How does it differ from the PGCE?
The PGCE is a University-based course, and students undertake fixed length, structured teaching experiences interspersed with college-based training. The new School Direct route is school-based, based in one school, and trainees are employed, and paid, by this school while they train. They attend regular sessions at the University but their main base for training is the school.
School Direct is therefore particularly appealing to more mature entrants who can demonstrate that they are capable of self-directed learning, and who may appreciate the financial advantages it offers. In addition, whereas the PGCE carries an academic award as well as QTS, School Direct salaried awards QTS only.
What is the role of the Higher Education Institution?
The University is responsible for verifying the recruitment and selection of candidates put forward by schools; delivering a training programme and Schools and recommending successful trainees for QTS.
Employing Schools enter into a Training Partnership with the University, and between them they ensure that the trainees have the opportunities to demonstrate their suitability to become qualified teachers.
Who is eligible for the Schools Direct Programme?
All candidates applying must:
- Have a UK degree or equivalent (in the case of a trainee seeking to qualify to teach a secondary subject, as a guide, 50% of the degree should relate to the specialist teaching subject;
- Have GCSE Maths and English at C grade or above or the equivalent, with the addition of GCSE grade C in a science subject for Primary trainees;
- Priority will be given to applicants who already have the required GCSE grades at the time of application;
- For candidates from outside the UK, school and degree qualifications will need to be checked with NARIC to validate that they are equivalent to UK qualifications;
- Show that they can communicate effectively in both spoken and written English;
- Be on a full-time contract by the school as an unqualified teacher and be paid at least the first level of the DCSF Unqualified Teacher pay scale (priority will be made to candidates who are already at the school at the point of application); and
- Have undergone criminal record and health checks (completed by the school).
Due to the employment-based nature of the Programme, preference will also be given to candidates who have substantial post-graduation working/professional experience.
Priority is given to candidates who already have had experience in a state-maintained, mainstream school in England or Wales, and prefer candidates who are already at their supporting school at the time of application. Other experience of working with children/young people is viewed positively – examples might include youth work or sports coaching. The candidate’s personal statement on the application form, and, if interviewed, their statements during interview, will be evaluated according to their ability to analyse and reflect critically on all of these experiences with respect to teaching.
What is the programme structure?
Each trainee will be allocated a University Tutor who will produce an Individual Training Plan, taking into account individual needs and school-based support during the training period. In addition, trainees will be expected to attend a series of training sessions at the Institute (10 to 15 days over the year). The University Tutor visits trainees a minimum of once per term to monitor progress. The Institute Tutor visits trainees a minimum of once per term to monitor progress and assist in preparing trainees for QTS assessment, which will be conducted at the end of the training period.
What are the responsibilities of the employing school?
School Direct is a partnership between the University and the employing school. Both partners have collective responsibility for all aspects of the training and are actively involved in the planning and delivery of the training and in the selection and final assessment of trainees.
In particular, schools must:
- Arrange for all trainees to have a Professional School Tutor and a Subject (Secondary) or Second (Primary) School Mentor who have the major day-to-day responsibility for supporting and assessing the trainee during his/her school-based training. The Professional Tutor typically has responsibility for the management of and overall responsibility for the trainee’s progress and facilitating key aspects of training such as the Second School Experience. The Subject/Second School Tutor typically will have more daily contact with a trainee, be a subject specialist (for Secondary trainees) and regularly observe the trainee teach;
- Employ the trainee; must have a timetabled teaching load significantly less than that of a normal teacher, arranged to facilitate the 60-training day requirement. However, if the school receives a salary grant for the trainee, then they must be supernumerary by law;
- Implement and support the Individual Training Plan and its school-based activities;
- Ensure that trainees have the opportunity to work with SEN and EAL pupils;
- Facilitate trainees’ attendance at the centrally run training at the University and School (both generic and subject specific);
- Ensure that trainees teach in two consecutive Age Ranges; and
- Compile regular progress which review progress and detail targets.
What are the responsibilities of the Trainee Teacher?
The School Direct year is an intensive one as you are both teacher and trainee. You will be expected to:
- Commit fully as a member of the school staff team;
- Commit to follow your Individual Training Plan;
- Respond to targets set by your mentors;
- Attend courses and placements as stipulated by the GTP Partnership;
- Develop a portfolio of evidence which demonstrates that you meet the QTS standards.
Are overseas qualified teachers eligible for School Direct?
No. If someone is already a fully qualified teacher trained overseas, they are not eligible for School Direct. They should consider the Overseas Trained Teacher programme (OTTP) or Assessment Only route instead.Tags: Initial Teacher Training, School Direct