What is School Direct

School Direct is a way of training teachers by putting schools at the heart of the process. It is an employment-based route into teaching for high-quality graduates. 

Trainees will work as unqualified teachers in one of the schools within our teaching school alliance.  We work in partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University, University of Brighton and University of Sussex, and both QTS and PGCE pathways are accredited by the Universities.

Trainees will be part of a whole school community where they will be immersed in everyday school life.  Each trainee will be supported by a subject mentor. This will be an experienced teacher, who will guide and support them in their development to become a successful teacher.  There will be a professional mentor who will oversee the training of all trainees within their school and can provide additional support.   

Trainees will be based in the same school for the duration of their training, but there will be a second contrasting placement arranged within the training year so that all trainees are able to teach in a different school environment and broaden their experience further.

We recognise that trainees come with varying levels of previous school experience and our training is therefore tailored to the individual.  For example, those who have plenty of relevant classroom experience will have the opportunity to begin teaching whole classes early on in the programme.  Those with less relevant experience will receive more guidance at the start of the course, to build a firm foundation on which to base their classroom practice.  We believe that it is important for trainees to have sufficient time to work with more experienced staff and mentors, in order to develop high-level skills before being given full responsibility for classes.

How it works in Kent 

In Bromley & East Sussex trainees attend training days at their chosen university alongside the in-school programme of CPD.  Trainees have the opportunity to engage in a number of school-based training activities which includes lesson observations and professional dialogue with colleagues to develop their pedagogical understanding.  

In Kent, when in partnership with Christchurch University, Swale Academies Trust provides a substantial proportion of the training. Our programme is designed specifically for trainees in schools, and we are able to draw on the experience and expertise of our staff to provide an enriching and practical programme combined with the theory-based knowledge that is so essential.

Trainees will receive at least 60 days (or equivalent) training during the year.  This includes subject study days at university in addition to professional Learning Days and weekly programme of professional studies delivered by the Trust. In addition, we provide a variety of school-based training activities, which include lesson observations in both the chosen subject area and other areas of the curriculum.

How it works in East Sussex

Our trainees based at one of our schools in East Sussex receive all their formal CTE training direct from either the University of Brighton or the University of Sussex. As in Kent, our trainees have access to a variety of school-based training activities, which include lesson observations of their colleagues at work. 

My placement school has given me the opportunity to develop my practice and explore my passions and interests through School Direct training sessions. I have been exposed to outstanding teaching and learning, which has helped me to become the teacher I want to be. The support and guidance that I received both from the school and the training sessions have been instrumental in my growth as a teacher.