If you would like your teacher training to be based at a school where you can be fully immersed in the life of a teacher from day one, a school-led training course is for you. Within our alliance, we cater for both graduates and career changers who want hands-on training in a school environment.

What are the entry requirements?


You should be a graduate, preferably with a minimum of a 2:2 degree in the subject you wish to teach or a related subject (some subjects require a 2:1 degree so check your individual subject). We are sometimes willing to consider applicants who have a 3rd but they must have a Grade B at A-level in their chosen subject and be able to demonstrate a real aptitude for teaching. Applicants with relevant industrial or commercial experience are very welcome to apply. If you have a degree but don’t think it’s relevant to any subject on the curriculum, you can contact us for further advice.


To start teacher training you’ll need C-grade GCSEs (or standard equivalents) in English, maths and a science subject if you want to teach primary or key stages 2/3. If you don’t have the necessary GCSEs, you may be able to take a pre-entry test set by your teacher training provider. If in doubt, contact the school to find out more.

If you have qualifications from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) will be able to advise you on whether these are equivalent to the minimum requirements set out above. They may also provide certification where appropriate. The EEA consists of all members of the European Community (EC) including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

School experience

It’s important to spend as much time as possible in schools before you apply for teacher training – the insight you will gain will be an invaluable part of your application. On most courses, you’ll be expected to have at least 10 days experience before you start your training. You should check exact requirements in the course entry profiles on the UCAS website. If you would like to arrange some time in school, please contact us.

Skills tests

If you are thinking of applying for a teacher training course, you will need to take the numeracy and literacy skills test as part of the application process and ensure that you have passed them both before the start of the course. The first attempt at taking your skills tests in each subject is provided free of charge. You can book up to two resits if required, but you will be expected to pay for this yourself. When you take the tests, you will need to provide proof that you have applied for a teacher training course. The tests are held at a Pearson Professional Test Centre (which also deliver Driving Theory tests, so you may be familiar with them already).

What is School Direct?

School Direct is an innovative way of training teachers which has been designed to enable schools to take a lead role in Initial Teacher Training whilst working in partnership with accredited ITT providers. It is a one year full time route into teaching leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

If your application is successful you will learn on the job either at St. Andrew’s or one of our partner schools. You will train in the classroom supported by qualified teachers and mentors and will also spend time studying at our partner university Liverpool Hope. You will work as part of the teaching team from day one and immediately put your new skills into practice.

Why choose School Direct?

  • You will spend more time in school than trainees on a ‘traditional’ PGCE.
  • You will be training alongside outstanding teachers and lead professionals.
  • You will receive excellent professional development within our alliance schools and with our university partner.
  • You will experience the diversity of excellent education providers in different types of schools with different specialisms within our teaching school alliance.
  • You will still have access to university facilities e.g. libraries, lectures etc.
  • You will gain a PGCE with Masters Accreditation through our university partner.
  • There are tax-free bursaries for candidates with top degrees.
  • You will be supported in seeking employment on successful completion of training.

What will the programme involve?

  • All trainees will be allocated to a home school. You will start the academic year in your home school and spend the majority of your school-based experience time there.
  • All trainees will spend a placement in an away school during term 2 of the academic year.
  • In addition to the directed school-based experience time, all trainees will spend a period of time at Liverpool Hope university for subject specific enhancement sessions.
  • The course combines practical classroom experience with academic study to give you the knowledge and understanding to teach successfully. You will be assessed through observations and assignments.

Can I get financial support?

To encourage the best graduates to enter the profession, financial incentives are available.

For information on this, visit www.getintoteaching.education.gov.uk

Tuition fee loan

If you are on a postgraduate teacher training course which is not salaried, you will have to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees vary depending on the course and the higher education institute (HEI). You should contact the HEI provider of the course or programme you are interested in directly for details of the fees charged.

Home and EU students may be eligible for a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of tuition fees charged. This is available through Student Finance England.


How to Apply