Primary PGCE Placements

School-based work placements during the course (excluding preliminary experience) take place in partner schools across the South West: in Devon, Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset, subject to availability.

The PGCE Primary programme includes four periods of school-based work.  They are:

1. Two-week preliminary experience: 09 - 20 September 2019
2. Autumn Placement (school 1): 04 - 15 November 2019

3. Spring Placement:
(school 1 + 2 weeks in school 2):

06 January 2020 – 27 March* or 03 April 2020*
4. Summer Placement (school 2): 14 April* or 20 April 2020* – 30 June 2020

*End of spring term and start of summer term
These dates will vary in Spring 2020 depending on where you are placed. Whilst you will have two weeks’ vacation, some schools finish on 27 March returning on 14 April whilst others finish on 3 April returning on 20 April. Please do not book a holiday during this period until you know where your placements are, and hence when you will be on holiday from school. This applies to primary and secondary trainees on all programmes.

In addition, there are five seminar days where trainees return to the St Luke’s campus – 24 January 2020, 14 February 2020, 13 March 2020, 01 May 2020 and 01 July 2020.


The majority of PGCE trainees will need to secure accommodation within the private sector.

To assist you to find housing during the autumn term, the Accommodation Office canvases local residents for information about suitable vacancies and advertises these details via our studentpad site. Please see for more information.

The majority of PGCE placements will be at a distance from Exeter, thus most trainees have to move area for their school-based work placements. Most trainees wait until the Autumn term to arrange their accommodation for their school-based work when they have met other trainees going to the same school or area. To help with this, once you start the course, you will have access to a list of short-term accommodation throughout the region. Although not vetted by the University, the details in this list have been passed to us by schools, private individuals and former trainees and have been helpful in the past in assisting trainees and groups of trainees find accommodation for the spring/summer terms.

It is strongly recommended that trainees do not buy a house or take out a long-term rental agreement for accommodation in any area before receiving placement information from the ITE Partnership Office. Please also be aware that even after you have received information about your placements, they are only provisional as circumstances can change causing schools to pull out of agreed placements well into the PGCE year.

You will have previously completed a Placement Information Form detailing your placement preferences. If you have not done this, please the Partnership Office immediately on  We aim to advise trainees of their placement schools by the end of July.

Placements FAQs

We offer a contribution to some of the travel and accommodation costs that PGCE trainees may incur as a result of the structure of the training year.  The policy is available on the Graduate School of Education website at Please read the policy carefully to see what it does and doesn’t cover.  If you have any questions about this policy in advance of starting the programme, please contact the Info at St Luke’s team on