What is distinctive about school-led programmes?

The School Direct programme aims to harness the knowledge and experience of school colleagues in the delivery of programmes, working in partnership with the experience of the University of St Mark and St John. Trainees benefit by being more directly involved in school life for a longer duration of the programme.

Will I be awarded a PGCE?

All programmes of teacher training lead to the recommendation of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and the full Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

What advantage does a PGCE give?

The PGCE is an academic qualification and demonstrates that you have critically engaged with the research and knowledge base which underpins professional practice. Some schools in the UK and many countries insist that teachers from the UK have the PGCE rather than just QTS.

What will my timetable look like?

School direct allows trainees to build their contact time and confidence gradually over the academic year. We recommend that trainees should, in most cases, be teaching around 50-60% of a full timetable by the end of the programme but applicants should clarify this with their host school. In no circumstances is a school direct trainee allowed to teach more than an 80% timetable.

Will I get a loan or a bursary?

Current we only offer the unsalaried version of the school direct route into teaching. The size of the bursary depends on several factors, principally your degree classification and the subject you are training to teach. These change every year. In general, those with higher degree classifications and wishing to teach in shortage Secondary School subjects (Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Modern Languages) will receive higher bursaries. You can find details of this year’s bursaries on the Goverment Get into teaching website here 

What support will I get?

The University of St Mark and St John requires our alliance of secondary schools  to provide you with a Curriculum Mentor (a subject specialist) and a Professional Mentor to provide you with regular support. This includes a commitment to a weekly mentor meeting including a review of your progress and setting future targets of at least one hour and regular observation of your teaching.

What will my placements be like?

You will complete placements in two contrasting schools from within our alliance. The majority of your time will be spent in your main placement school where you will be fully inducted and welcomed into your respective faculties like a full time member of staff. During the spring term you will complete a contrasting placement at a second school to further develop your teaching practice.

Myth: “I’ll get thrown in the deep end, teaching classes by myself early on.”

Fact: You are part of a team from the start and receive intensive support from experienced teachers in the classroom. You won’t be teaching classes unsupported until the school thinks you are ready, and opportunities will exist to build networks with fellow trainees.

Myth: “I’ll only train in one school – I want something broader than this.”

Fact: To become a qualified teacher, you have to take training placements in two schools. Trainees will train in at least two schools – and will usually spend time in other schools too.

Myth: “There’s no academic or theoretical training. I won’t get a PGCE.”

Fact: You will spend plenty of time in academic training, comparable to the university-led route. Most school-led courses result in a Master’s-level qualification such as a PGCE as well as qualified teacher status (QTS).

Myth: “Don’t most people just go to university to do teacher training?”

Fact: School-led routes into teaching have been around for many years, and have very high rates of trainee satisfaction. Last year a third of postgraduate teacher training places were school-led; for 2015/16 it will be over half.

Myth: “I’m not sure whether School Direct is for people thinking of switching career.”

Fact: People with three or more years of work experience can apply for the School Direct (salaried) programme, on which you are paid a salary while you train, though you won’t qualify for a bursary. However, you can also apply to the standard School Direct training programme, for which training bursaries are available.

Myth: “School Direct is the same as Teach First.”

Fact: School Direct is different from Teach First – Teach First trains 2,000 outstanding graduates in selected challenging schools. You apply directly to Teach First. School Direct has around 17,500 places available in schools of all types across the country.

Myth: “SCITTs are the same as School Direct.”

Fact: SCITTs are schools which have been given government approval to run their own training courses. They can be searched for under ‘SCITT programme’ on UCAS. Many SCITTs and around 8,000 schools also offer School Direct programmes, which can be searched for under ‘School Direct training programme’ and ‘School Direct training programme (salaried)’ on UCAS.