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. With our full-time course you are able to be in your placement school for 4 days a week then one day a week at Core Training, facilitated by our expert practitioners who will model outstanding planning, teaching and assessment to support your development as a teacher. You will have lots of opportunities to interact and learn from peers from across subjects and phases.

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 Flying Start?

Flying Start is a compulsory element of the course and will prepare you for your first weeks in school. For one week during the summer you will be based at Harris Academy Bermondsey where you will meet the National Institute of Teaching Lead Mentor team and your fellow trainees. Over the week we will provide you with knowledge and information to get you started for September, including course structure and overview, an introduction to our training curriculum and teacher training workshops including subject knowledge enhancement. 

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?

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 in a professional or academic capacity 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.
•    the headteacher at a school where you work or volunteer.
•    a supplier or client you've worked with (if you're self-employed)

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

For full-time applicants the salaried route you complete a year training 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 Fee-funded School Direct route is for one year, please check funding options here as the DfE bursary differs depending on your subject or phase.