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School Direct

Could Teaching Be Your Calling?

The Heath Consortium is a School Direct provider, offering QTS plus PGCE in your chosen subject. We are proud to have Liverpool John Moores University as our HE partner, who accredit our programme and work closely with us. The intention of School Direct is to create a deeper partnership between schools and universities. The Heath School is Lead School for the consortium and we continue to work with a range of other schools both in our Heath Family multi academy trust and within the Merseyside area.

Although there are no guarantees, every effort is made to employ School Direct trainees within their consortium, upon successfully gaining QTS. We have a long and successful history of delivering high quality initial teacher education which serves to develop outstanding teachers for our local schools and beyond.

What does our programme look like?

For the School Direct training route, 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 ECT year. As we have a 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.

Over the academic year you will receive ten days bespoke, practical training which will impact immediately on your teaching. Training is delivered by specialist leaders of education and experts in various areas of pedagogy and school life.

Term 1 you will spend a day in university where you will have access to expert teachers in your subject that will support you in how to deliver your subject in the classroom. They will also set and mark 2 assignments that you must complete as part of your PGCE.

What support is available?

We are highly aware of the challenges of the PGCE programme and therefore take the support of our trainees very seriously. In school you will be assigned a subject mentor who will support you throughout the year on a daily basis. You will also receive weekly, practical, training sessions with a professional mentor in your school. As consortium manager Eileen Robinson is also available to offer support should it be required.

Alongside your work in school, Liverpool John Moores University provide support in the form of a university liaison tutor.

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 teaching 8 lessons a week solo and then, following your return to your home school, after your alternative placement this will be increased to 11 hours a week (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 qualification will I gain on the School Direct route?

If you complete the School Direct training programme successfully you will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), and gain a PGCE with 60 Masters level credits, giving you a head start should you decide to continue with your masters as an ECT, or later on.

What are the benefits of School Direct?

As a trainee in a group of about 30 trainees, you can truly benefit from a bespoke experience, which allows you to develop into a teacher ready to take on their first post, in any setting. 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 as you join us as part of the team from Day 1 in September, so you can really see the progression of your teaching and the positive impact you have on students at the school. You will have the opportunity to visit your home school prior to starting in September which allows you to meet your team, to get to know students and the school environment. Feedback from trainees tells us that this opportunity is really effective in removing nerves prior to starting in September, as there is already a level of familiarity. Also, as far as possible, we do try to place you as an ECT 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 school requirement.

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 receive a salary on point 1 of the unqualified teacher pay scale and have your own solo timetable from day one.