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Criteria for allocations

In the event of the number of applications for School Direct students exceeding that which is available, the NCTL will prioritise places using the following criteria:

School quality

The Ofsted rating of the lead school. We encourage schools that are not outstanding to team up with outstanding schools. In particular we would like School Direct to stimulate alliance building for Teaching Schools.

A school in special measures will not be able to request School Direct places as a lead school. Partnerships should satisfy themselves that schools have the capacity to undertake their responsibilities. Where a school is deemed to require improvement or is in special measures, it may still be possible for the school to be involved in the delivery of ITT, especially if the improvements to be made do not affect the subject or age range for which the trainee is training. The lead school and St Mary’s would need to be confident that the trainee will not be disadvantaged by the school experience, and the situation will need to be kept under close review.

Trainee quality

The Government strategy for ITT emphasises the need for new teachers to be highly qualified. The NCTL will promote entry to teaching, including through School Direct, to attract graduates with degree classes at 2.1 or 2.2 or above. Schools are encouraged to select participants on this basis and this will be taken into account when allocating places in future years. It is vital that schools who wish to work with St Mary’s are very clear on the criteria demanded for each of the subjects or age phases by checking our primary and secondary PGCE webpages.

Cohort size

The NCTL encourages requests for several places in a subject. It is important that all requests and acceptances of places are a realistic statement of schools’ capacity to participate in School Direct. If schools retain allocated places which remain unfilled this may affect future allocation decisions.

Requesting and receiving places

If you are new to School Direct and would like to get involved, email for more information. We also hold information evenings for new School Direct alliances during the autumn.