About School Direct 

TES Institute is delighted to be working in partnership with a number of schools in Cheshire, Essex, Greater London, Kent and Suffolk to deliver School Direct initial teacher training (ITT) through its National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) accredited programme.

The programme provides a blend of online learning and in-school experience which leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and an option to add a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). The PGCE is accredited by our partner University and is subject to annual review.

We work in partnership with schools to offer a primary School Direct training programme and a secondary School Direct training programme in key teaching subjects including:

  • Art and Design
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computing
  • Design and Technology
  • Drama
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Maths
  • Modern Languages (ML) – French, Spanish and German
  • Music
  • Physical Education (PE)
  • Physics
  • Religious Education (RE)

The aim of the School Direct programme is to provide high quality training in “Outstanding” and “Good” schools to prepare trainees for teaching in schools today.

Routes: School Direct salaried and School Direct non-salaried

There are two School Direct training routes available, School Direct salaried and School Direct non-salaried. Both routes allow you to work in our partnership schools as a member of the school team and learn your skills from experienced professionals. The salaried option is available if you have at least three years’ work experience.

Why choose a School Direct Teacher Training Programme?

Our School Direct ITT programme is a unique opportunity to work as a member of a school team and learn about teaching from dedicated, experienced professionals in schools. Your practical teacher training will be supplemented by high quality online learning sessions written by practising teachers and academics from the world of education.

TES Institute’s School Direct ITT programme will allow you to:

  • Work in a school alongside teaching professionals, learning from experienced practitioners as part of a team
  • Train to prepare and deliver your own lessons and in time, take shared responsibility for your own classes
  • Gain contrasting experience in a second partnership school
  • Access supporting online study sessions 24/7 that focus on the theory and practice of teaching and learning
  • Benefit from the support of an in-school mentor and a TES Institute pathway tutor to guide and facilitate effective progress towards QTS
  • Be part of a network of School Direct partnership schools
  • Gain QTS with an option to add PGCE
  • Increase your subject knowledge with online Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE)
  • Fund your training through bursaries and career development loans with flexible payment options
*employment is not guaranteed 

School Direct Outcomes

Our School Direct ITT programme will help you to gain:

  • Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
  • An optional Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)*
  • Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of your chosen phase and subject and the specialist pedagogy associated with this phase and subject
  • Wide-ranging knowledge and understanding of professional skills including a strong focus on national priorities
  • Confidence in teaching pupils in your chosen phase and subject
  • Some of the qualities required to become an outstanding teacher
  • Awareness of the criteria Ofsted uses to judge outstanding schools
  • Experience of action research and evaluating the impact of this on pupil progress to help career progression and increase pay
  • Practical teaching skills, ideas and activities to use in the classroom
  • Knowledge of schools by working as a member of a school team for the year of the programme
  • The ability to reflect critically and think on your feet
  • Confidence using new technologies
  • There is an expectation that you will gain employment in the partnership of schools**

PGCE option

All of our School Direct routes lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) with the option of a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) awarded by our partner University. If you choose the option of PGCE, you will be required to complete a number of additional written assignments to the level specified by our partner University. The PGCE is subject to annual review by our University partner so please contact us for further details.

*The PGCE option is subject to annual review by our university partner
**Employment in your School Direct partnership is not guaranteed

Delivery of our School Direct training programme

Our School Direct ITT programme is delivered in our partnership schools through:

  • In-school teacher training
  • Working with experienced teachers
  • Gradually taking lessons alongside training and in time taking shared responsibility for pupils
  • Attending school professional studies and professional development training
  • Weekly meetings with an experienced mentor
  • Working as a member of the school team and community of trainee teachers


Online teaching courses

Throughout the teacher training course, you will participate in online learning via an innovative and interactive e-learning platform. You will have the equivalent of one day per week for your online study.

You will be issued with login details at the start of your course. You can then access course materials, lessons and tutorials from any Internet-enabled device, making learning extremely flexible. If you opt to undertake the PGCE as well as QTS you will also benefit from access to our partner University’s e-library when completing the PGCE assignments.


Subject/phase-specific pathway tutor

An important part of the delivery of the programme is the use of specialist pathway tutors. Your personal pathway tutor will mentor and work with you to develop your online work and will visit you and support you in school. Your pathway tutor is a subject/phase specialist who provides you with regular feedback on your progress and coaches and mentors you on subject knowledge and teaching-skill development.


On-site teacher training workshops

You may be encouraged to attend up to three on-site workshops as part of the blended-learning experience. These workshops are designed to further enhance the integration of what is learned online with what is learned in school. They also offer the opportunity to meet your peers and to forge the creation of learning communities, which can prove to be an invaluable source of peer support for online learners, both online and in-school.

TES Institute seeks to keep onsite days to a minimum to reduce cost and inconvenience to trainees. 

Entry criteria - who should apply for School Direct?

You should be a motivated individual who has a passion for teaching and an interest in working as a member of a school team and learning from working alongside experienced practitioners. You must meet the following entry criteria:

  • Achieved a Grade C or above in GCSE English, Maths (and Science if you are training to teach at primary level). GCSE equivalents will be considered
  • Hold an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject (or another qualification of equivalent academic standard in a relevant subject)
  • Possess the appropriate qualities, attitudes and values expected of a teacher
  • Have the ability to demonstrate English language proficiency (reading, writing and speaking)
  • Passed the Professional Skills Tests by the time you enrol on a programme
  • Must have undertaken the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and/or any other appropriate background checks (and such checks must not identify them as being unsuited to working with children)
  • Meet the Secretary of State’s requirements for health and physical capacity to teach
  • Meet the National College for Teaching and Leadership’s financial eligibility criteria in order to be accepted for a publicly funded place on this ITT programme
  • Working for around three years if you are applying for a salaried school direct route

Start dates

Each School Direct training programme is specifically designed for the school and start dates may vary from school to school. We recommend you contact the Lead School directly or visit the school partnership’s UCAS teacher training page to find out more.

You can find our School Direct partner school’s contact details and UCAS teacher training code under the Get Advice tab.

School Direct funding and fees

The tuition fees below are for Home/EU trainees who meet the full entry/eligibility criteria set by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), TES Institute and our Partnership Schools. Trainees may choose to use their NCTL bursary to cover some or all of their tuition fees if available. Payment options may also be available on request but an additional administration fee may apply.

ITT tuition fees for academic year 2017/18

  • £8,500 ITT leading to QTS only
  • £9,000 ITT leading to QTS and a PGCE

ITT bursary

Depending on the subject that you wish to teach, you may be eligible to receive a tax-free ITT training bursary from the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL). The amount of funding that you may be able to receive depends on the level of your degree qualification, the subject that you want to teach and you meeting all of the eligibility criteria.

The following subjects have funding available for the academic year 2017/18.

Degree classification and subject





Physics £30,000 £25,000 £25,000 £0
Maths £25,000 £25,000 £25,000 £0
Modern Languages £25,000 £25,000 £25,000 £0
Computing £25,000 £25,000 £25,000 £0
Geography £25,000 £25,000 £25,000 £0
Chemistry £25,000 £20,000 £20,000 £0
Biology £15,000 £12,000 £10,000 £0
Design & Technology £12,000 £9,000 £0 £0
English £9,000 £9,000 £0 £0
History, Music, RE £9,000 £4,000 £0 £0
Primary (Maths) £6,000 £6,000 £6,000 £0
Primary £3,000 £0 £0 £0


Teacher training grants and loans

Applicants may be able to apply for a tuition fee loan and/or a living cost loan or grant through the Student Loans Company to help with costs associated with the programme. Please note that the maximum tuition fee loan available to TES Institute trainees is £6000 due to the fact we are a private company.

Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDL)

You may be able to access a Professional and Career Development Loan (PCDL) to help fund your School Direct programme. A PCDL is a commercial bank loan for learners to help pay for work-related learning. As it is a bank loan, you must repay the loan even if you do not finish your course.

Loans are available for up to 24 months and can cover programme fees, living expenses and other associated costs depending on your circumstances. Repayments start a month after you complete or leave your School Direct programme. The government pays the interest during the programme and for one month after you leave.

For full details of the ITT bursaries and eligibility criteria visit https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/bursaries-and-funding.

Talk to a TES Institute School Direct lead school

Our existing School Direct training partners are listed as follows and we strongly advise that you contact the School Direct lead school for more information about their specific teacher training programme. Each School Direct partnership works with a number of local schools to deliver the School Direct training programme and provide placements for trainees.


West Essex School Direct Partnership

Area: Essex

Lead School: Davenant Foundation School

Website: www.davenantschool.co.uk

UCAS provider code: 10S


Plume Community Teaching Partnership

Area: Essex

Lead School: The Plume School

Website: www.plume.essex.sch.uk

UCAS code: 1XB


Benfleet Teaching School Alliance

Area: Essex

Lead School: The Appleton School

Website: www.theappletonschool.org or


UCAS code: 1JH


St Cleres School Direct Partnership

Area: Essex

Lead School: St Clere’s school

Website: www.st-cleres.thurrock.sch.uk

UCAS code: 1CN


Havering Train2Teach

Area: Greater London

Lead School: Engayne Primary School 

Website: www.haveringtrain2teach.com


Teach in Medway

Area: Kent

Lead School: Green Acre

Website: www.teachinmedway.co.uk

UCAS code: 26J


Teach in Chesire

Area: Cheshire

Lead School: Fallibroome Academy

Website: fallibroome.academy


Samuel Ward Academy Trust


Area: Suffolk

Lead School: Samuel Ward Academy Trust

Website: www.swatrust.co.uk


Alternatively, you can visit UCAS Teacher Training for information on specific School Direct training programmes including which subjects are offered.

TES Institute School Direct prospectus

The 2017/18 School Direct prospectus for trainees is available here.