Department of Education

Initial Teacher Education

Visit our virtual information event web page for videos about Initial Teacher Education at Sussex, the training routes we offer, and subject options.

Our success

The partnership annually reviews the quality of its teacher education courses, as well as the progress of its trainees. Our courses are quality assured by external examiners every year and our overall provision is subject to inspection by Ofsted within a six year cycle. In 2014, Ofsted judged the overall effectiveness of our Primary ITE courses at Sussex as ‘Outstanding’ and our secondary courses as ‘Good.
The global pandemic has delayed the following Ofsted inspection

We are proud of our trainees and their success. Of our graduating cohort of 2020, 98% secured QTS.

Our partnership

The University of Sussex has a history of innovation for its teaching courses: 45 years ago it pioneered the model of school-based teacher training, which has now been adopted by all training providers in England.

In 1993, the Sussex Consortium of Teacher Education and Research was established and has since overseen a partnership where over 200 local Secondary, Primary, Sixth Form Colleges, and Special Schools work together with the University to select, train and assess generations of new teachers. The result of this long-established relationship is that our trainees receive excellent support - both from schools offering professional practice placements, and from the experienced teachers who act as mentors supporting our trainees and offering models of good practice.

To see PGCE and School Direct places available for teachers training in 2021/22, see the PGCE & School Direct Place List: 2022/23 [PDF 452.96KB].

Our offer

Our partnership is proud to offer a range of professional and academic training courses which lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

We currently offer a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Primary, and Primary with Mathematics (ages 5-11) and Secondary (11-16) with specialisms in Biology, Chemistry, Classics, Computer Science, Design Technology (DT), Drama, English and Drama, English and Media StudiesEnglish, Geography, History, Mathematics, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Music, Physics and Religious Education (RE). In the secondary subjects, professional practice is focused on Key Stages 3 and 4, but training also includes inputs on the post-16 curriculum with teaching experience placements - where available and on request.

We also offer the following subjects at Key stage 4 and 5 (14-19) where these subjects are taught: Media StudiesBusiness Studies and Pysychology.

Alongside these core courses, we work closely with different groups of schools and Teaching School Alliances to offer both School Direct (Training) and School Direct (Salaried) training routes in Primary and a broad range of Secondary subject specialisms. A PGCE qualification outcome is also awarded to all successful School Direct candidates.

To support candidates in shortage areas, we provide Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) training in Mathematics, Science subjects, Computer Science, Modern Foreign Languages, English, Classics (Latin), Design Technology and Religious Education. For established and experienced school professionals without a teaching qualification or QTS, we also offer the Assessment-only route to QTS.

Our full PGCE course (worth up to 90 M level credits) is equivalent to a third of a Masters qualification. Following graduation, many of our trainees opt to enrol on our innovative Education MA (part-time) course which features a pathway specially tailored for early career teachers.

Our Mission: Pushing the Boundaries

We are committed to high quality, evidenced based, teacher education built upon genuine partnerships, inspired by best classroom practice and engaged in teaching as an intellectual and ethical vocation. Our collective mission is to recognise, support and develop a generation of reflective practitioners who are ready, willing and able to improve the life chances of every young person they teach and challenge the status quo. We aim to strive for innovative practice and push the boundaries.

Our trainees and our partners

We value, encourage and seek to empower our trainees and teachers to be: imaginative and creative, reflexive and curious, open and responsive, enthusiastic and passionate, independent and collaborative, determined, resilient, analytical, good humoured and optimistic. And always ready to see “the glass half full!”

Our approach

We believe that in a challenging and dynamic environment and amongst richly diverse school contexts we are more likely to succeed in mutually beneficial partnerships than apart. Working together in school based teacher education is a tradition founded at Sussex where it is recognised that new teachers need to observe, collaborate with and be supported by the best classroom practitioners. We know we can all learn and go on learning from each other and that engagement in teacher education illustrates an on-going engagement with evidence based practice and continuing professional development. As a partnership we all consider ourselves learners.

Our goals

Our partnership is ambitious. Quite simply we expect our graduating teachers to make a meaningful and tangible difference; raising the achievement of all their pupils by being innovative, challenging and creative in their teaching. Equally we all have a responsibility as credible role models to share fresh ideas, foster a hunger to learn and empower our young people to thrive as lifelong learners. We aim to ensure the well-being of our pupils, teachers, trainees and staff is valued. We want teacher education and all those involved to enrich the fabric of the school, contributing beyond the classroom, engaging with wider communities and valuing the whole child within them.