Our partner schools and colleges

We're looking to build new relationships with local schools - in addition to the education establishments that we already work with across Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire – to deliver our school-based learning.

Our PGCE courses provide trainees with a combination of school-based and university-based learning, with our trainees spending around two-thirds of their training course within one of our local partner schools to become partners in training and equipping the next generation of teachers.

Trainees in our PGCE courses learn and develop their practice in a coherent and integrated programme of experience in schools and university. Trainees spend around two-thirds of their training course in placement schools or colleges.

Why partner with us?

We are very happy to take PGCE students from The University of Manchester because they are invariably strong academics with a genuine love for their subject who are prepared to innovate and challenge in the classroom.

David Howson / Professional Mentor, Stockport Grammar School

We're an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ institution - receiving the highest possible rating across all assessed elements of the Ofsted 2018 review.

We're also rated as the best university provider of postgraduate teacher training in the North of England (The Good Teacher Training Guide 2017).

Our key aim is facilitating the development of trainees as critical, reflective, professional teachers and colleagues through an integrated curriculum.  

Whilst we pride ourselves on this high-quality level of teaching, the Manchester Institute of Education (MIE) is also committed to addressing key national and international issues faced within the education sector.

We ensure our research drives forward evidence-informed educational change, as we work closely with our professional partners to do so.

We aim to be a constructive hub for the development of strategies for engagement by schools and young people in issues such as equality and diversity, climate crisis and decolonising education, and working towards a rich knowledge-based curriculum.

The success of our course is based upon a reciprocal partnership with our school partners. We work collegially by building and maintaining effective relationships between our university team and school staff. We reduce the demands of initial teacher education on schools and colleges by:

  • selecting and placing trainees with care;
  • making trainees responsible for monitoring their own progress;
  • quick and effective response when problems occur;
  • encouraging the sharing of effective practice between all partners, through CPD and through the exchange of resources.

We are intent on broadening our partnership around key themes such as equality and diversity, decolonising the curriculum, environmental sustainability – areas that can only be addressed through collaboration.

School Direct is an integrated strand of our provision.

What's involved?


  • A trainee mentor is identified, normally the class teacher with whom the trainee will be based.
  • The mentor is asked to attend our half-day mentor training, before each placement, so they are clear about the expectations of the placement, the trainee and them as a mentor.
  • The mentor is supported by a named Professional Tutor from the University during the placement (for core PGCE placements) or by the School Direct alliance lead (for School Direct PGCEs) to ensure moderation and support is received for both trainees and mentors.


  • Each school we partner with will identify a Professional Mentor amongst their staff - usually a senior colleague - who has responsibility for the trainee teachers (and their Subject Mentors) placed within their school.
  • Each trainee is then assigned a Subject Mentor who hosts them within their class and supports them throughout their placement.
  • To ensure our partner schools feel well-equipped to train our secondary PGCE trainees, we offer twilight training sessions for new or returning Subject or Professional Mentors in January, June, and September each year.
  • Our School Liaison Team are also on-hand to support mentors throughout each placement period.

How to partner with us

Becoming a PGCE Primary school partner

We are looking for schools to partner with us who are:

  • aspirational;
  • committed to developing outstanding teachers as part of a community of practice;
  • looking to add to the research on informed practice in education with a leading global university.

Primary partner schools are organised in geographical ‘clusters’, led by a hub school and named university professional tutor.

Each cluster has three arranged meetings each term to share placement offers, updates and other training available to partners.

We have two PGCE Primary routes for our students to choose from:

  • PGCE Primary;
  • PGCE Primary with Maths.

If you want to offer placements to PGCE Primary trainees, please contact Karen Kilkenny (karen.kilkenny@manchester.ac.uk).

Becoming a PGCE Secondary school partner

We welcome schools and colleges partnering with us who are:

  • committed to developing great teachers as part of a flexible, structured programme.
  • interested in opportunities to collaborate on developments in pedagogy and curricula within and across subject areas

There is no set date for expressing your interest to partner with us for the next academic year. We welcome contact at any time during the year. The secondary team will contact schools about their placement offers for the following year around Easter time. We confirm these details in the early September of the new academic year to ensure the placements are still available within your school. If you wish to provide placement opportunities within your school during the next academic year, please fill out this form, identifying which of our PGCE Secondary trainees you’d be able to mentor:

  • PGCE Secondary Biology;
  • PGCE Secondary Business Education;
  • PGCE Secondary Chemistry;
  • PGCE Secondary Economics and Business Education;
  • PGCE Secondary English;
  • PGCE Secondary French;
  • PGCE Secondary Geography;
  • PGCE Secondary German;
  • PGCE Secondary History;
  • PGCE Secondary Mathematics;
  • PGCE Secondary Physics;
  • PGCE Secondary Physics with Maths;
  • PGCE Secondary Spanish.

If you have any questions about becoming a Secondary PGCE School Partner with us, please contact Peter Marks (peter.marks@manchester.ac.uk).

Meet the Schools Liaison team

  • Peter Marks: Secondary PGCE Team Leader School Liaison
  • Keith Parry: Schools Liaison Tutor Secondary PGCE Team
  • Martine Fleming: Schools Liaison Tutor Secondary PGCE Team
  • Kate Cooper: Initial Teacher Training Tutor
  • Michael Fitzpatrick: Initial Teacher Training Tutor
  • Karen Kilkenny: School Direct Primary PGCE Lead