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Distance placements

Edge Hill University works in partnership with a variety of schools across the UK and you can volunteer to complete a professional practice placement outside your local area. Distance placements are limited but are often available in a variety of locations for example, in Cumbria and the Isle of Man.

A teacher reads through pupils' work with them during a lesson in a secondary school.

Why volunteer for distance placements?

  • Experience a new dynamic in the classroom, diversify your teaching experience and develop your skills as a teacher. 
  • Explore new styles of teaching and ways of working, and maybe even teach a new curriculum.
  • A distance placement provides an opportunity to live and work alongside other trainees on their professional practice placement. This may be in an area outside the North West of England.
  • You can volunteer with a friend or create new friends to support you on your journey. There may be Edge Hill communities of ex-trainees in some areas such as on the Isle of Man and in Luton.
  • Enhance your opportunity for future employment and develop evidence for your teaching programme. Many trainees who attend a distance placement stay in the local area and some have previously been offered employment there.

Opportunities to be allocated to a distance placement are limited. If you are interested in completing a distance placement, please complete the distance placements form. Full terms and conditions are set out in the Travel and Accommodation Policy located on Blackboard.

University support

The Partnership team will be there to support you and offer advice from the initial stages of inquiry to the end of your placement. Partnership Quality Officers and University Tutors will support trainees for the duration of their professional practice placement.

Financial support

There is no financial outlay to you for the distance placement accommodation.

The following are able to be reimbursed after each period of attendance:

  • Commuting costs to and from school each day
  • Travel costs for relocating at the start an end of each placement block


Self-catering accommodation is sourced and paid for by Edge Hill University. There is no financial outlay for this to you as a trainee. We will arrange the accommodation for you and other trainees together within a short commute of your placement schools. We work with accommodation providers to ensure high quality and safe accommodation for you. Accommodation will always have access to free Wi-Fi, a separate bedroom for each trainee, kitchen facilities, an area suitable for study and laundry facilities.

What are distance placements really like?

Edge Hill student Jessica next to an Edge Hill banner

Distance placement case study: Jessica Jones

BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS, 2017

I came over to the Isle of Man 2 years ago when I was allocated a placement here. I was sent on my placement in the March on the ferry and I was placed at Ballacottier and immediately I was welcomed by the staff. I was placed in Year 1-2 and I would say my placement was very eventful. It was different teaching a Year 1-2 class, with it being split, I hadn’t been given this opportunity in England.

I was living with a group of other trainees who I had never met before, which was scary, but within a few days I developed good relationships and we all began to help each other.

Whilst on the Island, I developed as a teacher and a person, the staff always supported me. In the Isle of Man the curriculum is different to England and because of that you have the opportunity to be creative and you can become your own teacher. That is the key thing, you don’t have to teach and do all  the paperwork, it’s all about the children. It was an experience of a lifetime and I would never say to anyone not to go.

I tweet on my professional twitter to other trainees allocated to the Isle of Man not to worry. It is very daunting but it was the best experience, everything was different in terms of ways of teaching, I was worried I wasn’t going to understand it. But the staff are always there to answer questions and my Mentor was a godsend. I could ask anything from “what is this?” to “where is this?” because you are in a new place and they were so supportive, I was made to feel part of the team straight away, it was amazing. Its not just about teaching the children, it is about getting to know them and giving them life experiences.

I would say to any Primary, Early Years or Secondary trainees to do it, it doesn’t just develop you as a person but it develops you as a teacher, as well as making new friends, it is amazing. I had an issue with phonics as I am dyslexic and I was teaching phonics wrong. My mentor took me aside and advised that my phonics teaching needed improvement. Instead of thinking that it would be a big task for the Mentors to teach me phonics, it wasn’t. I was given the opportunity to be placed in the Reception class to learn phonics and within 2 weeks I got an outstanding in my phonics lesson. The Mentors and the Teachers want to support you, they want to teach you. To create a good teacher, you need good mentors and that is what I had in the Isle of Man. You can tell that I loved it as I am back in the Isle of Man working as a teacher.

Tim: BSc (Hons) Secondary Education Mathematics with QTS, 2022

Tim: BSc (Hons) Secondary Education Mathematics with QTS, 2022

Placement location: Workington, Cumbria

“Being close to the lake district meant every weekend was like a mini break away”.

Jack: PGCE Primary Education with QTS, 2022

Placement location: Isle of Man

“I had a wonderful time, met some great people and was placed in a fantastic school which supported me through the early stages of my practice. I enjoyed being able to develop my practice in a new area and adjust to life away from home which, prior to the placement, I had not experienced.”.

Lauren: PGCE Primary Education with QTS, 2022

Placement location: Luton

“I enjoyed seeing a different environment to ones I was used to in Wigan. I also felt privileged to work with a fantastic Family Worker at the school. It was also a beneficial placement for adaptive teaching such as EAL, PP, and SEN. I learnt just as a much from interacting with the diversity of life experience of children in Luton as they might have done from me. As Luton is such a transient community, everyone is quickly welcomed and it is made clear that no one is an outsider to the area. It has made me look to be more open minded when it comes to job applications”.

Callum: PGCE Secondary Education with QTS, 2022

Placement location: Whitehaven, Cumbria

“The most enjoyable aspect of my time on placement was being in my placement school. The staff were fantastic in making us feel welcome and ensuring that we had a smooth and relaxed introduction into teaching. The skills which I have learnt from both the mentors and the department in general has really helped me to shape my teacher identity. By doing a distance placement I have broadened my horizons in terms of the future”.

Matthew: BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS 2019

“I had the pleasure of going on two different distance placements, one to the Isle of Man and the other to Luton. These experiences were real eye-openers, providing me with brand-new experiences – ones I would not have benefited from if I hadn’t have gone. I couldn’t recommend them enough to anyone. They helped me to discover exactly what I wanted from a school and helped to shape me into the teacher I am today.”

Michael: Secondary History with QTS, 2022

Placement location: Whitehaven, Cumbria

In November 2021 I started my first teaching placement at St Benedict’s Catholic High School in Whitehaven, Cumbria. I really enjoyed the change of setting to the peace of the Lake District and the locals were really welcoming. The accommodation was well laid out and I made friends with other trainees on distance placements who I still speak to now.

My placement went great, and I could not have asked for a better start to teaching and a more supportive school and department than in St Benedict’s. I could not recommend it enough, great people who are great at their jobs supporting you all the way. This developed me as a teacher and really engrained me with useful knowledge, techniques and values.

If you want to solely focus on getting your first placement right with less distractions, then I cannot recommend a distance placement in Cumbria enough.