What do our Harris Academy Principals have to say about our School Direct programme?

KCKatherine Cumberbatch    

Executive Principal                              

Harris City Academy Crystal Palace   

Harris ITE Steering Committee 

The Harris School Direct scheme is an excellent hands on training programme for who wish to start a career in teaching.  At Harris City Academy Crystal Palace, we recruit around ten trainees each year, many of whom stay with us into their Newly Qualified Teacher year and beyond.  The scheme gives trainees classroom experience from the outset and they are fully immersed in the life of the Academy.  This blended with their training day at Harris Academy Bermondsey offers a great balance of both theory and academic rigour.  Trainees are supported by mentors within their own schools as well as by central consultants who are able to provide subject specialism expertise.

If you wish to make a difference to the outcomes for children across London whilst working within a high achieving, high support culture, this is the teacher training programme for you.                                   

Visit Harris City Academy Crystal Palace website.   



Nicola Graham   

Assistant Director (East Quadrant) and Executive

Principal of Harris Academy Chafford Hundred.  

Harris ITE Steering Committee 

I am a firm supporter of the Harris School Direct scheme. At a time when recruitment is challenging, it is a pleasure to welcome new teachers into the profession and watch them grow. It is a fast-paced, dynamic scheme which allows new teachers to progress at a rate that suits them and to experience the true day-to-day life in school.  We employ several of our School Direct trainees and they play a key role in the continued success of our academies.

The training that they receive with the School Direct team and their subject leaders is excellent and they speak very highly of this aspect. The training course is a superb blend of hands-on practice, theory and collaboration with other new teachers. I would have chosen this scheme myself and recommend it without reservation. 

Visit Harris Academy Chafford Hundred's website.


Matt Britt

Matt Britt

Assistant Director (Primary)

Harris Primary Academy Peckham Park, Harris Primary Academy Free School Peckham, Harris Primary Academy East Dulwich, Harris Primary Academy Crystal Palace, Harris Primary Academy Kent House and Harris Primary Academy Orpington.

Harris ITE Steering Committee 

Having been the Executive Principal of a number of Harris Primary Academies, in the six years before I became Assistant Director and now in my current role, I am indebted to the work of the Harris Initial Teacher Education programme and in particular the work they provide in training and supporting School Direct trainees.

The School Direct trainees that we have employed receive the highest quality of training and mentoring. The guidance, backing and support provided to my in-house mentors has also been exceptional and the quality of the provision has given me high quality staff which has ensured I have a team of teachers able to sustain outstanding education and to give me staff who have gone on to become leaders in many of my academies.

The two year contracts offered ensure that trainees are seeing themselves as committed employees from day one and all of our trainees to date have excelled and are hard to distinguish from my good and outstanding teachers, with many years of experience, by the end of the second term.

I wish I had been able to train this way when I launched my career in education thirty years ago. I had disjointed teaching practices that didn’t always link to my course based learning. My School Direct trainees learn on one day and come back to put the ideas into practice the next.

I can’t recommend the programme highly enough!

VfVictoria Forbes

Assistant Director (Primary)

Harris Primary Benson, Harris Primary Academy Merton, Harris Primary Academy Purley Way, Harris Primary Academy Kenley and our newest Academy Harris Primary Academy Croydon

Harris ITE Steering Committee 

As both a Harris Principal and Assistant Director I have seen the excellent work that the Harris Initial Teacher Education programme does to support and train the School Direct trainees.

The training programme is highly thought of throughout the whole of Harris and trainees are valued and appreciated as they grown into their role and become part of the Harris Family. Every School Direct trainee that we have employed has become an exceptional teacher and part of the academy community showing dedication and commitment to their new role.



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