Train to Teach

Welcome to the Wealden Partnership School-Based PGCE Courses

Heathfield Community College is the Lead school within this Partnership


Every Lesson Shapes a Life

What are School-Based PGCE Courses?

There are two types of training courses available with the Wealden Partnership: School Choice PGCE with the University of Sussex (accredited by the University of Chichester) and School Connect PGCE with the University of Brighton. Trainees are trained in much the same way as the current PGCE courses but with both placements in our group of schools.

Why train with us? 

  • The Wealden Partnership offers high quality teacher training by dedicated professionals in a supportive and aspirational environment.
  • We believe that teaching is a wonderful career and that this is a successful, innovative and vibrant group of schools to work with.
  • Our partnership of schools is led by Heathfield Community College and comprises three other large secondary schools, Uckfield College, Uplands Community College and Beacon Academy.
  • All four schools are highly successful and popular 11 – 18 mixed comprehensives situated in semi-rural communities in the north-eastern corner of East Sussex, within commuting distance of Brighton, Eastbourne and the South Coast.
  • We work with Brighton University and the University of Sussex (accredited by the University of Chichester) to offer excellent teacher training.

Our trainees enjoy their placements with us and are positive about their training experience.

I think that a trainee here immediately becomes part of the teaching staff. They receive all the support that they need to progress and develop their teaching skills.”

“Having the possibility to develop my skills in such a vast range of experiences has truly improved my professionalism and ignited my love for teaching. I will greatly miss my colleagues, but I will miss my students the most. They are smart, well-mannered and eager to learn, nurtured by a positive environment where technology is used to help them growing up prepared for the real world.”

Wealden Partnership School Direct Courses 2024-25

Wealden Partnership consists of Uckfield College, Heathfield Community College, Uplands Academy and Beacon Academy.

Trainees are able to apply for the school where they wish to be based for their main placement. Contrasting placements are organised by the Partnership.

Please apply via the DfE’s Apply service. Current places open to applications can be found here.

Applications can be made from 10 October 2023 for training to start in September 2024.


Subject Knowledge Enhancement Courses (SKEs)

The Wealden Partnership are keen to recruit well-qualified, committed and enthusiastic trainee teachers who are passionate about their subject area and keen to share this passion with young people of all abilities in the secondary age range. We work closely with two excellent, local providers (University of Brighton and University of Sussex) to ensure that Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses are available to potential applicants if there is a need to update your subject specialism.

School Experience Placements

Undertaking a short classroom type teaching task and showing an awareness of the curriculum and school life is a likely part of the interview process, so candidates may wish to prepare themselves by spending some time in an appropriate school setting for the subject/phase they intend to teach beforehand.  Please contact your local school to enquire.

For queries about School-Based PGCE Courses with the Wealden Partnership or school experience at Heathfield Community College, please contact Jo Sheldon: [email protected]

Information about funding for Teacher Training can be found here:


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