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 enrol?

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). 
  • 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. Please note the need to pass skills tests in literacy and numeracy before commencing training has now been removed.
  • 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 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 maths
  • Religious education (RE)

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 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.

On-site teacher training workshops

You may be encouraged to attend up to three in-school workshops that will help you to integrate what you’ve learned online with what you’ve learned in school. The workshops are a great opportunity to meet your peers and become part of a supportive learning community.

We aim to keep in-school visits to a minimum to reduce cost and inconvenience to you. 

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 (non-salaried route only)

Our part-time School Direct non-salaried 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 2021/22 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. Trainees from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland should read the DfE guidance Studying in the UK: guidance for EU students.

For the academic year 2021/22, the DfE are offering bursaries of:

  • £24,000 in chemistry, computing, maths and physics
  • £10,000 in languages and classics
  • £7,000 in biology

You may be eligible for a bursary if you have a 1st, 2.1 or 2.2, or if they hold 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

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. 


*The PGCE is validated and awarded by the University of East London (UEL), our partner university. 
*** To qualify for an early-career payment you'll need to have completed a non-salaried teacher training course and received a bursary or scholarship in the academic year 2020/21. You’ll receive three additional early-career payments of £2k each in your second, third and fourth year of teaching – enhancements to these payments are available if you teach in specified areas in England. You must have taught in a state-funded school in England since completing your teacher training course. View the full terms and conditions.
**** Bursaries are available to trainees on primary with maths courses with at least grade B maths A level or equivalent. 
*****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