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.  Swale Academies Trust works in partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) and both QTS and PGCE pathways are accredited by the University.

From September 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.  At each school 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 in January so that all trainees are able to teach in a different school environment and broaden their experience further during their training year.

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 in the beginning, 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

The Westlands Teaching School Alliance provides 40% of the training.  The Learning Days and weekly professional studies sessions will be held at the Trust’s bespoke training centre at Ashdown House in Sittingbourne.  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 15 subject studies days at CCCU in addition to the six 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 curriculum.


School Direct Routes

We offer two School Direct routes; salaried and non-funded.  They both offer QTS with an opportunity to opt for a PGCE if desired. 

For both salaried and non-funded positions, trainees must be high quality graduates with a 2:1 or above plus GCSE English, Mathematics and Science at grade C or better. However, applicants with a 2:2 will be considered if they can demonstrate good subject knowledge and a real aptitude for teaching.