Train to Teach

Train to Teach

What is School Direct?

In a nutshell, School direct is a school-based teacher training programme with time spent in university. It is a combination of QTS (qualified teacher status) and PGCE (post-graduate certificate in education). The course provides an immersive experience which equips trainees with the knowledge, skills, and experience to prepare them for their career as a teacher.

School direct lead schools and Trusts work with HE providers to validate the PGCE aspect of the qualification. We work with 3 Higher Education (HE) providers: University of Worcester, University of Wolverhampton, and Haybridge SCITT in Hagley, Worcestershire.

You will be placed in two schools throughout your training year. One of these will be your main placement (SE1) and the other will be a second placement (SE2). You will spend the majority of your time in these schools, and you will also spend time in university working on honing your subject and pedagogical knowledge as well as learning about the educational landscape and topics such as safeguarding. For example, trainees joining us through the University of Worcester will spend approximately 45 days in university throughout the year.

The course itself works like a sandwich, with your main placement school providing the bread (the foundation of any successful sandwich, surely) and the second placement is the yummy filler!

Autumn Term: you will spend the majority of this term in your main placement school (SE1). Here you will begin to learn the fundamentals of teaching and learning. At the start, you will be observing, team teaching, and immersing yourself in the daily life of the school. Before long (probably by October even) you will begin teaching your own classes!

Spring Term: you will be in your second placement school for the majority of this term. Now you will build on the experience gained in SE1. We try to ensure that your SE2 placement is a contrasting school to SE1 so that you can get experience of a variety of school contexts. At this stage, you will be teaching more – up to 12 hours per week, and you’ll be developing your teaching style and pedagogical knowledge.

Summer Term: now you go back to your original placement school (SE1) and by now you’re almost there. At this point, you’ll bring in all that experience you’ve acquired. With the end of the training year in sight, you’ll also be putting together your presentation for your final university assessment (see below for more details on university assessments).

University Assessments: These differ slightly depending on the HE provider you apply to. Trainees joining us through the University of Worcester will do two assessments and deliver a final presentation to their school and university mentors.

Professional Studies: Trainees joining us from Worcester will receive their professional studies training through Stour Vale Trust. These take place on Fridays and the details of the course can be found here.

Mentors and Support: Throughout your course, you will be fully supported by a team of mentors at the university, at school, and through the Stour Vale Trust central team.

Application and Interview Process

Once you have decided on the subject and phase you want to teach, you are ready to start your application.

Our list of courses can be found here.

If you would like to talk about School Direct training with Stour Vale Academy Trust, then please get in touch with us via We are more than happy to discuss the course with you prior to your application. We can also set up some school experience which can enhance your application.

For all school direct training enquiries, email