School Direct (salaried)

If you’re a graduate and have been working for around three years in any career, School Direct (salaried) courses are available for you. On this school-led option, you’re selected directly by the school or partnership of schools you apply to – and you’ll earn a salary during your training. Schools recruit you as a trainee with a job in mind just for you.

School Direct (salaried) courses normally take a year to complete. This is a great choice if you want to stay in the world of work, as you’ll be employed as an unqualified teacher during your training while you learn ‘on the job’. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be thrown straight in at the deep end or expected to work things out for yourself.

As a School Direct (salaried) trainee, you’ll be surrounded by experienced teachers and mentors to support you from the start. The school you’re with won’t ask you to teach classes unsupported until they think you’re ready.

The principles of academic rigour on School Direct (salaried) are the same as on university-led courses, too. School Direct courses generally last a year and all result in QTS.

Most School Direct courses also include a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) and/or master’s-level credits – you can check the exact details of individual courses on the UCAS teacher training site.

Eligibility and salary

The amount you earn will be dependent on the school you train in and the subject you’re teaching. This year, a number of schools are offering an enhanced salary of up to £25,000 to trainees in maths, physics and computing – you should check with the school before you apply to see if they are offering this higher rate.

Your training cost to achieve QTS is covered by the school – check with your training provider to find out if this also includes a PGCE.

Your work experience does not have to be from a career in education, but generally applies to the years following graduation. Please ask the schools you are interested in applying to about their recruitment arrangements. In addition, some schools may accept applications from high-quality candidates with fewer than three years’ work experience.

Remember that generous tax-free bursaries and scholarships of up to £25,000 are available to train to teach some subjects. This may make better financial sense to you than a School Direct (salaried) course, where you'll be paid and taxed as an unqualified teacher. Find out more about non-salaried School Direct.

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. If you would like to speak to us about teaching or teacher training, please call us on Freephone 0800 389 2500.

Your 3 years of work experience could be from any career – not just education

Earn over £21k (£25k in London) as a trainee maths, physics or computing teacher on School Direct (salaried)

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

I have regular one-to-ones with my mentor, which provides an invaluable opportunity to review my progress and experience.

Stephen Mitchell, School Direct (salaried) trainee

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