Our School Direct programme will help you to:

  • Gain Qualified teacher status (QTS) and an optional postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE)*
  • Develop deep knowledge and understanding of your chosen phase and subject
  • Develop practical teaching skills, ideas and activities to use in the classroom
  • Gain knowledge of schools through working as a member of a school team
  • The ability to reflect critically and think on your feet
  • Gain knowledge and develop skills of effective teaching and learning by training on all topics from the DfE’s ITE Core Content Framework

Our provision is school-centred and is driven by the ambition to ensure our trainees have research informed, deep knowledge and understanding of teaching and learning, with opportunities throughout training to practice in the classroom and develop their teaching skills, coached by well-trained, expert colleagues.

Who can apply?

Our School Direct is a school-based programme with the option to add a PGCE, which is delivered in-school alongside the qualified teacher status QTS programme. The PGCE is validated and awarded by the University of East London (UEL), our partner university. 

If you’re looking for an in-school initial teacher training route then School Direct could be ideal for you. To join our School Direct programme you must:

  • Achieved a standard equivalent to a grade 4 in the GCSE examinations in English and mathematics (and Science if you are training to teach at primary level). Candidates with overseas qualifications should provide a NARIC statement to demonstrate the equivalency of their qualification. See the Government website for guidance. Applicants who are otherwise suitable but have not successfully achieved a GCSE grade 4 may be given an opportunity to show that they can meet the required standard by taking an equivalence test which should demonstrate a similar level and breadth**.
  • Hold a first degree*** of a UK higher education institution or equivalent qualification
  • Possess the appropriate qualities, attitudes and values expected of a teacher. These are skills such as resilience, commitment, adaptability, along with good communication skills.
  • Show competency in fundamental skills in English and Maths before the award of QTS.

  • All safeguarding checks will be made for all successful applicants before the start of training (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 DfEs' financial eligibility criteria in order to be accepted for a publicly funded place on this ITT programme

How is the programme delivered?

Our School Direct programme is delivered in partnership with a number of schools in Essex, Greater London and Kent. We offer a primary (age 5-11) and a secondary (age 11-16) 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
  • Primary
  • Primary with maths
  • Religious education (RE)

Routes: School Direct salaried and School Direct tuition fee route

There are two School Direct training routes available, School Direct salaried and School Direct tuition fee route, both lasting one academic year. Both routes allow you to work in our partnership schools as a member of the school team and learn your skills from experienced professionals. You’ll gradually start to take lessons alongside training and, in time, take shared responsibility for pupils. You’ll also attend school professional studies and professional development training.

Your school mentor

You’ll have weekly meetings with your experienced in-school mentor who will support you throughout your programme.

Online teaching courses

Throughout your programme, you’ll have the equivalent of one day per week for your online study and you’ll participate in online learning via an innovative and interactive e-learning platform where you can access course materials, lessons and tutorials, making learning extremely flexible. If you opt to undertake the PGCE as well as QTS you’ll also benefit from access to our partner university’s e-library when completing the PGCE assignments.

Your subject/phase-specific pathway tutor

You’ll be appointed a personal pathway tutor who will provide you with regular feedback on your progress and coach and mentor you on subject knowledge and teaching-skill development. They’ll work with you to develop your online work, and will visit and support you in school.

Partnership Face to Face Workshops

Our Partnerships deliver regular (weekly or fortnightly) face to face workshops as part of your School Direct Programme. These workshops are usually delivered in the Lead School and are designed to support our delivery of the DfE Core Content Framework for ITT. They will support you to contextualise your training and discuss your developing practice, as well as providing a network of colleagues from within your partnership of schools.

The PGCE option

Both our School Direct routes give you the option to add a PGCE that will be awarded by UEL. If you choose this option, you’ll be required to complete a number of additional written assignments to the level specified by UEL.

School Direct part-time (tuition fee route only)

Our part-time School Direct tuition fee route ITT programme includes everything we offer with our full-time programme but with more time and flexibility, so you can fit your training around your existing commitments.

You’ll spend three days per week in school with the equivalent of one day per week for your online study; spread over four terms and two academic years (starting in September of year one and completing in December of year two).

If you choose the PGCE option, you’ll complete three assignments in-line with the full-time learners. You’ll then receive your PGCE award after you complete your school practice in December of year two, and get submitted to the next University Assessment Board.

Course fees and funding

Tuition fees for trainees who meet the full entry/eligibility criteria set by the DfE, us and our partnership schools for the academic year 2022/23 are:

£8,625 incl VAT ITT leading to QTS only.

£9,250 incl VAT ITT leading to QTS and a PGCE.

Fees for the part-time programme are the same as for the full-time programme as you’ll receive the same support and both lead to the same achievement.

You may choose to use your bursary to cover some or all of your tuition fees if available. 

ITT bursary

Depending on the subject you wish to teach and whether you meet the eligibility criteria, you may be eligible to receive a tax-free ITT training bursary from the DfE. On the part-time programme you’ll be eligible for the same bursaries, but they’ll be paid over the longer period of the programme.

You are only eligible for a bursary if you are entitled to support under the DfE student finance criteria

For the academic year 2022/23, the DfE are offering bursaries of:

  • £24,000 in chemistry, computing, mathematics and physics
  • £15,000 in design and technology, geography and languages (including ancient languages)
  • £10,000 in biology

You may be eligible for a bursary if you have a 1st, 2.1 or 2.2, or if you hold a Master’s or PhD.

Teacher training grants and loans

You may be able to apply for a tuition fee loan and/or a maintenance loan to cover living costs through the Student Loans Company (Student Finance England SFE).

Funding may also be available through a private loan company, such as Future Finance****, where you can borrow funds with flexible, long-term repayment options to help you pay for course fees and other living expenses.

Course start dates

The School Direct Programme starts at the beginning of September at the start of the teaching term. The actual start date may vary by School Direct Partnership school but all will be at the beginning of September. We recommend you contact your Lead School directly for their September term start date.

How to apply

Use the Government’s Find Postgraduate Teacher Training search, searching for the School Direct Programme delivered by Tes Institute then selecting the Partnership and course you wish to train on.

Successful applicants will be invited to interview in one of our partnership schools, (interviews are currently being conducted remotely) Our selection day activities include:

  • A presentation on a subject specific topic to demonstrate your subject knowledge
  • A teaching activity (we are currently conducting remote interviews where you will plan and discuss a lesson on a given topic and explain how you would deliver the lesson)
  • Completion of fundamental maths and English audits and assessment
  • An interview to discuss your suitability to teach your chosen phase and subject
  • Checks of your suitability, health and fitness to train to teach and full safeguarding checks are made once an offer has been made and accepted.
* The PGCE is validated and awarded by the University of East London (UEL), our partner university. 
** Tes Institute accept GCSE equivalency tests from any UK university or our own Tes Institute GCSE equivalency tests in Maths, English and Science or equivalency tests from A Star Equivalency Testing.
***  A first degree comprises 300 HE credit points of which 60 must be at level 6 of the QCF. Applicants with a foundation degree will need to supplement this qualification with at least 60 credits at level 6 (HE level 3) in order to attain an equivalent single qualification.
****For full details of the ITT bursaries and eligibility criteria visit getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/bursaries-and-funding.

Tes Institute acknowledges the duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and is committed to fulfilling its duties to ensure safeguarding practice reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance and complies with best practice and DfE requirements.

School Direct