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School-based training options

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. These training options are applied for through UCAS.

School Direct training programmes, including those run by School-Centred Initial Teacher Training organisations (SCITTs), are listed under 'School Direct Training Programme' or 'School Direct Training Programme (Salaried)'. SCITT training programmes will be under the name of the SCITT.

School Direct Training Programme

This school-led option offers practical, hands-on training ‘on the job’, with support from experienced teachers and mentors. With regular attendance at university, this is a more gradual introduction to classroom work than the salaried option. School Direct courses generally last a year and offer training in at least two schools. School Direct courses all result in qualified teacher status (QTS). Most also award a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) and/or master’s-level credits.

UK and EU trainees may be eligible for a training bursary (or where appropriate, scholarship) and can apply for a student loan to cover the cost of the course tuition fees. Tuition fees will vary depending on the institution, and the maximum fee you can be charged is £9,250. You should contact Student Finance England to apply for a tuition fee loan.

School Direct Training Programme (Salaried)

This route allows you to train on the job and earn a salary during your training. It is open to graduates with at least three years work experience in any career. The amount you earn will be dependent on the school you train in and the subject you're teaching. For example, schools may offer enhanced salaries to trainees in maths, physics and computing. Generous tax-free bursaries and scholarships of up to £25,000 are available to train to teach some subjects. School Direct (salaried) courses normally take a year to complete.

School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT)

SCITT programmes are designed and delivered by groups of neighbouring schools and colleges. They provide practical, hands-on teacher training programmes, taught by experienced, practising teachers. You’ll usually be based in one school from the consortium – the lead school – while completing teaching practice at others in the group.

Training programmes generally last for one academic year full-time, running from September to June and result in QTS. Some start earlier. You may be eligible to receive funding through student finance while you train for your SCITT.

Teach First Leadership Development Programme

The Teach First Leadership Development Programme is a two-year programme, which combines your development as a practising teacher with personal and business skills training. Trainees have six weeks intensive training before teaching in a school in a low-income community for two years. Teach First participants are paid and employed by their primary or secondary school throughout the two years. Salaries vary according to the region and school in which you are placed. In your first year you will be paid the equivalent of an unqualified teacher, and in your second year you will be paid at least the same as a newly qualified teacher, possibly more, depending on your responsibilities.

In order to apply for the two-year programme, eligible candidates will need to satisfy the following minimum requirements:

  • 2:1 degree or above, 300 UCAS points (or equivalent, excluding General Studies)
  • A degree and/or A levels that satisfy the teaching subject requirements.
  • Grade C (or equivalent) in GCSE maths and English
  • Flexibility to work anywhere within Teach First's locations
  • Commitment to the duration of the two-year Leadership Development Programme

In addition to this, candidates need to demonstrate relevant subject knowledge and the following skills and qualities


More information can be found on Teach First –

  • humility, respect, and empathy
  • interaction
  • knowledge
  • leadership
  • planning and organising
  • problem solving
  • resilience

Troops to Teachers

The Troops to Teachers training route is open to service leaders who do not hold a first degree and who are in the two years before discharge or in the two years after discharge. The programme lasts two years and is school-based. Trainees are paid on the unqualified teacher pay scale during both years of the programme.


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