School Direct Programme

“You are able to embed yourself into the school more than you would on a traditional placement, and therefore build stronger relationships with pupils and teachers that will help to improve your teaching.”  School Direct Trainee

“School Direct offers the experience of a school right from the start, making teaching a far less daunting prospect.” School Direct Trainee

About the programme

The School Direct Salaried pathway is an employment-based route to becoming a qualified teacher and achieving Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). The School Direct Tuition Fee pathway works in a similar way but is funded by the trainee and leads to QTS and a Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE). School Direct Tuition Fee trainees may be eligible for a training bursary or scholarship. Although it is possible to train as a primary or secondary teacher via these routes, our Alliance only trains primary teachers. Our training provider is Bromley Schools’ Collegiate

Throughout the year trainees acquire the skills, knowledge and understanding of the range of elements which make an outstanding teacher, as specified in the Teachers’ Standards; from developing good relationships with children and other colleagues to promote learning, to working within a framework and national and school policies to deliver the curriculum. Experience in school progresses from observing and working alongside the class teacher, to taking full responsibility, initially for individuals and groups, and later, for a whole class.

Why train with ETAL Schools?

All schools work in collaboration with the Education Teaching Alliance Lewisham (ETAL). ETAL places a strong emphasis on high quality teacher training ensuring that trainees are equipped to drive their own professional development.

We do this by building a strong skill set around many different aspects of professional development where trainees are encouraged to become involved in joint practice development, action research and observation. The majority of the training is delivered by class-based practitioners in collaboration with the teaching school.

ETAL will help you to acquire the skills and expertise to support children’s learning and prepare you to teach in an inclusive environment. We will provide professional development in all National Curriculum subjects and support you in developing professional values and demonstrate the positive attitudes and behaviour you expect from pupils.


Along with your class mentors and senior mentors, you will review your progress regularly throughout the programme, through observations, feedback and setting targets.

Your final assessment is based on a range of evidence, including observations of your teaching, assignments, subject knowledge development, professional conduct and responses to self-study. Attendance and punctuality are important requirements and are assessed as aspects of your professional attributes. Assessment of teaching is carried out regularly through observations of teaching throughout the placement.

An essential part of the course is the tasks and assignments that trainees carry out covering various topics. All assessment is measured against Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) Standards and teaching practices in two school placements. Subject knowledge, pedagogy and a trainee’s development as a reflective practitioner are assessed through a combination of observations, written assignments and evidence files.

Entry Requirements

You must have a GCSE pass at Level 4 (C) or above in English, mathematics and a science subject by the time you start a School Direct training place. There is no longer a requirement to have passed English and mathematics skills tests.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for candidates who are excited by the prospect of working with young people and show a strong desire to help young people to learn about and understand a range of subjects. Young people respond to humour and warmth positively and it’s especially important to be able to communicate clearly.

School Direct Salaried candidates

School Direct Salaried candidates need to have at least three years full time work experience but not necessarily in an education setting. We look for candidates with transferable skills that will serve them well as a teacher. You will have the ability to plan and organise your work well, and a confident presentation style. We will also look for recent experience of life in a state-maintained school. Experience of working with primary aged children either in a paid or voluntary role would be beneficial but not essential.

All School Direct candidates

You will be required to use your imagination and enthusiasm in equal measure. Alongside this we will look for candidates who have resilience and patience to work with both pupils and colleagues.


We are looking for people who, irrespective of their background, understand that all people have a right to be treated with respect. You’ll need to work with your colleagues and with parents to ensure that you are aware of the particular needs of your classes. Many of our schools have a very diverse pupil population which provides a great opportunity to learn more about other people’s cultures and beliefs. Find out about schools’ equal opportunities policies to see examples of the ways in which they outwardly demonstrate that they are committed to respecting individual differences.

Personal Qualities

  • Ability to work on own initiative and manage own work load
  • Ability to combine work and study
  • Ability to work cooperatively and effectively with colleagues
  • Ability to build relationships with children that promote learning
  • Clear and accurate verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to read effectively
  • An interest in and enjoyment of working with children
  • Ability to reflect on own practice and learning and listen to advice
  • Determination to achieve Qualified Teacher Status
  • Positive attitudes towards children and young people
  • An understanding of children’s needs
  • An understanding of the professional boundaries related to child protection procedures


  • First or Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent Degree passed at 2.2 or above
  • English, Maths and Science GCSE grade C or above
  • Skills Test in Maths and English
  • If all or part of your qualifications are from outside the UK, you should contact the training provider, as they make the final decision if your qualifications meet the minimum requirements – you may be asked to formally recognise any overseas qualifications through UK NARIC.


Education Teaching Alliance Lewisham is committed to equal opportunities and welcomes applicants from groups under-represented in primary schools, for example, men, those from ethnic minority groups and those with disabilities.

How we select our trainees

Candidates are short-listed and if successful are invited for interview. The interview can last a whole day and can take place in any of the schools. Candidates are advised of the format of the day by e-mail. Applicants who are successful at interview will be offered either an unconditional place or a conditional place if they are waiting for exam results.


All applications have to be made through UCAS

The following Alliance schools may offer School Direct initial teacher training places for 2019-20:



We are continually growing our Alliance and add more schools as they make teacher trainee placements available. Each year different schools are able to offer initial teacher training places.  All schools who wish to accept applications will be listed on our UCAS page. Please search for Education Teaching Alliance Lewisham on Find postgraduate teacher training You will be redirected to UCAS to complete your application.