This broad experience will equip you with a diverse range of skills that can be employed across a range of settings.

Successful completion of the training will aware you a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) which includes 60 credits towards a Master's degree and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).


All student teachers must demonstrate that they have met the Teachers' Standards in order to gain QTS and you will be assess against these, keeping a portfolio of evidence to show that you have done so.

You will be assigned a school-based mentor who will monitor and review your progress. They will regularly observe your teaching, provide written and verbal feedback, meet with you regularly to review your progress and set future targets and oversee your training programme. In addition, a link tutor from the University of Gloucestershire will visit you in school to observe your teaching. Your subject knowledge, ability to teach (pedagogy) and development as a reflective and professional practitioner are assessed in this way.

Formal assessment for the School Direct programme takes place throughout the year. There is no final written examination. Assessment takes the form of assessed practical teaching against the Teachers' Standards and course work assignments set and marked by the University of Gloucestershire.


Please contact the WGSP Schools Direct Programme Co-ordinator, Leigh Grantham for more information: or 01594 842789

A quote from one of our recent students says it all:

"I have loved this course and will be recommending it to so many people. Thank you for helping me grow and believing in me, even when I doubted myself. I have grown in confidence and self-belief and am now ready to teach!"



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