Bury Teaching Schools Alliance


Secondary School Direct PGCE with QTS
Up to 24 places available in Biology, Chemistry, Computing, English, Geography, History, Mathematics, Modern Languages and Physics

Primary School Direct PGCE with QTS


Jo Seddon: 0161 766 1597
Elms Bank Specialist Arts College
Ripon Avenue
M45 8PJ

Ian Young: 01204 883 415
Christ Church CE Primary School Walshaw
Church Street

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Elms Bank Specialist Arts College
Ripon Avenue
M45 8PJ

All our Primary School Direct trainees have successfully passed their first placement! “This is testament to the quality of the students this year & the huge effort lead schools, placement schools and class mentors have put in.” MMU
Well done to our current cohort! #schooldirect

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About Us

The Bury Teaching Schools Alliance (BTSA) was formed in 2014 by two Bury National Teaching Schools: Christ Church CE Primary and Elms Bank Specialist Arts College. The Alliance works in collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and a number of experienced schools to deliver outstanding teacher training within local schools to grow our next round of future teachers and leaders.

Due to our extensive links, and the unique nature of the BTSA, we offer you tailored cross phase and enrichment opportunities across primary, special and secondary schools. As a BTSA trainee you can expect an extensive and supportive training programme with input from National, Local and Specialist Leaders of Education with the opportunity to work alongside happy and friendly children and hardworking and ambitious staff in your placements.

All of our partner schools have considerable experience of teacher training, and you will be made to feel like a valued staff member from the start. You will be mentored and coached through the School Direct programme to become a good or outstanding teacher, equipped to complete your NQT year with confidence. There are structured career pathway opportunities in place and established training programmes available to support you in every stage of your teaching career, e.g. NQTs, RQTs, Outstanding Teacher Programme and Leadership Development.

A large number of our Graduate Teachers have gained employment in Bury schools. We also offer our trainees the opportunity to apply to the NQT pool, from which many Bury Head Teachers select their NQTs. Several of our former students now hold middle and senior leadership roles in local schools, making the difference to local children.

If you are inspiring, knowledgeable and ambitious and want to share your passion and enthusiasm to make a real difference to young peoples’ lives and futures we want to hear from you.

You should have:

A degree (2:1 is preferred but a 2:2 would be considered if an applicant has sufficient school experience) in a related subject and GCSE English and Mathematics, Grade C or above (and Science if you are applying for Primary).
You may still apply if you do not fulfil this criteria, however you may be required to complete a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course.

For secondary places, at least two weeks school experience must be completed and for primary three weeks is required, at least, before the start of the course.
We can help you to arrange this if required.

All trainees will need to complete Professional Skills Tests in Literacy and Numeracy prior to entry to this programme.

Successful completion of the Professional Skills Tests will be a condition of any offer of a place.

Staff & Team

Director of The Bury Teaching Schools Alliance, Ian Young, is highly experienced in leadership and management having a breadth of experiences ranging from sixteen years primary headship, working for CfBT as an additional inspector and working as a National Leader of Education engaged in school to school support work for several years.

Elaine Parkinson is a National Leader of Education and Headteacher of Elms Bank, a secondary generic special school (11-19) in Bury. She began her career as an English teacher at Moorclose Senior High School in 1986 (now Middleton Technology College). She moved into special education in 1990. She has held a range of posts in special schools before becoming Headteacher of Elms Bank Specialist Arts College in 2007. She gained her NPQH in 2006.
Elms Bank has gained two specialisms in the Arts and Applied Learning and became a Teaching School and National Support School in 2014 as part of a multiple Teaching School Alliance with Christ Church Primary School, Walshaw. Elaine has worked with key partners to establish Bury Secondary Learning Collaborative. She has been the interim headteacher of a hospital school and has supported a number of schools with a particular focus on SEND. Elaine is also a designated Pupil Premium Reviewer.

As the lead for BTSA Primary School Direct, Sarah has used her wealth of experience as a Deputy Head Teacher, mentor and lead of various teacher training programmes to create an extensive and supportive School Direct programme in collaboration with MMU.

Leader for BTSA Schools Direct Secondary Programme, Julie is highly experienced  having a breadth of experiences including Training and Development Officer for Performance Management, NQT Induction Tutor, coaching NPQML and Professional Mentor during 34 years of teaching in secondary education.

Coordinator for the BTSA, and first point of contact for any queries you may have.

Partner Schools

Bury is a small local authority and the majority of primary and secondary schools within the borough are associated with and support the work of Bury Teaching Schools Alliance.

Particular schools offering placements this year include: Christ Church Ainsworth CE Primary, Christ Church CE Primary, East Ward Community Primary, Hazlehurst Primary, Higher Lane Primary, Holcombe Brook Primary, St John with St Mark CE Primary, St Mary’s CE Primary, Summerseat Methodist Primary, Sunny Bank Primary, Unsworth Primary, Broad Oak (Specialist Sports College), Elms Bank Specialist Arts College, Parrenthorn (Specialist Technology College), Phillips (Specialist Maths and Computing College), The Derby (Specialist Science and Art College), The Elton High School Specialist Arts College, Tottington (Specialist Maths and Computing College), Woodhey (Specialist Science College).