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School Direct 2019-20 entry

Click here for details of a free webinar, taking place at 7.00pm on Tuesday 25th June 2019 for trainee teachers - find out more about Ofsted inspections and how these will focus on the real substance of education, the curriculum, from September 2019.


Thank you for your interest in the School Direct route into teaching.  We warmly welcome your application and the following information will help guide you through the process. Please see the section, "what places are available" to download our 2019-20 brochure.  

Painsley Catholic College is an outstanding 11-18 academy in the Staffordshire Moorlands. Painsley Catholic College School Direct consortium is a group of very friendly, supportive schools, passionate about creating the next generation of teachers. Painsley Catholic College became a National Teaching School in 2014 and is one of only 3 National Maths Hubs in the West Midlands.  

We work in partnership with the University of Derby and KNSTE, Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education (school centre initial teacher training) for primary training.

As a consortium, we aim to provide high quality, school based initial teacher training. We believe our provision ensures trainees feel fully prepared for life in the classroom and a career in education. 

All our staff are exceptionally skilled and passionate practitioners and you are welcome to visit us to discuss your chosen career.

School Direct is a route into teaching which moves the focus of study from a university based course to a school based course.

Whether you’ve just finished a degree, or have been working in a career for many years, the School Direct route enables you to learn to teach, whilst actually doing the job, maximizing the time spent in school.

We are looking to recruit graduates to begin training in primary and secondary schools across Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent and Derbyshire. We work closely in partnership with Derby University, Birmingham City University and Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education to develop our School Direct and School Direct (Salaried) routes into teaching. 

Our programme aims:

  • the majority of the school year based in one main host school from our alliance, with expert support from current outstanding teachers;
  • a second school placement in q school differing in context to your main host school;
  • at least 60 training days in total, with sessions taught by school colleagues and university tutors;
  • PGCE with up to 60 masters credits;
  • highly trained and experienced in-school mentors;
  • strong support provided by the Painsley Catholic College Teaching School Alliance, which has the added benefit of being one of only 35 national Maths Hubs, designated by the DfE;
  • networking opportunities with trainees from other schools;
  • a personalised approach to your training;
  • support to secure a teaching position on completion of the course.

The training programme we have designed will build your confidence and subject knowledge and give you the necessary skills to become an effective classroom practitioner. Throughout this time you will be supported by a highly-trained mentor who will hold weekly meetings to review your progress and set targets. As your confidence grows, you will deliver parts of lessons on your own, taking on more responsibility until you are teaching full lessons.

As part of your further development you will undertake one other placement at another school, usually in a different context to your ‘home’ school. There will also be the opportunity to spend a varying amount of time at other schools to further enhance your learning through experiencing a diverse range of educational settings.  Our placement strategy is aimed at giving you the best preparation possible for a successful teaching career.

What are the entry criteria?

Placements on either training programme will be conditional to:

  • a degree qualification from the UK (or equivalent). Please notes preference will be given to applicants with a 2:1 classification or higher. For secondary places, the degree will need to have direct relevance to the subject you wish to teach.  We will consider a 2:2 degree for exceptional candidates.  For secondary, this must be relevant to your chosen subject.
  • we ask that all applicants have carried out at least 2 weeks work experience in a school, within the last 2 years.  We are a SEP placement school - see the links below.
  • GCSE English and Maths Grade C or above (and Science grade C if you are applying for a Primary place)
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance .
  • successful completion of Government skills tests.  Further information, including how to book the tests, can be found at
  • Occupational health screening to show you have a suitable level of health to work.

In addition to this, if you are applying for a School Direct (salaried) place, you must have:

  • have at least 3 years (or equivalent) work experience. This experience can be in any field and does not have to be related to education at all.
  • Entitlement to live and work in the UK.

What places are available?

We have wide range of places available in primary and secondary schools across the Alliance. Most of our places are through the School Direct route, where tuition fees must be paid and you will work towards gaining a PGCE and QTS. We do not have any places for the School Direct (Salaried) route, where you are paid a salary as you train and work towards gaining QTS, for the 2019-2020 cohort. See above for the eligibility criteria for both routes. Please download our brochure for further detail on current subjects and phases on offer.  This comprehensive brochure will guide you through the application process and the financial information.  We welcome school visits, so please do call us if you are interested in applying and want to meet us and look around.

School Direct Places

Trainees on a School Direct Training Programme will have to pay tuition fees to cover the cost of the course, but home and EU trainees will be eligible for a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of these fees. Bursaries are available from the National College of Teaching and Learning (NCTL) in many subjects (particularly shortage secondary school subjects such as maths, physics and MfL). They are dependent on your degree classification however. This route into teaching is for high quality graduates who want to be part of a school team from day one.  Please see our brochure for details of our 2019-2020 placements and financial information.

School Direct (Salaried) Places - no places available for 2019-2020

Trainees on the School Direct (Salaried) Training Programme will be employed as an unqualified teacher by a school and will therefore earn a salary.  Salaries are usually paid on the unqualified teacher scale.  We are delighted to be able to offer an uplift in salary for Maths and Physics for exceptional candidates resulting in starting salary of £21,000 or above.

The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) provides funding, which the school can use to subsidise the trainee’s salary and/or training, and to pay the university fees. This is an employment-based route into teaching for high quality experienced graduates with three or more years’ work experience. This experience does not have to be from an educational setting as career changers can bring valuable skills and experience to the profession. Experience working with young people is vital, and we would expect applicants to have a minimum of 2 weeks experience in a school at the age range appropriate for the course that they are applying to.

Further general information about these programmes can be found at

Both routes carry a genuine intention to provide employment to those who successfully achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) however it is very difficult for schools to predict what their staffing levels will look like at the completion of the course. The Alliance will ensure that support is provided for students to, at the very least, secure an interview.

We have a 100% employment rate.


How to apply

Full details of how to apply for School Direct places can be found at the UCAS teacher training website and a video giving further information about the application process is also available here.

When searching for places, our primary and secondary places on UCAS will be found under the lead Teaching School which is Painsley Catholic College, postcode ST10 1LH.  Search here.

Prior to our application window opening, we strongly suggest you:

  • Begin obtaining two references to support your application.
  • Organise and sit the Skills Tests
  • Ensure you have recent work experience in a school (with the age range you wish to teach.) This will prove invaluable when writing your personal statement and during the interview process. One way to gain experience can be through the School Experience Programme (SEP)
  • Read our brochure.
    Download our school direct brochure.

If you have any further questions in relation to the School Direct programme please contact our Teaching School Director Clare Oberman by emailing 

We wish you luck with your application.