School Direct at The Heath

School Direct is a relatively new route into teaching where trainee teachers work in a home school for the majority of their training. There are two routes to go down:

  • School Direct trainee programme
  • School Direct salaried programme

Accreditation for the Post Graduate Certificate of Education (with Qualified Teacher Status) is awarded by a named university partner. The intention of School Direct is to create a deeper partnership between schools and universities. A lead school works in partnership with a university and other schools, as a group which is referred to as a consortium. Although there are no guarantees, every effort is made to employ School Direct trainees within their consortium, upon successfully gaining QTS.

What does our programme look like?
For the School Direct training route you would complete a one week induction in August at Liverpool John Moores University (our partner university), following induction you will start in September in your allocated school and be part of the staff team from day one. There will be a second placement of six weeks in a contrasting school within the consortium, to help you gain a breadth of experience to prepare you for your NQT year. As we have a vast range of schools within the current consortium we are also able to arrange days at Primary, Secondary and Special schools to support you to develop in areas specific to your needs.

What support can I expect to get?
You will be assigned a subject mentor and they will support you throughout the year. You will also receive weekly practical training sessions with a professional mentor in your school. Alongside your work in school, Liverpool John Moores University provide support in the form of training days, which will enable you to understand the theory behind teaching. They will also set and mark assignments that you must complete as part of your PGCE. 

What are our expectations of you inside the classroom?
You will start off by observing lessons and noting what makes a good teacher and strategies used and gradually you will begin to teach, as and when you are ready. The expectation is that by Christmas you will be doing 40% solo teaching, 50% to February and then 60% to July (supervised by the classroom teacher). This allows you to gain experience with a full range of classes. You will also be placed in a form and work alongside an experienced form tutor in order to gain pastoral experience.

What can I look to gain from School Direct?
If you complete the School Direct training programme successfully you will gain a PGCE with 60 Masters level credits, giving you an advantage should you decide to continue with your studies as an NQT, or later on.

What are the benefits of School Direct?
You can expect lots of support and focused feedback to help you to progress to being an outstanding teacher. The true benefit of School Direct, over the traditional PGCE university based programme, is that you are able to build strong relationships with students and staff over a full academic year, so you can really see the progression of your teaching and the positive impact you have on students at the school. Also, as far as possible, we do try to place you as an NQT within our consortium of schools, when you gain QTS. However, I must be clear and tell you that there is no guarantee of employment.

School Direct Salaried programme
For the School Direct salaried programme the course outline is identical to that of the training route, but the entry requirements are slightly different (see entry requirements section) as well as the solo teaching expectation, but this is dependent on the individual.

How is the School Direct programme funded?
If you are offered a place on this programme, tuition fees of £9250 will be applied. There are a number of tax free bursaries or scholarships that you may be eligible for in addition to the loans offered through student finance. Bursaries and scholarships are dependent upon a number of factors, including, degree specialism and classification.

Full details of bursaries and scholarships can be found on the Teacher Agency website:

Details of student finance can be found on:

School Direct Salaried Programme funding:
This route is suitable for applicants looking for a career change with approximately three years industry/work experience. This may be in any area of work; it doesn’t necessarily have to be within the education sector.

If you accept a School Direct Salaried place you will be paid on the unqualified teacher scale. However, this is significantly higher for shortage subjects, such as Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Computing.