Train to Teach

Information about our Initial Teacher Training Programme (ITT).

Why Train With Us?

At Forward Education Trust ITT 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.

Forward Education Trust, which includes Forward Education Trust ITT, encompasses a unique range of special schools across Birmingham and Sandwell that between them educate children with a range of types of SEND. Our relationship with a wider network of schools enables access to experiences in teaching children with a full range of SEND.

Our ITT programme has run for the last 7 years with a 93% completion and pass rate, and 85% of those who did so are currently teaching in Special schools. Whilst a number of students came to the course from a wide area, including Wales and Manchester, 48% of these are currently teaching within Forward Education Trust schools.

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

Our Primary School 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 or China, when travel restrictions allow), through a programme operated by the University.

From March to July 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 best practice in the National Curriculum and pedagogy, working in partnership with trainers from mainstream and special schools. Individual tutorial support will be available to you online and in person throughout the course and particularly during your teaching placements. The nature of the small group of Forward Education Trust ITT students within the wider PGCE cohort enables ongoing personalised support and placement consideration.

Course graduates are encouraged to continue their professional development with our Trust throughout their career, by accessing our programmes for early career teachers, middle leaders and aspiring senior leaders and Headteachers. Already we are seeing some of our ITT graduates joining our middle leaders’ programme.

Entry Requirements

Applicants to the Forward Education Trust 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


There are no bursaries for 2022-2023 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 £28,000 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 Get Into Teaching Apply for teacher training – GOV.UK ( Here, you will register your details then choose where and how you would like to study. Find postgraduate teacher training courses – GOV.UK (  The Provider would be Forward Education Trust ITT and then choose the ‘Only courses offering SEND’ option.

The application window normally opens in October.

Applicants will be selected for interview by members of Forward Education Trust ITT and University based tutors.

Recruitment Process

You will be asked to attend one of the Trust 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 of 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 ITT lead Ann Whitehouse by email:

For any queries regarding the School Direct Programme with the University of Wolverhampton and Forward Education Trust ITT, please contact us via any of the following:

Forward Education Trust
Leycroft Avenue
Tile Cross
B33 9UH

Tel: 0121 809 1510

Email: or