About School Direct 

Tes Institute is delighted to be working in partnership with a number of schools in Essex, Greater London and Kent to deliver School Direct initial teacher training (ITT) through its Department for Education (DfE) 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 (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)


The aim of the School Direct programme is to provide high quality training in 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.

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

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, either Primary 5-11 or Secondary 11-16, 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, either Primary 5-11 or Secondary 11-16, 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). If you choose the PGCE option, you will be required to complete a number of additional written assignments to the level specified by the University of East London.

Successful completion of the School Direct PGCE programme leads to the award of a Postgraduate Certificate in Education by the University of East London as well as Qualified Teacher Status.


*The title of this award is subject to change due to an ongoing government consultation at the time of going to press. For the latest information, please visit www.tes.com/institute/blog/strengthened-qts. If you are planning to teach outside England please discuss the programme, QTS, and the required teaching qualification for your particular region, with your employing school or the relevant regulatory body before applying.
**The PGCE option is subject to annual review by the University of East London
***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/4 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 DfEs' financial eligibility criteria in order to be accepted for a publicly funded place on this ITT programme

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 and you can find our School Direct partner school’s contact details 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 DfE, Tes Institute and our Partnership Schools. Trainees may choose to use their 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 2019/20

  • £8,400 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 DfE. 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.


Degree classification and subject Trainee with 1st, 2:1, 2:2, PhD or
Chemistry, Languages, Maths or Physics* £26,000
Computing, Biology £26,000
Geography, Design & Technology £15,000
English £12,000
History, RE, Art & Design, Music £9,000
Primary Maths** £6,000


*If you teach Chemistry, languages, maths or physics, you could receive £32,000 in total: £26,000 as a tax-free bursary with additional payments of £6,000 after tax once in teaching. 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 £2,000 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

**Bursaries are available to trainees on primary with maths courses with at least grade B maths A level or equivalent.


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.

Funding may be available to trainees through a private loan provider, such as Future Finance, where you can borrow funds with flexible, long-term repayment options.

 Loans from Future Finance (FFLC)**:

  • Loans from £2,000 to cover both tuition and living costs*
  • Offered to Undergraduate and Postgraduate students
  • Cover up to 100% tuition costs, and up to £12,500 for cost of living*
  • Loans are available to UK, EU and international students with a UK domiciled address
  • Repayment periods of up to 7 years*
  • Reduced payments while studying and up to three months after the programme end date
  • Borrowers can apply for up to two payment holidays during the loan period
  • Interest rates are dependent on each student’s specific circumstances
  • Representative 17.2% APR (variable)


* Based on individual circumstances

** FFLC are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Register number 719436


How to apply

Applicants with an offer for a place on one of our School Direct programmes can apply online for a loan to assist with tuition fees up to six months prior to the start of their programme. An application for a living cost loan can be made at any point during the programme.

You can apply online using the Future Finance website. You’ll get an immediate decision and, if everything looks good, they will contact you to check the details before giving you an offer. If you are rejected you are able to reapply for funds for the same programme at a later date if you wish.


How you’ll receive your loan

If you’re approved for a tuition fee loan, the money will be paid directly to Tes Institute. Loans for living expenses are paid to you once your programme starts, either in one lump sum, or in regular instalments to help you manage your finances.

Please note, Tes Institute is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is not authorised to provide financial advice. You may wish to seek Independent Advice from a suitably qualified individual.


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 below. You can view information about their schools and available subject by visiting their DfE portal pages or websites listed below.


Benfleet Teaching School Alliance

Area: Essex

Lead School: The Appleton School

Website or DfE teacher training portal page


Havering Train 2 Teach

Area: Greater London

Lead school: Engayne Primary School

Website or DfE teacher training portal page


Plume Community Teaching


Area: Essex

Lead School: The Plume School

Website or DfE teacher training portal page


Teach in Kent

Area: Kent

Lead school: Greenacre Academy

Website or DfE teacher training portal page


Teach London South East (TLSE) Partnership

Area: South London

Lead school: Highway Primary School

Website or DfE teacher training portal page


Thurrock Teaching School Alliance

Area: Essex

Lead school: St Clere’s School

Website or DfE teacher training portal page



West Essex School Direct Partnership

Area: Essex

Lead school: Davenant Foundation School

Website or DfE teacher training portal page

Tes Institute School Direct prospectus

The 2019/20 School Direct prospectus for trainees is available here.

Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy

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

View our Child Protection Policy Statement

View our Safeguarding Policy

Disability statement

Tes Institute is committed to a policy of equal opportunities and seeks to ensure that those with disabilities have access as far as reasonably possible to all Tes Institute student provision. This commitment means that Tes Institute will take all reasonable steps to meet both the general and specific individual need for access to that provision.

Tes Institute’s Disability and Inclusion Policy will be reviewed as a minimum annually or more frequently when there are changes in legislation and/or government guidance.

View our Disability and Inclusion Policy

Updated 13.06.19. Approved by Fiona Longmore, Director for Governance & Regulation, Tes Institute

School Direct part-time

Our School Direct ITT part-time 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).


Just like on the full-time course, you’ll be supported to develop your pedagogy and practice, teaching alongside experienced teachers, and taking part in weekly online sessions and partnership Professional Studies workshops. As your programme progresses, you’ll gradually take greater responsibility for teaching whole classes as well as continuing to teach collaboratively with colleagues in order to develop your practice and meet the Teachers’ Standards.

PGCE option

As a part-time trainee, you’ll still be able to choose the PGCE option*, completing 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.


On the part-time programme, you’ll pay the same fees as on the full-time programme, as you’ll receive the same support and both lead to the same achievement.

Non-salaried school direct route

The part-time programme is currently only available for the unsalaried route.

Bursaries with the part-time programme

On the part-time programme you’ll be eligible for the same bursaries as on the full-time programme, and the same eligibility criteria will apply. The part-time bursary amount is the same as the full-time bursary but will be paid over the longer period of the programme.


*The PGCE option is subject to annual review by our university partner.