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School led training

Graduates from England or Wales can follow one of the following school led training routes to become a teacher:

England:

Wales:

Teacher with child using tablet

What is School Direct teacher training?

School Direct works with schools in England to offer graduate pathways into teaching. You’ll learn how to be a teacher on-the-job and be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). There are two routes: non-salaried and salaried.

Programmes are run by the school or partnership of schools that you train at. You’ll receive support from experienced professionals and be allowed to teach unsupported once ready.

Schools works closely with a university or School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) consortium. Courses operate in England alone.

School Direct (non-salaried)

A School Direct (non-salaried) or tuition fee programme will train you to become a teacher while you work at a school, but you won’t be paid. Instead you’ll be eligible for the same funding as university trainees.

This route is a popular option for those wishing to get a job in the network of schools where they’ve trained. Schools and centres usually advertise vacancies with a permanent job in mind for those who apply, although this is never guaranteed.

School Direct (salaried)

School Direct (salaried) programmes are for high-achieving graduates with around three years of related work experience. You are employed as an unqualified teacher while you learn on-the-job, and therefore receive a salary.

What are the entry requirements for School Direct?

  • A good honours degree, usually in a relevant subject to your prospective teaching specialism*.
  • GCSEs (A–C) in Maths and English. If you’re applying for primary education you must also have at least one GCSE (A–C) in Science.
  • You are subject to Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) checks as part of the admissions process.
  • You must pass their Professional Skills Tests before undertaking any teacher training in England.
  • For the salaried programme you will usually need to have around three years professional work experience, in any sector.

*If you wish to train for a shortage subject, but don’t have a relevant degree, you may be eligible to apply for a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course before enrolling on the School direct programme. See more information.

How to apply for a School Direct programme

School Direct applications are submitted via the University Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Vacancies are available according to schools' requirements.

You’ll be required to attend an interview which may include subject knowledge audits.

How you qualify

If you successfully complete the School Direct programme, you’ll be awarded Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). You’ll still need to complete and pass an induction year as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) in order to fully register with the Department for Education (DFE).

Schools which work closely with universities may also offer you the opportunity to gain a Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) while you train. Only Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are able to award the qualification.

See our after qualifying section for more information, including induction year leading to full registration details.

What is School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT)?

School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) courses are run by networks of schools which offer hands-on teacher training for graduates, leading to recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). They are similar to the School Direct (non-salaried) programme. Courses operate in England alone.

SCITT courses are often delivered in close partnership with universities so that you can simultaneously gain a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) while working towards QTS. They last a year where you’re required to spend at least 120 days in schools.

You’ll receive extensive support, be surrounded by experienced professionals, and be allowed to teach unsupported when ready.

You won’t be paid but you’ll be eligible for the same funding as university trainees.

What are the entry requirements for School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT)?

  • A good honours degree, usually in a relevant subject to your prospective teaching specialism*.
  • GCSEs (A–C) in Maths and English. If you’re applying for primary education you must also have at least one GCSE (A–C) in Science.
  • You are subject to Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) checks as part of the admissions process.
  • You must pass your Professional Skills Tests before undertaking any teacher training in England.

*If you wish to train for a shortage subject but don’t have a relevant degree, you may be eligible to apply for a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course before enrolling on the SCITT course. See more information.

How to apply for School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT)

SCITT applications are submitted via the University Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You’ll be required to attend an interview which may include subject knowledge audits.

How you qualify

SCITT courses last a year and result in Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). You’ll still need to complete and pass an induction year as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) in order to fully register with the Department for Education (DFE).

Read our after qualifying for more information.

What is the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP)?

The Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) is a Welsh employment-based route into teaching, similar to the School Direct (salaried) programme. Graduates can gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) by learning how to be a teacher while working in the classroom.

If you want to be either a primary or secondary school teacher, you can gain QTS via the GTP with one of the following programmes:

  • Salary and training grant places for secondary trainees of designated priority subjects (including the sciences, maths and computing)
  • Unfunded places for other secondary trainees
  • Primary training grant places.

Programmes are administered by one of the following three Initial Teacher Training (ITT) centres located in Wales:

  • North and Mid Wales Centre for Teacher Education and Training
  • South West Wales Centre for Teacher Education
  • South East Wales Centre for Teacher Education.

How to apply for the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP)

First, schools have to approach one ITT centre and secure support for a GTP application. You then have to apply to the relevant ITT centre enclosing a letter of support from the school.

Visit DiscoverTeaching for information about applying.

What are the entry requirements for the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP)?

  • A good honours degree in a relevant subject.
  • GCSEs (A–B) in Mathematics and English Language. For primary education you must also have GCSEs (A–C) in Welsh and Science.
  • If you’re applying for an unfunded secondary trainee place, you must have been employed at a maintained school for at least a year.

What funding is available for the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP)?

You are legally employed by the school where you’re training, so you’ll receive a salary.

If you’re specialising in designated priority subjects or training for primary education you’ll receive an additional training grant.

How you qualify

GTP programmes last a year and result in Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). You’ll still need to complete and pass an induction year as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) in order to fully register with the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW).

Check out our after qualifying section for more information.