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PCM Handbook Secondary

Current version published March 2021.


Professional Co-ordinating Mentors (PCMs) are pivotal in ensuring high quality training for new teachers. They support subject mentors, provide trainees with a school-based training programme and quality assure the whole process of the school-based training. The PCM is central in ensuring that the Partnership provides the very best training possible for new teachers.

All PCMs need to be aware of the Initial Teacher Training Core Content Framework (ITTCCF).

The role of the PCM

The central role of the PCM is to ensure the consistency and quality of the training, mentoring and assessment of trainees.

A quick summary:

  • Liaise with St Mary’s Partnership Office for provision of school placements.
  • Communicate with the Partnership Office to offer subject placements; receive payment for placements; seek guidance and support; update any changes e.g. the names of Mentors.
  • Are familiar with St Mary’s assessment and training procedures including the ITTCCF.
  • Support, advise and train subject Mentors.

PCMs are responsible for:

  • the selection and training of subject Mentors to enable them to carry out their role;
  • ensuring that Mentors are supported and advised throughout the academic year;
  • ensuring that support is provided for Mentors working towards Stage 1 and Stage 2 Mentor Certification;
  • designing and co-ordinating a central school-based programme for all trainees that takes account of the ITTCCF;
  • ensuring that the assessment of trainees, at all points in the course, is secure.

PCMs should play an active role in guiding and advising Mentors at all key points of assessment. PCMs will need to review completed profiles to ensure that they are appropriate and accurate, and support Mentors when an Additional Support Plan (ASP) is issued.

PCMs are central to the quality assurance (QA) of school-based training. As well as evaluating their own school-based training programme, PCMs are actively engaged with a range of evaluation tools such as those undertaken by trainees, Mentors and indeed themselves. Such QA data will also be of value to the school as part of its own school self-evaluation processes. PCMs may also meet OFSTED inspectors if the university is inspected.

PCMs play a central role in promoting all aspects of PGCE training and, consequently, of the importance to a teacher’s career development of engaging with the training of new teachers.

The Partnership Agreement

The Partnership Agreement, sent in advance to all PCMs by the Secondary Partnership Office, is designed to ensure that the development needs of trainees on full-time PGCE Secondary courses are met. PCMs should ensure that they are familiar with the details of the agreement along with the roles and responsibilities of all involved in the training of new teachers.

Safeguarding checks

See also Appendix 1: Safeguarding UCET and NASBET DBS Guidance.

Who is responsible for DBS checking the trainee?

DfE documentation states:
ITT providers must ensure that all ITT entrants have been subject to a DBS enhanced disclosure, and they should keep records showing that a disclosure has been obtained for every trainee.

Should schools have access to DBS returns?

DfE documentation states:
Schools should not expect to have routine access to completed DBS returns. This is the responsibility of the University.

Do trainee teachers need a new DBS check for each new school placement?

DfE documentation states:
Trainee teachers would not normally be subject to more than ONE DBS check during the course of their programmes. Providers of ITT are not expected to make additional checks in respect of separate school placements.

Trainees will be asked to bring their University photographic ID and their DBS certificate number and date of issue on the first day in school.

Please note that all University Subject Tutors undergo DBS checks.

Trainees' professionalism

See Appendix 2: Teachers' Standards.

All trainees are aware of their professional responsibilities as a guest in your school. They are expected to meet the highest of standards. Appendix 4 contains our guidance in relation to such matters as attendance, reasons for absence and course requirements.

If for any reason your trainee is required to attend the University during periods normally allocated for school-based training then you will be informed officially.

All trainees should adhere to an appropriate standard of professional conduct, determined by the ITE partnership’s code of professional conduct, including conduct on the use of social media and appropriate professional dress for the context in which they are working.