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School Direct: Information for schools

Introduction to School Direct

School Direct enables schools to:

  • select and recruit their own trainees – with an expectation that trainees will be employed by the school or partnership of schools once they are qualified
  • choose which teacher training provider to work with
  • agree the content and focus of the training programme depending on the needs of both the trainees and the school
  • decide how funding will be split between the school and the training provider

You need to decide if you want to join an existing partnership or become a lead school. If you are part of an academy chain, you should consider whether to request places through your chain’s central office rather than as an individual school.

The lead school must be a local authority maintained school, special school, academy, free school or sixth form college. Partnerships led by outstanding schools such as teaching schools or academy chains are encouraged. 

Joining an existing School Direct partnership is recommended. This is because it enables greater opportunities to share expertise, meet the employment expectation, and implement efficient management and administration of the programme. It also brings economies of scale in negotiations with teacher training providers. 

You could also consider offering placements in your school to existing School Direct providers to gain an insight into how the scheme works. For more information please check the website.

There are two types of School Direct training places available: tuition fee or salaried.

School Direct (tuition fee) places

These places are open to all graduates and funded by tuition fees paid by the trainee. Trainees may be eligible for a training bursary or scholarship.

School Direct (salaried) places

These places are aimed mainly at graduates with 3 or more years’ work experience. However, schools can decide to accept applications from candidates with less work experience to attract high quality candidates in hard to fill subjects.

Trainees are employed as an unqualified teacher. NCTL provides funding to lead schools to cover training costs and subsidise trainee salaries.

Both routes carry the award of qualified teacher status (QTS) and some may also lead to the award of a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE).

Further information

Further information is available on the DfE website including frequently asked questions and contact details for regional NCTL leads who will be able to signpost you to examples of schools involved in the first year of School Direct and offer support.

Please contact the Admissions Team for more information:
Tel: 020 8240 2394