Guidance and requirements for delivery of the Employment Based Initial Teacher Education scheme. Academic year 2024 to 2025.
This guidance sets out the policy priorities and procedures for the Employment Based Teacher Training Scheme (EBS) in Wales. This guidance relates to the academic year 2024 to 25. The EBS is also known as the Salaried PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education). The Salaried PGCE is an accredited programme of initial teacher education (ITE) in Wales. Awarding the professional recognition of qualified teacher status (QTS).
Information is provided on:
- the number of student teacher placements
- the level of grant funding available to support Salaried PGCE student teachers.
- the policy priorities and procedures that the ITE Partnership managing the Salaried PGCE must have regard to
This guidance should be read in conjunction with The Employment Based Teacher Training Scheme 2020 (‘the 2020 Scheme’). The Scheme sets out the statutory requirements for the Salaried PGCE. The Salaried PGCE qualification must also meet:
- the statutory requirements for all ITE programmes in Wales
- the statutory requirements set out in the 2020 Scheme
Guidance for Salaried PGCE applicants
Salaried PGCE student teachers are employed by a school and paid a salary. You will study for your PGCE qualification with qualified teacher status (QTS) while undertaking employment duties in your school. Your school will provide aspects of your qualification alongside other schools in the Open University ITE Partnership
You can apply if:
- you work in a maintained school as a teaching assistant or in a non-teaching role
- your school endorses your Salaried PGCE placement
- you wish to become a secondary school teacher but don’t currently work in a school. The Open University ITE Partnership could help you find an endorsing school
How to apply to the Salaried PGCE
All applications must be made through the Welsh Government’s provider of the Salaried PGCE, the Open University ITE Partnership. The Open University’s website provides details on the application process. Applications are particularly welcome for placements in Welsh medium schools.
Under no circumstances will self-funded applications from individuals be considered.
The Open University sets the deadlines for applications. They will ensure that all necessary declarations and safeguarding checks have been undertaken. The Open University is responsible for:
- addressing enquiries about their application process
- assessing whether you meet the entry requirements for the teaching profession
Places offered and the grant funding available
110 Salaried PGCE places are available and will commence from 1 September 2024. The 110 places are for both primary and secondary maintained schools. Secondary school placements will be available in the following subjects:
- Design and Technology
- Information Technology
- Science: Biology, Chemistry and Physics
All placements and associated Welsh Government grant funding are of a two-year duration.
As a Salaried PGCE student your training costs are paid for by the Welsh Government with a training grant of £4,500 each year. This is available to student teachers:
- studying to become a primary teacher
- studying to become a secondary teacher
If you choose to study a secondary subject specialism your employing school will be supported with a salary contribution grant for the two-year duration of your placement. The salary contribution grant is based on scale point 1 of the unqualified teachers’ pay scale. Please refer to the School Teachers Pay and Conditions (Wales) document for the relevant year.
English medium placements. English medium secondary schools supporting you can receive grant funding at 50% of scale point 1 of the unqualified teachers’ pay scale for the two-year duration of your placement. Please refer to the School Teachers Pay and Conditions (Wales) Document for the relevant year.
Welsh medium placements or a student teacher learning to teach Welsh as a subject. Welsh medium or bilingual secondary schools supporting your Welsh medium placement can receive 100% of scale point 1 of the unqualified teachers’ pay scale for the two-year duration of your placement. Any secondary school supporting you to learn to teach Welsh as a subject can receive 100% of scale point 1 of the unqualified teachers’ pay scale for the two-year duration of your placement. Please refer to the School Teachers Pay and Conditions (Wales) Document for the relevant year.
Guidance for sponsoring schools
Please visit the Open University’s website if you are:
- a school wishing to support a current member of non-teaching staff onto the Salaried PGCE
- interested in working with the Open University ITE Partnership to find a Salaried PGCE student teacher to work in your school
There can be multiple Salaried PGCE student teachers in your school at any time. The Open University ITE Partnership and your school will need to carefully consider the impact of multiple student teacher placements, on both your school and the student teachers placed there. This is to ensure the quality of ITE each student teacher would receive and that your school would enable student teachers to complete their course of study and meet the specified standards (QTS) at the end of their ITE programme.
Duties on schools with a Salaried PGCE student teacher
All maintained schools that employ student teachers on a Salaried PGCE placement must:
- pay the Salaried PGCE student teacher a salary
- abide by any other costs or conditions as set by the national pay and conditions structure for teachers in Wales
- pay a Salaried PGCE student teacher a minimum of scale point 1 on the unqualified teacher pay scale
- abide by any other employment requirements and legislation currently in force
Schools are required to employ all student teachers on the Salaried PGCE programme for its full duration. The Open University ITE Partnership must receive confirmation of placement and employment status before a placement commences. This requirement applies to all placements, regardless of whether grant funded or not. The Open University ITE Partnership will not make any salary grant payments until this confirmation is received. Approval of places will be withheld or withdrawn if this requirement is not met.
Schools must register individuals undertaking a placement with the Education Workforce Council (EWC). Registration should be made under the Learning Support Category. Registration should be made prior to starting their employment. This is a statutory legal requirement.
Whilst undertaking their Salaried PGCE, student teachers will need additional support, guidance, and mentoring. This will enable them to complete the course of study and to meet the specified standards (QTS) at the end of their placement. Working arrangements at the school must afford them the opportunity to do this. This should be agreed in collaboration with the Open University ITE Partnership.
As a member of the Open University ITE Partnership, you will agree and sign an appropriate memorandum of understanding. This will outline the roles and responsibilities of your school within the ITE Partnership.
Schools must employ individuals on a Salaried PGCE placement:
- that can teach subjects for which they are suitably qualified
- which are taught as part of the curriculum for Wales or to public examination level
The Open University ITE Partnership and you as an endorsing school must ensure that a placement in your school will enable the Salaried PGCE student teacher to meet the specified standards (QTS), at the end of their qualification. The Open University ITE Partnership is responsible for ensuring that the Salaried PGCE qualification, delivered across Wales, continues to meet the statutory requirements for award of QTS. Failure to do so can result in having accredited status of the ITE programme withdrawn. Therefore, the final decision on whether a placement commences or continues within your school sits with the Open University ITE Partnership.
Second school placements in the Salaried PGCE qualification
The criteria for accreditation of ITE programmes in Wales specifies that every student teacher is to have experience in at least two schools during their ITE qualification. This can be less straight forward in employment-based initial teacher education. However this is a requirement for all ITE qualifications in Wales to award QTS. Other schools within the Open University ITE Partnership, such as a lead partner school will be utilised for this purpose. The details of the second school placement will be agreed by you as the employing school and the Open University ITE Partnership.
Part-time Salaried PGCE student placements
In considering part-time Salaried PGCE placements, employing schools must discuss the application with the Open University ITE Partnership. The ITE Partnership must conclude it would be possible for the part-time Salaried PGCE student teacher to be given opportunities to become as fully involved in all aspects of the work of the school and be able to achieve QTS.
It is unlikely that those working part time, regardless of their previous experience of teaching, could achieve QTS via the Salaried PGCE. However, applications must be considered by the Open University ITE Partnership in collaboration with an endorsing school on a case-by-case basis.
Guidance for the Salaried PGCE ITE Partnership
The Open University ITE Partnership is the Welsh Government’s provider for the employment based teacher training scheme 2020 across Wales. The terms and conditions of this agreement are set out in a grant offer letter provided by the Welsh Government.
Availability of training and salary grants
The training grants are available to the Welsh Government’s Salaried PGCE ITE provider for the purposes of the Salaried PGCE. They should meet in whole or in part the costs of training student teachers on the Salaried PGCE programme.
Salary grants are available for maintained secondary schools employing Salaried PGCE student teachers. The grant represent a contribution towards the school’s costs of employing individuals on the Salaried PGCE programme. They are not intended to cover all the costs involved and are not a payment to the individual student teacher concerned. The Open University ITE Partnership will distribute the salary grants as per the terms and conditions set out in the grant agreement.
Part time salaried PGCE student teacher placement contributions will be paid at an equivalent rate, pro rata.
The Welsh Government may require the Open University to return part, or all, of any training and salary grant made available if the period of the placement is, for any reason, less than the period of placement specified when the grant was made. The amount required to be returned for any grant made available will be any grant monies unutilised at the point the placement ceased. Further detail is provided in the grant agreement.
Restrictions on undertaking the Salaried PGCE
Undertaking the Salaried PGCE while employed in a Further Education Institution (FEI) is not permitted. This will not enable the student teacher to meet QTS.
Undertaking the Salaried PGCE while employed in a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) is not permitted. Under the School Teachers Qualifications (Wales) 2012 regulations undertaking ITE placements in a PRU is not permissible to gain QTS.