Why Train With Us?

At Brays Teaching School and Specialist Teaching Alliance (BTSSA) we want to help those who are passionate about teaching children who have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) to train and develop as teachers.

Our alliance has a unique range of special schools across Birmingham, many of whom are rated by Ofsted as Outstanding, that between them educate children with all types of SEND.

Our ITT programme has run for the last 4 years with a 96% completion and pass rate and 95% of those who did so are currently teaching in special schools.

Our student teachers rate the quality of tutorial support they receive very highly.

Our Primary Schools Direct PGCE Programme with QTS is delivered jointly with Wolverhampton University at their Walsall campus and combines mainstream and SEND pedagogy. During your training you will also gain 60 Masters credits as you work towards four written assignments.

Although our programme has a primary focus, it is well regarded by special schools in Birmingham that are all age or that educate secondary aged pupils. If your ambition is to teach secondary aged pupils who have SEND please contact us.


Overview of the Training

Our programme gives you a good grounding in mainstream primary pedagogy before specialising in teaching pupils who have SEND. Between the start of your training in September and the Christmas holiday you will attend lectures and seminars at the Walsall campus of the University of Wolverhampton with other Primary PGCE trainees and undergo your first placement in a primary school where you will gradually build up to teaching lessons to a whole class as well as observing good practice.

In January you will be given the opportunity to work in settings that educate pupils with differing types of SEND to help you to find your personal preference.

In February there is a chance to broaden your experience further through a 2 week voluntary placement here in the West Midlands or in India through a programme operated by the University.

From March to June you will undergo your final placement in your preferred type of SEND setting.

Throughout the programme you will receive high quality training from experienced University tutors on the National Curriculum and pedagogy working in partnership with trainers from mainstream and special schools in current best practice. Individual tutorial support will be available to you on line throughout your teaching placements.

Course graduates are encouraged to continue their professional development with our Alliance throughout their career, by accessing our programmes for newly qualified teachers, middle leaders and aspiring Head teachers. Already we are seeing some of our ITT graduates joining our middle leaders programme.

Entry Requirements

Applicants to the BTSSA School Direct route into teaching must satisfy a number of requirements including the following:

A relevant degree (a NC subject or related pedagogical areas) at either 2:2 or above.

Considerable recent and relevant school experience that includes working with children who have SEND

GCSE grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) in maths, a science and English

You must pass the QTS skills tests in Maths & English before starting the course, The University of Wolverhampton offers support sessions for these.

You must show evidence of either passing or booking the QTS skills tests at interview



There are no bursaries for 2019-20 to which applicants to our programme would be eligible.

Fees for this programme are currently £9,250 and applicants are able to apply for a student loan for these and for maintenance.

Teachers in special schools currently have a starting salary of around £25,800 including SEN allowance. Our high pass, employment and retention rates suggest that those who train with us will be in a strong position to repay their student loans.


How to Apply

You must apply through UCAS Teacher Training using the “Apply” system (www.ucas.com/apply/teacher-training) Here, you will register your details then choose where and how you would like to study.

The application window normally opens in October.

Applicants will be selected for interview by members of BTSSA and university based tutors.


Recruitment Process

You will be asked to attend one of the alliance schools for a selection process. This will include;

·        an interview - exploring your motivation and understanding of the role of a teacher

·        supporting a small group within a lesson where your interaction with children and staff can be observed

·        a skills audit which will provide us with some information about your existing strengths in terms of academic writing as well as indicate any areas where you need to develop your knowledge and understanding.

You must bring with you copies of your GCSE Maths, English and Science (grade C/4+) or equivalent certificates, degree certificate (if you have already passed the award), proof of either passing or having booked your QTS skills tests in English and Maths and any other relevant qualifications to support your application. You must also bring one proof photographic ID – passport, driving licence etc. and proof of your current address such as a bank statement or utility bill. We will be unable to continue with your interview without these documents.

You can expect to know the outcome of the interview within 10 working days and you are advised to monitor your UCAS Track for a decision on your application.


Contact us

If you would like more information about our programme or you want to gain more experience in a special school setting please contact our teaching school tutor Ann Whitehouse by email: a.whitehouse@fet.ac

Contact Us

For any queries regarding the School Direct Programme with the University of Wolverhampton and Brays Teaching School and Specialist Alliance, please contact us at any of the following:

Brays Teaching School
Brays Rd
B26 1NS

Tel: 0121 742 6069
Fax: 0121 742 1567

Email: btssa.enquiry@fet.ac

Enquiry Form