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Initial Teacher Education

Initial Teacher Education (ITE) placements are organised by the Placements Team.

You can expect to be placed in any school that has an Outstanding, Good or Requires Improvement Ofsted rating. Any of these three experiences will be a valuable learning experience for any trainee.

We aim to publish placements two weeks before a placement begins. Details on your individual placements will be shared with you using the Abyasa database which you will gain access to when you start your course. Details such as the names of mentors may be subject to change, depending on the needs of the school.

If we are unable to find a placement for you, you will be notified in advance. We will then work with you and the School Experience Director to discuss any concerns.

To speak to a member of the Placements Team email

How we decide placements

We know that you can have a range of needs, from medical through to childcare issues. Each need is looked at on a case-by-case basis. Though we always try our best to accommodate your needs, we cannot guarantee that these will be met. 

We cover a large geographical area and it is our placement policy that all trainees must be willing to travel up to 90 minutes in each direction. When we receive a York-area placement, much consideration goes into who to allocate, considering a variety of reasons.

We try to allocate placements fairly. For example, if a trainee has travelled a long distance for a placement, we will look into placing them closer for their next placement, if possible. We always advise that trainees speak to their Academic Tutor or School Experience Director if they have any placement concerns.

Finding your own placements

We provide placements for all ITE students. However, if you have worked in or have a contact at a school and would feel comfortable going to them for a placement, please pass this information to us. We will then be able to look into suitability, as well as whether or not we have already placed you, before we contact them. 

If your school contact is a relative or close friend, we would need further information before considering this, and would not be able to place you in the same class.

Changes to placements
If you are unhappy with your placement we recommend that you take a few hours to let the information settle in. It is common for trainees to react to their placement before looking into transport options, speaking to family and doing some research.

If you feel that your placement is unmanageable, please speak with your School Experience Director or Academic Tutor in the first instance. If you still feel unhappy with your placement, you can complete a Placement Reconsideration Form within 48 hours of the placements information having been released. The form will be considered by a panel including the School Experience Director and the manager of the Placements Team and you will be notified of the outcome as soon as possible.

Forms should be returned to 

During your placement

It is important to keep us informed if there are any changes to your placement so our records are accurate. This includes changes to the class you are teaching as we need to ensure you experience different areas of your chosen age range.

If you are unwell, please phone the school first and foremost. It is important that they know as soon as possible not to expect you so that they can make alternative arrangements for the class. Do please contact the Student Placements Team, either by phoning your Student Placement Administrator or by e-mailing We will then notify your School Experience Director, Link Tutor, Academic Tutor and the School Administration Unit.

If you require a day off, for example, to attend your graduation ceremony or to go to a funeral, please contact the School Administration Unit. They will issue you with a Leave of Absence form. This will need authorising by your Head of Programme before it can be approved.

Placement travel costs

If you are an undergraduate student of the BA Primary Education degree, you may be entitled to claim back a contribution towards your placement travel costs.

Your ability to claim back depends on the following conditions:

  • The distance that you travel to school must be further than the journey you would otherwise make from your term-time address to University.
  • You must comply with our Study-Related Driving Policy in order for you to drive to placement.
  • Your travel receipts must be legible and must be submitted to the York St John University Finance Team before the supplied deadline.
  • You must keep the Placements Team informed and updated with regards to your transportation to placement. If you have notified us that you will be travelling to your placement by public transport, your receipts must reflect this.
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