What is a School Direct (SD) programme?

School Direct is a school-led route offering you a way to qualify as a teacher (Qualified Teacher Status or QTS) while based mainly in a school. Many people prefer the School Direct route as the course offers them more experience through immersion in school life and allows them to gain a greater range of knowledge and practical skills working on the job. Our SD course also provides you with the ability to gain a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education or PGCE.

What is the difference between School Direct and a University-Led PGCE?

Both School Direct and a University-led PGCE can provide you with the same outcome: a PGCE and QTS.  Check the offer from the School Direct provider you are looking at as not all offer them both together. The main difference however is the time you get to spend training in school and the essential 'hands-on' experience of teaching you are able to gain with a School Direct course.  Our Harris ITE School Direct course provides this from the first week of training, allowing full-time trainees four days a week at their placement school’s (there are two placements) and one day training at Harris Academy Bermondsey.  The University-led route is theory of teaching before applying your knowledge in your placement schools (24 weeks minimum).

What is the difference between School Direct and SCITT?

The context and structure of both options is similar. They both offer school-based training. School Direct courses might be in partnership with a SCITT or a University, so you will need to check. SCITT are allowed to award their own QTS. School Direct courses have to be accredited by either a University or SCITT.

Is school experience essential prior to me applying?

School experience is helpful when applying, but not essential. If you are coming straight from your degree, or changing career, you will have transferable skills you can take into the classroom. School experience helps you to prepare for training and we can help you with this if needed.

What should I expect from Summer School?

For one week during the summer term you will be based at Harris Academy Bermondsey where you will meet the Harris ITE team and your fellow trainees. Over the week we will provide you with knowledge and information to get you ready for September, including course structure and overview, teacher training workshops and a subject knowledge enhancement day. You will also spend one day at your main placement school, where you will meet your mentor and department or age phase team, take a tour of the academy, complete a guided observation/student shadow and the school will provide you with any resources needed to get you prepared for September.

What can I do in the lead up to starting in September?

Obtaining any school experience can be helpful in the lead up to your main placement in September, this can get you familiar with classroom etiquette, how other teachers manage behaviour, how they use their voice and non-verbal forms. Looking through the curriculum is always helpful as you can have a plan and structure in place for delivering high quality education. Using social media can be a good way to enhance your development both before, during and after your training, giving you the chance to build a professional learning network of educators. You can tap into a thriving community of teachers and educators sharing ideas and best practice via Twitter, Facebook Groups and blogs. You can view our current trainees and alumni who have written about their experience here

What is QTS?  And is that different from a PGCE?

QTS stands for Qualified Teacher Status and it means that you have met the statutory requirements (The Teachers’ Standards 2012) for teaching in England.  PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) an academic qualification recognised around the world. Our course offers QTS and PGCE. It also gives you 60 course credits towards achieving a Master’s.

Who should I choose for my references?

When arranging your references, it's vital that you choose individuals who know you well enough to highlight your potential as a teacher. Those chosen must provide a professional email address not personal.

Ideal referees could include:

  • your university tutor or supervisor.

  • your current line manager at work.

  • your previous employer.

  • Headteacher at a school where you work or volunteer.

  • a supplier or client you've worked with (if you're self-employed)

If I train in a School Direct Partnership, can I only work within partnership schools when qualified?

No, your QTS is accredited by Harris ITE and your PGCE is accredited and verified by Kingston University. This qualifies you to work in any school in the age-range for which you have trained, in any location in which the qualification is accepted. The PGCE is internationally recognised.

What is the difference between the Salaried School Direct route vs Tuition Fee School Direct route?

For full-time applicants the salaried route you complete a year training with Harris ITE then a second year with your placement school to complete the 2 year contract. Salaries are based on the unqualified teacher pay scale and are linked to where you train. The Tuition Fee School Direct route is for one year, please check funding options here as the DfE bursary differs depending on your subject or phase.