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What is School Direct?

School Direct is a school led teacher training pathway that offers an alternative route into teaching. We work with a number of schools and alliances across London and the South East.

Our school alliances offer places for primary and secondary Initial Teacher Education (ITE) leading to an award of either QTS (accepted in England) only or QTS with PGCE (accepted internationally). Alliances can choose to offer either salaried or tuition fee routes - or both.

Our school alliances manage their own vacancies – you can search for suitable vacancies using the Department for Education (DfE) website

When you have found programmes that are of interest you should then submit your application via DfE Apply

There is not set deadline but courses will close when they become full – we always recommend that you apply as soon as you can to avoid disappointment.

The benefits of School Direct

  • You can apply to up to three different alliances
  • You will be training in our Partnership schools; experienced in supporting trainee development
  • QTS only trainees will spend the majority of their time in the classroom. PGCE with QTS trainees will balance school-led learning with university-led pedagogy and Master's modules
  • A bursary of up to £25,000, depending on age, phase or subject and qualification
  • Upon successful completion all ITE routes lead to the award of QTS

Why St Mary's?

  • You will be working in partnership with an 'Outstanding' (2019) provider for both Secondary and Primary provision.
  • We have a long standing tradition and proven excellence in providing initial teacher training since 1850.
  • Opportunity to work within a professional community to provide excellence in practice and pedagogy.
  • Opportunity for knowledge exchange and cooperation between educators, teachers and academies.
  • We can offer a wide range of secondary subjects specialisms and primary provision at Key Stage 1 and 2.

Qualifications needed

  • UK university degree or recognised equivalent of 2:2 and above for School Direct Salaried (SDS) and School Direct tuition fee (SDF). PE Secondary at St Mary's will accept applications from individuals that have a 2:1, or above 'in line' degree. In PE you can apply with a 2:2 'in line' degree classification but your application must highlight significant school experience.
  • Five GCSE awards at grade C/4 or above, including English and Mathematics. If you want to study Primary PGCE or Secondary Physical Education you will also need GCSE in Science at grade C/4 or above. We offer GCSE equivalency tests for those who need to improve their GCSE grades.
  • School Direct (salaried) is for high quality graduates. Schools decide which skills and experience are important to them. Career changers can bring valuable skills and experience to the profession, which they have developed since leaving university. This experience will normally have been gained since leaving university and does not have to be from an educational setting.
  • Show that you can communicate effectively in both spoken and written standard English.
  • Demonstrate that you have recent, relevant experience in a KS1, KS2 or KS3 setting.
  • If accepted, obtain an enhanced DBS disclosure and any other required clearances and complete DfE provisional registration requirements.
  • Meet the requirements for physical and mental fitness to teach.

Skills tests

The Department for Education has announced that applicants for initial teacher training (ITT) courses from April 2020 will no longer need to take Skills Tests in numeracy and English. The responsibility for assuring trainee teachers have met an appropriate level of skill in these important areas has been passed to the ITT provider. 

At St  Mary's University we therefore require, that by the end of your teacher training programme, you can demonstrate you are competent in English and mathematics.  For St Mary's to be assured of this, and as part of the recommendation for QTS, you will be able to seek guidance in developing these fundamental skills as required.

Find out more

Please contact Admissions
Tel: 020 8240 2394

Please note: our School Direct Information for Schools pages contain lots of useful information for schools involved or wanting to get involved with our School Direct programmes.