About us

Why choose the Rural Schools Alliance

Why choose us?

We know that there are a lot of providers out there for you to choose from, making your decision a hard one. How will you know if we are the right one for you?

Here are the reasons our past trainees chose us:

We'll support you in becoming the best version of yourself

Whether you’re a new or recent graduate or a career changer, you’ll bring your own unique qualities and experiences – all of which are a valuable foundation for the teaching knowledge and skills you’ll develop during training.

We will provide you with the tools, support and experience you need to grow as an individual teacher. Every teacher is different, and our training program enables you to become your own teacher, follow your own style and have your own ideas whilst we provide structure and outstanding personalised support.

Our goal is to help you become an inspiring and enthusiastic teaching professional. With our training and encouragement, you’ll achieve that goal.

We're friendly and inclusive

The RSA team is friendly and approachable. We’re ready to be there for you, answer questions, offer advice and help. Whether it’s how to balance assignment writing with lesson planning and teaching, how to apply for your first role or your personal wellbeing, our experienced staff will support you.

You’ll also be in a small group of trainees; peers that you will form a bond with, who get where you’re coming from because they’re at the same stage of training as you, and can share knowledge. You’ll meet with those training at the same school each day and the whole group every Friday. Every year there’s an amazing sense of community amongst our trainees and fantastic peer support.

We ensure that each of our trainees is treated fairly and with respect, so that they can fully participate in their learning, developing skills and resources for their future career. We welcome the uniqueness of every trainee and know that sometimes our approach needs to be adjusted to accommodate your needs. We want you to be motivated to learn and inspired to progress. Tell us about any specific needs you have so we can discuss tailored support for you. The University of Winchester has a dedicated student support team to help with any questions or challenges you might experience during your studies.

We have a dedicated space for trainees

At Swanmore College, we have a dedicated space for our trainee teachers. Overlooking the playing fields, the RSA Hub provides our trainees with somewhere quiet to study and prepare for lessons, meet with other trainees and the Professional Mentors, grab a hot drink, and keep their lunch and other belongings. Most Friday training not at the University is held at Swanmore College in the RSA Hub, and it’s available to trainees on placement at the school. This gives you an alternative to your department or the Staff Room. Because of our rural location, you may spot deer and other wildlife amongst the trees at the edge of the fields.


We have years of experience

We’ve been training teachers for years so you’ll be supported by an experienced team.

We have an incredible pool of professional practitioners to draw upon, skilled not only in their subject specialism but also at being a Subject Mentor. They know what support you’ll need to succeed.

We’ve supported our trainees through most scenarios that can occur in a year-long course, so whatever life throws your way we’ll have your back.

We’ve developed a strong relationship with the University of Winchester and other providers in the area.  This is important as we’ll be working closely together throughout your training and placements.

We have had a 100% employment rate for several years with all of our trainees going on to a job straight after completing their course – a good measure of the quality of training we provide. 

You'll gain experience and confidence

Spending 4 days a week in lessons will give you a wealth of experience whilst you train.

At the beginning, you’ll observe classes and see how the classroom is managed, the subject taught, what methods are used and how the pupils respond. You’ll begin to recognise what you’ve learnt in training and see it put into practice. 

As you progress through the course, gaining more experience and confidence, you will get more responsibility. You’ll progress to co-planning, teaching and evaluating parts of lessons. Then develop your own lesson planning, teaching and reflection, working towards a 70% timetable at the end of the academic year.

It’s practical, hands-on training that will get you ready to work as an ECT (early career teacher) after you qualify. You’ll know that you can do it, because you already have!

“Teaching is a rollercoaster journey and I was grateful to have a strong team who were always accessible whenever needed which encouraged me to strive and be the best practitioner I can be.”