About Us

Why Train with the Rural Schools Alliance

Why Choose Us?

The Rural Schools Alliance is a Teaching School partnership and had its first intake of students in the 2017 to 2018 academic year. Our Hampshire secondary schools are Ofsted rated ‘Good ’ schools who have been recognised for our drive and determination to deliver high quality comprehensive education, whilst observing, celebrating and actively promoting traditional values.

The Rural Schools Alliance is led by strong, forward thinking leaders, with a shared vision to become ‘Outstanding’. Collectively, our partnership covers vast belts of rural communities across the county of Hampshire, whilst remaining accessible to the key urban areas of Andover, Fareham, Waterlooville, Winchester, Southampton and Portsmouth.

In addition, the Rural Schools Alliance is delighted to be working in partnership with the University of Winchester to deliver and design the initial teacher training provision (ITT). The University of Winchester is an Ofsted rated ‘Outstanding ’ University for its ITT provision.

All student teachers are initially registered for the Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). This is a course of 120 credits at Level 6. In December, student teachers may apply to be registered on the Postgraduate Certificate In Education (PGCE-M) where up to 60 M-level credits can be gained from subsequent work. Therefore the PGCE-M will result in 60 credits at Level 6 and 60 at Level M.  All students completing the School Direct course will also gain ECT (Early Career Teacher) status.

As schools and community hubs, we are committed to the challenge and scope of the opportunities available to teachers and learners within the dynamic landscape of education in the 21st Century. We are constantly and consistently striving to uncover and develop personal excellence for all: for pupils and trainee teachers alike, our approach is vibrant, positive and energetic. We ensure that all learners – pupils or trainee teachers – experience the highest standard of support and development throughout their journey in education and beyond.

Education should be fun, awe-inspiring, life-changing and life-enhancing: it should be borrowed and nurtured by a generation to pass on boldly and proudly to the next.

This is the ethos that underpins the Rural Schools.

About Student Life at the University of Winchester

The Student Union at Winchester is based in the University Centre. It organises club nights, comedy, quizzes and live music. There is also a cinema with a dedicated programme of films. A variety of clubs, societies and associations are run in the Student Union, offering the chance to get involved in a wide range of activities. The Union also provides support and welfare services, accompanied by awareness campaigns throughout the year.

The University of Winchester offers excellent sports facilities for students, staff and the community. It has a sports stadium, all weather pitch and a range of gyms and sports halls.

The University is part of a thriving network of performing arts activities involving national and international artists and professional performance companies. Students and staff regularly perform at national events such as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the University is involved every year in the Winchester Hat Fair – a famous street theatre festival. There are excellent performance and rehearsal spaces at the University that offer the latest technology for student productions. There are also first-rate choreography and dance studio facilities.

The Link Gallery is an arts space at the University that is open to the general public. There is an exhibition programme throughout the year featuring established and emerging artists of a host of visual arts such as photography, painting and sculpture. There is also a fascinating array of visual arts displayed on campus – all are the creative works of students, staff, alumni and local professional artists.

Quick facts about us


The Rural Schools Alliance does not provide accommodation for its trainee teachers but advice regarding housing is available from Student Housing Services at The University of Winchester.

Disability Access

Schools within the alliance have varying degrees of disability access. Applicants who would like to find out more details about disabled access provision across the alliance can contact the Rural Schools Alliance Administrator. The University of Winchester provides a range of student support services including advice and guidance and tutorials for those with a specific learning difficulty.

Special Features

Swanmore Campus: Discounted Gym membership

Child Care Facilities

The partnership schools do not have dedicated child care facilities on site.

Public Transport

Information about regional bus and train services that provide links to our partner schools can be found by contacting the Rural Schools Alliance Administrator. The University of Winchester is within walking distance of the main railway line from London Waterloo to Southampton, Bournemouth and Weymouth. There are also a wide range of regional bus and train services that are easily accessible and more information can be found at: Travel and transport to the University of Winchester

Study Facilities

All School Direct trainee teachers with the Rural Schools Alliance become members of The University of Winchester’s Student Union and are, therefore, able to take advantage of the study facilities on the campus. These include: Student support services, access to the library (including 24/7 during term time) and online resources.