School Direct

This school-led option offers practical, hands-on training and education based in good schools across the country. School Direct courses are designed by groups of schools – with a university or a SCITT – based on the skills they are looking for in a newly qualified teacher (NQT). The schools recruit you as a trainee onto their School Direct course with a job in mind just for you. This is a popular choice for those who hope to secure a role in the network of schools where they train.

School Direct courses generally last a year, and you’ll train in at least two schools.

This course offers a brilliant option if you want to train and learn ‘on the job’, and you shouldn’t worry about being thrown in at the deep end. You’ll be part of a team from the very start, receiving intensive support from experienced teachers and mentors. That means you won’t be teaching classes unsupported until the school thinks you’re ready.

The principles of academic rigour on School Direct are the same as on university-led courses, too. You’re also equally eligible for a training bursary (or, where appropriate, scholarship) and can apply for the same financial support, such as student loans. School Direct courses all result in qualified teacher status (QTS). Most also award you a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) and/or master’s-level credits, but you should check individual courses on the UCAS teacher training site.

These combined factors mean that school-led courses have very high rates of employment and trainee satisfaction. And, with the expansion of School Direct, the chances to train locally are better than ever – wherever you live in England, there should be a School Direct partnership nearby.

If you like the idea of School Direct, but would like to earn a salary and have been working for around three years, School Direct (salaried) is available exclusively for you.

We are often asked questions about school-led training, and there are some misconceptions that arise frequently – find out more on our myth-busting page. You can also speak to a Teaching Line adviser on Freephone 0800 389 2500.

More than 90% of newly qualified teachers rate their training highly

There are more than 900 School Direct partnerships in England

Find out about the support that you’ll receive on a School Direct course from both primary and secondary trainees. Transcript (PDF, 47KB)

To fully immerse myself within education was the way forward for me as far as my teacher training was concerned.

Laura Carr, School Direct trainee

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