School Direct Information


School Direct

With School Direct, you’re selected for training by a school or group of schools in partnership with a university or SCITT.

  • You’ll also study at the university, college or SCITT they’re partnered with.
  • If you’re successful in your training, you might get a job in one of the schools in the partnership.
  • Graduates
  • with around three years’ work experience (there may be exceptions for STEM subjects) might be able to train on the job, with a salary from the start.

How it works

You’ll train in at least two schools, and you’ll also be taught by the university, college or SCITT that the school partners with.

  • In some cases, you’ll find out which school you’ll be placed in when you apply or are interviewed, but this isn’t always possible.
  • There are primary and secondary places available all over England – the numbers vary across subjects and age groups, depending on the number of schools in each partnership.
  • Training programmes generally last one year full-time, in line with the term dates of your chosen school.
  • Some schools may consider part-time placements – you’ll need to approach a school directly if you’d like to be considered for a part-time placement.

There are two School Direct training options you can apply for – one that’s open to all high quality graduates, and a salaried option for high quality graduates with at least three years’ work experience.

  1. School Direct Training Programme

This is the option most applicants go for.

  • Although your training is based in a school, they’re not your employers, and in many ways your training will be similar to training programmes in universities and colleges.
  • You’ll pay fees but you might be eligible for funding through tuition fee loans, training bursaries or scholarships.
  1. School Direct Training Programme (salaried)
  • This route allows you to train ‘on the job’.
  • This is an employment-based route for high quality, experienced graduates with at least three years’ work experience. You will earn a salary while you train.


Entry Requirements

What’s required to make an application?

Anyone wanting to become a teacher needs to meet some essential requirements.

  • Academic requirements like qualifications, courses or tests.
  • Non-academic requirements like classroom experience or medical fitness.

Also make sure you meet the criteria included in the training programme’s Entry Profile.

Academic requirements


The teaching profession looks for the highest quality candidates, so you’ll need to meet the following requirements before you can be accepted for a training programme.

  1. You’ll need to hold an undergraduate degree awarded by a UK higher education provider, or a recognised equivalent qualification.
  2. You’ll need to have achieved a standard equivalent to grade C or above in the GCSE examinations in English and mathematics for applications to training providers in England. For applications to training providers in Wales you must have achieved a grade B before your training programme starts.
  3. If you intend to train to teach pupils aged 3-11 (early years and primary), you must also have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C or above in a GCSE science subject examination.

If you haven’t achieved the required GCSEs, there are options to study the qualifications through local colleges or at home through organisations like NEC (National Extension College) (link is external).

If you studied outside the UK, check the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) website (link is external) to find out whether your qualifications are of an equivalent level to UK GCSEs, A levels and an undergraduate degree.

Further requirements

Check these requirements with the training providers you’re interested in too – some training programmes have many more applications than places available, so their requirements might be higher.


Non-academic requirements

As teaching involves working with children on a daily basis, there are some non-academic requirements you’ll need to meet to make sure teaching’s the right job for you.

  1. Classroom experience

Most providers expect you to have at least two weeks’ classroom experience before you begin teacher training.

  • If you don’t have any classroom experience, try to spend some time observing and helping out with lessons in a local school before you apply.
  • You can then use this experience in your personal statement, showing what you’ve gained from it and how it’s increased your motivation to be a teacher.
  1. Medical fitness

When you accept a place on a training programme, your training provider may send you a health questionnaire to find out about your medical fitness.

  • Some applicants may be asked to have a medical examination.
  • If you have a disability, it’s helpful if you give us full details on your application, so that training providers can try to make any adjustments you may need.
  1. Declaration of criminal convictions

If you have a criminal record, it won’t necessarily prevent you becoming a teacher.

  • You’ll need to disclose any criminal convictions, cautions or bind-overs, and you’ll need to agree to an enhanced criminal record check. We also advise you to discuss your circumstances with training providers before you apply.
  1. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in England and Wales

This is the Government scheme that replaced the Criminal Records Bureau.

  • This enables training providers to identify people who are barred from working with children and vulnerable adults.
  • Check with the DBS (link is external) to see what you need to do to comply with these arrangements.

Click here to view the School Direct 2016-2017 pdf.