School Direct Salaried or Non-Salaried?

      School Direct is a school-based professional training programme aimed at recent graduates and career-changers. On the Salaried programme you will be employed by your placement school on an unqualified teacher rate, whilst also following a University PGCE programme.

      On the Salaried route you are employed for a maximum of one year in a school. You are paid on point 1 of the unqualified teacher pay spine. You will start the programme with up to a 40% timetable, comprising of your own classes and shared classes with a professional mentor. This commitment grows incrementally through the year as you develop as a teacher. You do not have to pay any fees for your training and you gain QTS status at the end of your training. This route is designed for candidates who have had at least three years’ experience in the workplace.

      The Non-Salaried route means that you will pay fees for your training course £9000. You will not be employed by the school, but will undertake much of your training in school, including sharing a timetable with a professional mentor and other colleagues in your department.

      We work with The School Direct routes at the Wycombe High School Partnership http://www.whs.bucks.sch.uk/402/about-whs/teacher-training and Astra SCITT http://www.astra-alliance.com/280/overview-of-the-astra-scitt, both leading towards QTS, with the possibility of also studying for a PGCE.

      What qualifications do I need to apply for School Direct teacher training in the UK?

      To be eligible you will need at least three years’ salaried work experience, either before or after receiving your degree. Your degree should be in (or related to) the subject you wish to teach, and GCSE English and Maths (or equivalent). Generally applicants will have a degree of 2:2 or higher.

      What are the Professional Skills Tests, and when should I take them?

      The Professional Skills Tests for prospective teachers assess the core Numeracy and Literacy skills that teachers need to fulfil their professional role in schools. This is to ensure all teachers are competent in numeracy and literacy, regardless of their specialism. All trainee teachers must pass the skills tests in numeracy and literacy before they can be recommended for the award of qualified teacher status (QTS). Book your Professional Skills tests as soon as you can, since they need to be passed before you can commence training. They are computerised tests and you will have to visit a test centre. The first attempt is free of charge in each skill area, but if you do not pass in 3 attempts you will have to wait 24 months before you can resit. In order to register for the tests you will need proof that you have applied for teacher training.

      For more information and test venues see http://sta.education.gov.uk/ Tests are booked through Learn Direct. Their help line is 0300 303 9613

      What other attributes should I have?

      As with all things that are really worth doing in life, learning to teach is hard work. You will need determination, resilience and be prepared to work long hours. You will also need to get into the habit of reflecting on what went well and what can improve following (and during!) a lesson. Tough, yes, but for those people who choose to do it, it is the beginning of a great professional and personal journey.

      Should I organise a visit to a school before applying?

      Your experience in schools will vary depending on your circumstances, but the more experience you have working and volunteering in schools, the better. However, we recognise that this isn’t always possible, especially if you are considering a career change into teaching. As part of your own decision-making process, you should ensure that you have had at least a week working in UK state schools before making your application. This should include some observation of teachers, possibly working with small groups of students, and discussing teaching with colleagues at the school. We welcome visits, and can arrange for work experience at Sir William Borlase’s, or with our partner schools.

      I have qualifications from overseas. How do I find out if they are equivalent to UK qualifications?

      You can contact NARIC via their website. They will provide you with documentation to say that your qualifications are equivalent to ones in the UK. You need to do this in order to apply for teacher training.

      What is the difference between QTS and PGCE?

      QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) means that you have met the statutory requirements (The Teachers’ Standards) for teaching in the UK. You need QTS to be able to teach in maintained schools in the UK.

      A PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate of Education) is an additional academic qualification which includes QTS. Your School Direct programme works towards QTS, with the possibility of also studying for a PGCE.

      What will my teacher training course be like?

      We think that the best place to train to be a teacher is in a school. You will join a dedicated team of professional teachers who are committed to developing their practice and the learning of their students. We always have a group of School Direct trainees, so you will be in good company. On the Salaried route, you will be employed at the school for four days a week. You will join us for two days of induction ahead of the new school year, one in July and the other early September. Your timetable will include a number of your own classes in KS3, KS3 and 4 classes shared with your mentor (depending on your needs, these may be team-taught or observed), preparation periods, a reflection and planning session with your mentor, a group meeting with the Assistant Head in charge of ITT, and departmental and whole-school development. For one day a week you will join the other ITTs involved in your programme for a professional studies day at the accrediting university or SCITT. Some of the sessions will be subject-based (always a great place to swap ideas and share stories) and some will explore general pedagogical and professional topics relevant to all teachers. These will form the basis of your assessed essays for the PGCE, supervised by university or SCITT staff.

      How do I apply?

      Applications are made through the UCAS website https://www.ucas.com/ucas/teacher-training , not through the school directly. Further information about School Direct can be found on the Government ‘Get into Teaching’ website https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/ This site gives comprehensive information about eligibility criteria, funding and the application process, as well as how to book school experience through the School Experience Programme. Good luck!


      If you have further questions, please contact us at mmla@swgs.com

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