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School Direct

The School Direct programme is a new Government initiative especially designed to allow schools to take more responsibility for teacher training. Successful completion of the programme will lead to the award of qualified teacher status (QTS) when the salaried scheme is followed. School Direct training programmes may also include a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE).

There are therefore two separate School Direct training options:

  1. School Direct Training Programme (unsalaried) is for high-quality graduates who want the opportunity to commit to a particular school, but with the understanding that training will also take place in other contexts. You may be eligible for a bursary of up to £30,000 or a scholarship of £25,000 to support you while you train in certain subject shortage areas such as Maths and Physics.
  2. School Direct Training Programme (salaried) is an employment-based route for high-quality experienced graduates. It is aimed in most cases at genuine career changers. This form of training is salaried.  

There is an expectation (although not guaranteed) that employment within one of the Alliance schools will be offered to salaried trainees at the end of the programme when qualified. For School Direct places all applications are made centrally through UCAS.


Some further key points

  • Unsalaried places will require trainees to pay for their fees. This can be done through the student loans organisation.
  • Bursaries are available depending on degree type. For instance a graduate with a 1st Class Honours degree in physics can receive up to £30K (not taxed).
  • For the salaried route trainees are required to be of a ‘high quality’ with 3 or more years’ career experience. Though this can be reduced in certain circumstances.
  • All trainees should have degrees of at least 2:2 and ideally 2:1 or First. Applicants with higher degrees are very welcome. Applicants with a 3rd Class degree cannot be considered. All applicants must also have a C pass in English and Maths, at GCSE. Science is not necessary for secondary school applications.
  • Trainees on the salaried scheme will be paid on the unqualified teachers’ scale.
  • All applicants must have passed the professional skills test (literacy and numeracy) or have booked it prior to interview. They should also have done at least a week's placement in a UK school.


Working as an alliance, Watford Grammar School for Girls act as the Lead School for School Direct. This involves the brokerage of places, liaison with UCAS and Hertfordshire University and Panel selection.

Included in this group of schools are :Watford Grammar School for Girls; Queen Elizabeth's Boys Barnet; Watford Grammar School for Boys; Dame Alice Owen School; Yavneh College, Rickmansworth School, Mount Grace School, Chancellor's School and Onslow St Audrey School.

We are very happy to represent other schools who would like to join us, or who would like to ask for support.

Please consult individual websites for School details.


School Direct Lead School contact is Jane Hart, Director of Teaching and Learning, Watford Grammar School for Girls.