A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about applications for the School Direct Programme.
What is School Direct?
School Direct is the name of the government programme which enables schools to select and train their own teachers. You can find out more by looking at the DFE website.
Trainees spend one year learning on the job, with regular support both in school and with our Specialist Partner- UCL Institute of Education.
Do I need to have experience in a Primary School?
Yes, You need to have a minimum of 10 days experience within a primary school setting before starting the course.
What are you looking for in School Direct candidates? In both salaried and training routes we look for high academic qualifications – entry requirement is a minimum of a 2:2 honours degree. However, a first or 2:1 is preferable. We also look for a strong commitment to teaching, and a minimum of 10 days spent in a school setting. The course is challenging and so is teaching! The salaried route also requires a minimum of three work experience.
Do I need to have a GCSE in Maths and English to apply? Can I use any equivalent qualifications, such as Access to Higher Education? It is a Department of Education national requirement that you need grade C/5 or above in English, Maths and Science for Primary Programmes or approved equivalency. UCL does not accept ‘additional’ or ‘applied’ GCSE subjects. For equivalency testing UCL will only accept tests from www.equivalencytesting.com.
Can I choose which of the Primary Advantage schools I will work in?
You will be applying to our alliance of schools rather than one school. You will then be based in school however you will work across the Federation and have opportunity to work within different schools and key stages as part of your teacher training.
Can I choose which key stage I will be based in?
Where possible, you will be given your preference for the key stage that you will be working within however the course also requires that you gain experience of another adjacent key stage.
What are the differences between the School Direct Salaried and Training routes?
The School Direct salaried route means that you are employed for 11 months by one of our partnership schools, while you train. You are paid on point 1 of the unqualified teacher pay spine. You do not have to pay any fees for your training. You will have 60 days directed study with 15 of those days spent at the Institute of Education. You gain QTS (Qualified Teaching Status) at the end of your training. Even though you are in a school from the beginning, we won’t drop you in the deep end! We give you a huge support network, both in your school and across the Federation. This route is designed for candidates who have had at least three years’ experience in the workplace. You will have the opportunity during the year to complete assignments towards a PGCE.
The School Direct Training route is a non-salaried route in partnership with the University College London Institution of Education and you would work towards a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate of Education) at the end of the course, in addition to QTS. You will be based for your teaching experiences in our schools across the Federation. You will follow the same PGCE course that the UCL Institute of Education runs, with the same amount of time spent at the Institute as the other PGCE students. The key difference is that you will know where you will be placed on your school experience and will have a strong affiliation with the Federation.
What will the training look like for the salaried route? The training is a balance of theory and practice. You’re based in the classroom from day one, so once you’ve learnt something new you can put it into practice the very next day. The manageable and bite-sized feedback you receive each week makes learning easier and progress quicker.
I’m not a recent graduate – can I still apply?
Yes – we’re looking for the best, both graduates and career-changers. We want the brightest and best people for our children. That doesn’t just mean graduates – it means those looking to change career too. Our current trainees have been nurses, soldiers, teaching assistants, lawyers and doctors, and can bring their skills and experience into the classroom.
If I’m selected, when would I start?
You would start your training in September when the school term starts, salaried route applicants start in our schools and training route applicants start at the Institute of Education then move into schools.
Can I defer for a year?
Unfortunately no. We can only take on trainees who are ready to start their training next year. However, we would love to talk to you about your career path and how to make a strong application when you’re ready to apply.
I have a disability. How will you support me? We want to make sure that our training programme is open to everybody, so if you do have a disability we will do everything we reasonably can to make special arrangements. If you would like us to do so at the interview stage, please provide details on your application form. This will in no way affect your application.
What happens at the end of the year when my training is finished? We are committed to supporting our trainees beyond their first year. We encourage our students to apply for positions within the federation. They will then become part of our external recruitment process. We train all our candidates to be outstanding classroom teachers for all settings and prepare teachers for a career in education, wherever they chose to work.
If I am eligible what happens next, how do I apply? All applications for Teacher Training vacancies must be made through UCAS. To view all our courses in detail please search the DFE ‘Find a Postgraduate Teacher Training‘ website where you will find further information and application links to UCAS. You can find us by searching under our federation name of Primary Advantage or location by looking in Hackney, London. We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis. We have extremely high expectations and will only appoint candidates who fully meet our criteria. We will continue to interview until we have found the right candidates!
All our routes will be open on UCAS/ DFE Publish from October 2020 for the 2021/22 academic year