School Direct

What is School Direct?

School Direct is an innovative training opportunity that gives schools the power to influence the way in which ITT is delivered and ensures the best potential teachers are recruited to the profession.

The main aim of School Direct:

To allow schools to recruit and select the trainees they want with the expectation that they will then go on to work within the school or group of schools in which they were trained.

School Direct has expanded and now offers two types of training places; the School Direct Training Programme and the School Direct Training Programme (salaried).

School Direct places are offered by a school or group of schools in partnership with an accredited teacher training institution. You can expect to gain placements and training in schools with experience of initial teacher training (ITT), including some of the new teaching schools judged as outstanding by Ofsted and which excel at training and developing their staff.

All School Direct places will lead to qualified teacher status (QTS) and many, though not all, will also award you a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) validated by a higher education institution (HEI), as well as masters credits.

There will be no standard model for School Direct training, but you can expect to spend the majority of your time training in the classroom, helping to build your confidence in a school environment and receiving mentoring support. Courses should generally last for one year full-time.

How much will Schools Direct salaried pay me?

The School Direct Training Programme (salaried) will be open to graduates with three or more years’ career experience. Trainees will be employed as an unqualified teacher with a salary subsidised by the Teaching Agency. 

How much will Schools Direct unsalaried cost?

Trainees on a School Direct fee-paying course will have to pay tuition fees to cover the cost of the course, but home and EU trainees will be eligible for a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of these fees and will not have to pay anything back until they are earning over £21,000 per annum.
Tuition fees will vary depending on the institution and the maximum fee you can be charged is £9,000.

Is there any additional funding available for Schools Direct fee-paying places?

Substantial tax-free bursaries  are available for people with top degrees in certain subjects. The amount of bursary you will be eligible for depends on the subject you want to teach and your degree class. Scholarships are also available in a number of subjects.

Trainees on School Direct places may be eligible for an additional payment worth 25 per cent of their standard bursary. To qualify for this payment, trainees will need to be based in a school where more than 35 per cent of pupils are eligible for free school meals.

The School Direct bursary top-up is only available in combination with a standard bursary, and will be paid on top of the standard bursary amount the trainee is eligible for. Schools are not required to offer free school meals to participate in School Direct.

What qualifications do I need?

You must have a UK university degree or a recognised equivalent qualification. If your degree subject does not link closely to the subject you intend to teach, you may improve your ability to gain a place on an ITT programme by following a subject knowledge enhancement course.

To train as a teacher on any programme you must achieve a standard equivalent to a grade C in GCSE English and mathematics. If you want to teach primary or key stage 2/3 (ages 7 to 14), you must also have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C in a science GCSE.

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