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School-led, Transformative,
Excellence in Partnership


Train to Teach, What is the Lead School Partner Route?

STEP have been providing School Led Initial Teacher Training since 2014. Across four partners, we offer training to become an Early Years, Primary or secondary teacher. We are delighted to be working with the University of Chester to provide high quality teacher training, locally delivered by outstanding practitioners and with placements in successful and outstanding local schools across Shropshire & Telford and Wrekin.

The fee funded PGCE Lead School Partner Route (previously part of the University of Chester's School Direct programme) enables you to work within a school and train in the classroom supported by qualified teachers and mentors.

Each of the Lead Partners within STEP work with the University of Chester and have designed and developed their school led teacher training programmes to provide trainees with bespoke, locally based and high-quality courses which have an excellent reputation and prepare teachers well for their careers.

The programmes take place during one academic year, starting in September and completion is by the end of the school year in July. Programmes are delivered in partnership with the University of Chester, which means your training is delivered by both your Lead Partner and the University of Chester, who will deliver the academic elements of the programme. This will provide you with 60 credits towards a Masters’ degree, if this is something you would like to pursue. On successful conclusion of the Lead Partner Route, you will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

The programme provides an exciting opportunity to train alongside good and outstanding practitioners, gaining valuable knowledge, skills and professional aptitudes. Placements are offered in at least two contrasting schools linked to the providers/partners. On the programme you will spend the majority of your time training in the classroom, helping to build your confidence in a school environment whilst receiving mentoring support.

We are delighted to be working with the University of Chester to provide high quality teacher training, locally delivered by outstanding practitioners and with placements in successful and outstanding local schools across Shropshire & Telford and Wrekin.

Find out more about Train to Teach

Find out more about Train to Teach

Shropshire and Telford Education Partnership (STEP) is an inclusive partnership comprising Salop Teaching Partnership (STP), The Alliance of Leading Learning (ALL), Shropshire Primary Partnership (SPP) and Severn Training and Schools Alliance (STSA) representing all phases and contexts, including Special and Alternative Provisions, across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

Each of the partners offers the PGCE Lead School Partner route. Each partner is driven by their intent to secure firm foundations for those training to teach. Each partner delivers high-quality Initial Teacher Training (ITT), using the ITT core content framework to craft a coherent and well sequenced curriculum, providing excellent support for its students and mentors.

Find out more about the Train to Teach offer from each of our partners:

Further information:

How to apply

The application process can be accessed through with the gateway open for advice on the application process and application form.

‘Apply for teacher training’ is easy to use and gives clear guidance to help potential teachers make strong applications.


The varied placements and host schools has given us the opportunity to fully immerse ourselves into school. It has given us the confidence to grow as teachers.

We have valued current, specialist teachers giving us the opportunity to develop our subject knowledge both through facilitated and school-based learning.

Local provision enables us to promote and train teachers for the uniqueness of our area from large town schools to smaller rural ones. All unique in serving the needs of the children in their community.

Being a teacher is something I always dreamt of but never felt would be possible with a disability. I am deaf, a bilateral hearing aid wearer and during my PGCE, with the support of my course facilitator and Chester University, I was diagnosed as dyslexic. My course tutor liaised with other course tutors and placement schools on my behalf to ensure that adaptations, where necessary, were in place for me to succeed. I loved every second of the PGCE course and, despite the challenges, I can look back and smile.

Emily – Two Years On

When you finally make the choice to take a leap into a new career, it can be a daunting decision. But then you suddenly find yourself in a room, talking to an array of career-driven, eclectic people, and you find your voice. The mentors and tutors you have along the way as you train make your experience unique and purposeful, all out of the goodness of their own hearts. In time you realise, that is what teaching is – reflective, supportive, ambitious.

Applying and interviewing for teaching roles can be a tricky time when you are coming to the end of your training year but using all you know over that time can take you above and beyond when you find a school, the right school. Becoming an ECT is a moment to be proud of and not scared of. As you are working through mentor sessions, modules, reflection tasks, lesson looks and so much more, suddenly before you know it, you are pushing your own boundaries and growing into a reflective and purposeful teacher, ready for the rest of your career.

ITT Advocates

 STEP has two ITT Advocates; Julie Marriott and Ian Nurser. Their role is to:

  • Be fully engaged with the ITT provision across the hub area
  • Scope school’s engagement across the hub with ITT
  • Increase the number of schools engaged with ITT at all levels
  • Provide a clear overview of engaged settings and encouraging others to join STEP

These roles will provide an overview of the current provision across STEP, a deeper understanding of the local market, its context and challenges, in particular the rurality of the STEP area. From the information gathered, the four providers will continue to review their offer to ensure that they meet the contextual differences across the STEP area.

If you would like to be involved in supporting and training the next generation of teachers, join STEP.

ITT Advocate Newsletter Summer 2024

Join STEP to journey together through your teaching career

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If you have any queries please contact:

ITT Strategic Lead: Greg Smallbone
Telephone: 01743 343812