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Salaried Route

The salaried route is available on the primary pathway and the secondary pathway in Science, Maths, Welsh, English, Design and Technology or Computing/ICT (new for September 2023 entry).

This graphic outlines the key features of this route.

Schools must apply for Employer School status to be able to offer the salaried route.
Apply to become a partner school

Primary Employer School commitments are outlined here and click here for secondary Employer School commitments.

Students will work towards a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education with QTS over two years.

They will work towards 60 credits at Level 6 (which is equivalent to the last year of an undergraduate degree) in year 1. In year 2 they will work towards 60 Credits at Level 7 (Masters level). 

This is a distance learning course and there is plenty of support available. The academic delivery takes place through a combination of online study materials and live online seminar sessions with a Curriculum Tutor, who’ll be a specialist in their chosen field. An in-school mentor will provide support and practical advice.

Students will use our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to access module content such as textbooks, video and audio, and practice learning activities. It's also where they'll be able to interact with tutors and other students via online forums. 

They will be able to contact our dedicated Wales PGCE Team who can provide help and guidance throughout their studies.

If someone is working at a mainstream state school as a teaching assistant or in a non-teaching role, they can apply for your school to endorse their study. The school must apply to become a partner school and provide the applicant with an endorsement letter PGCE Endorsement letter, as the school will pay their salary. They’ll need to get agreement from their school to apply for this route.

They will study for their PGCE around their existing school duties as part of full-time employment in a school and their costs of study are covered by a training grant from Welsh Government. 

Recruitment to the salaried scheme depends on two things happening at the same time:  

1. They apply to the programme on their own merit and are successful through the selection process. Remember – there are limited spaces which are highly competitive. A school endorsement does not guarantee a place on the programme.  

2. Their school applies for Employer School status by demonstrating they meet our entry criteria.  Sometimes, schools may not be able to meet our criteria (for example, if they are in special measures, or they are not a mainstream state school).  

*Please note that we will not be able to process an individual’s application unless the school have confirmed their Employer School status before the interview. 

*Please note the salaried unendorsed route is only available on the secondary pathway. 

Secondary schools can tell us if they would like to support a new employee on the salaried route and contact us to be matched to an eligible secondary applicant in that area (in either Science, Maths, Welsh, English, Design and Technology or Computing/ICT).

We will share the applicant’s details with any Employer Schools in the area to help us with the matching service. We may ask applicants to complete a profile to share with schools.

Demand often exceeds the availability of salaried placements.

The salaried route involves a financial commitment from a school and requires a school to accept a new employee as a member of staff.

If there are no salaried placements available in the applicant’s area, we will aim to notify them by May. In some cases, it may be possible to offer them a place on the part-time route (but this will depend on the availability of places).

*Please note the salaried unendorsed route is only available on the secondary pathway. 

If an applicant is successful at interview and meets all the entry requirements, they become a salaried student teacher. This means they are an employee and a student teacher at the same time. They are employed by the school on a full-time basis for two years and will have a new contract which they agree with their headteacher for that period.

If they are an existing member of staff, they may wish to discuss with their headteacher what will happen after two years, or what would happen to their role if they withdrew from the programme.
Please note we do not get involved in contractual agreements.

They will be paid at a minimum of Point 1 on the Unqualified Teacher Pay Scale on a full-time basis. Their employment will involve undertaking roles and responsibilities in line with their new status as an unqualified teacher (and must be related to the support of teaching and learning).

They will have a flexible timetable which combines their learning support role with protected time for online module study and seminars and dedicated PGCE practice learning periods. They will also spend a period in a second school, known as the Second School Experience (see below).

Student teachers all spend time learning in a school setting, which we call ‘Practice Learning’. This is an integral part of any PGCE qualification in Wales and must meet accreditation rules set out by the Education Workforce Council and Welsh Government. Examples include:

  • The statutory requirement to undertake 120 days school experience 
  • Experience in two different school settings 
  • Teaching across the age phases  

Whilst the student is in school, they will undertake practice learning activities, designed to bridge their module study and practice learning experiences. 

Practice Learning takes place in a school setting, supported by a programme of mentor support which takes a graduated approach to the development of teaching. 

This graphic outlines the structure of the programme. 

The Second School Experience is a mandatory requirement and forms part of the OU ITE Partnership’s accredited PGCE Salaried route to which we must adhere. It is a beneficial aspect of the programme, supporting the student teacher to further develop their skills in a different school context during June and July of year 1. 

We cannot, under normal circumstances, support requests to complete the SSE at an alternative time.

Arranging student teacher placements is a complex process and we must consider many aspects.

Our Partnership team work closely with schools to build relationships, understand plans and capacity to agree placements. Whilst there may be a Partner School close to a student’s geographic location or closer than their allocated school, it may not always be possible to place them there. Students may be required to travel up to an hour, as is the case for all student teachers.

Students will attend a second school for 3 or 4 days a week. If the Employer School is a Lead or Associate school, students will attend SSE for 3 days a week, leaving 1 day for employment and 1 day for online study. If the Employer School is not a Lead School or does not meet Associate School criteria, students will attend SSE for 4 days a week, leaving one day for online study.

It is very important to note that the Second School Experience is not a quid pro quo arrangement where placements are ‘swapped’.

Students will study a range of online interactive materials via the OU website. It’s not just reading! There will be bespoke video materials to watch and activities to complete as they go. We will provide a helpful study planner to help keep studies on track.

Students will have access to a subject site which gives an overview of the PGCE and a module site to access learning materials, online teaching sessions and the discussion forums. They’ll be able to reach out to other student teachers across Wales to share experiences.

Students will attend live online seminars with an OU tutor in the evening and learn alongside peers across Wales, so they’ll need a computer and a decent internet connection. Students will be expected to have a high level of attendance in online sessions. Sessions for subject or phase are usually held fortnightly, but there are also other learning sessions that they will need to attend from time to time.