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Placement Overview

Placement Overview

As part of its ITE programmes all students are required to spend time on placement in schools or other settings. The remainder of this policy uses schools as a generic term to cover any type of placement setting. The phrase “The University” refers to the University of Cumbria. The phrase “Student(s)” refers to students registered with the University of Cumbria and studying towards one of its courses leading to Qualified Teacher Status. The term “Placement” refers to assessed placements only, this policy does not cover any other type of school based experience e.g. ‘experiential’, ‘enrichment’ or ‘saturation’.

Placement Organisation

The University’s partnership schools are spread across a wide geographical area including Cumbria, Lancashire, London, Scotland, the North East of England and Northern Ireland. Regulations require students trained in England to be placed ‘wholly or mainly’ in England.

Placements can be allocated throughout the North West of England and can vary in location, for example a student with a home address of Bolton is likely (but not guaranteed) to be allocated a placement within travelling distance of Bolton.

The University will provide students with placement opportunities to meet the requirements of their course. The University reserves the right to place students in any of its partnership schools.

The University is committed to challenging and tackling discrimination and to actively promote equality and good relations across all areas of its activity including school placements. In addition to this, the University offers help and support with placement arrangements for students with a disability. Initial guidance is provided by the University’s Disability and SpLD Team.

Students are not able to arrange or source their own placement and must attend the placement provided by the University. Students who arrange or source their own placement will be deemed as having failed the requirements of the placement. This will require the student to re-sit the placement the following academic year.

Placement Expectations

Students are required to make their attendance on placement their first priority. Personal circumstances and commitments outside University must be managed by students in a way that does not affect their ability to attend and complete their placement. Students are training to enter a profession and are treated as such.

Students must contact schools prior to placement to ensure they are fully aware of the dress code, start and end times of the school day and any other issues as directed by their Cohort Leader.

Students should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the school/setting day, and should not leave before 4:30pm without prior agreement with their placement setting. Students attending placement in London are required to be at school 60 minutes prior to the start of the school day.

Student Accommodation whilst on Placement

Students studying on a Primary PGCE course may wish to consider University accommodation that is offered on a short term let basis especially those with a home address in the North West of England or Northern Ireland.

PGCE Primary Students with a home address in Northern Ireland have the option, subject to availability, to complete their final placement in Northern Ireland. For details on the accommodation offered by the University, please visit the Accommodation page.

Student Travel to Placement

Students are required to make journeys of up to 90 minutes duration to reach a placement. This time limit is based on a one way journey from the campus where a student is based, or their home address whichever is nearest to the placement. The travelling time will be determined by the use of an appropriate internet route planner as specified by the University:

Car journeys - Google Maps

Public transport - Traveline

Placement Exceptions

Students who withdraw themselves from a placement without obtaining permission will be deemed as having failed to meet the requirements of the placement. This will require the student to re-sit the placement the following academic year.

Students cannot be placed in schools where family members are either employed or are pupils or where the student has a close relationship with a member of the school staff.

Students cannot be placed in a school where they have an existing professional relationship e.g. (but not exclusively) governor, teaching assistant, sports coach.


Absence from Placement

Students (or their representative if they are too ill to telephone in person) must complete the following steps on the first day of illness, whilst on placement:

  • Contact the placement school at least 30 minutes before the start of the school day to notify them that they will not be in school and why. They will need to indicate when they expect to be back in school.
  • Report their absence via the Student Hub (My Day) using the My Student Details tile and then using the Self Certification tab (available via the Student Hub) before 9.00 am on the first day of your absence if possible. Instructions on how to complete this can be obtained here.
  • Students must also advise, when necessary, the following people:
    • Anyone involved in transporting them to placement or if they are providing transport to others, this includes taxi firms.
    • The Placement Unit Team when they have arranged transport on a student’s behalf.
    • Their University Partnership Tutor (UPT), as they may be planning to visit them on placement that day. The name of their UPT is found on their InPlace account.

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