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School Direct



School Direct Programme in Partnership with The University of Birmingham.

For September 2016, World’s End Infant School has teamed up with a group of four other Birmingham schools to offer teacher training via the school-based School Direct programme. We are known as the Harborne Primary Schools Teaching Alliance. As the lead school, all initial enquiries should be directed to Harborne Primary School.


Our Alliance:

Lead school: Harborne Primary School, Station Road, Harborne, Birmingham, B17 9LU

Partner schools:


St. Peter’s CE Primary School, Old Church Road, Harborne, Birmingham, B17  0BE

World’s End Infant School, World’s End Lane, Quinton, Birmingham, B32 2SA

Heath Mount Primary School, Mary Street, Balsall Heath, Birmingham, B12 9ST

Meadows Primary School, Bristol Road South, Northfield, Birmingham, B31 2SW


Contact: Mark Slater:

Or visit:


What is School Direct?


This initial teacher training programme enables lead schools to choose the provider they want to work with. These schools play a key role in recruiting and selecting trainees and they work with the University to provide a high-quality training programme which leads to the award of the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) with Qualified Teacher Status. Applicants apply direct to a lead school and undertake their placements within the lead school’s partnership.  Partnerships may include a mix of primary, special and secondary schools.

Following successful completion of this 60 (level 7) credit PGCE (QTS) year, students may then opt to progress onto the Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching Studies and then the MA in Teaching Studies with the University of Birmingham.


There is one route currently being offered:

  • School Direct students pay a tuition fee to the University of Birmingham and may be eligible for a bursary or scholarship of up to £25,000
  • The University of Birmingham is working with the lead schools to recruit and train teachers on programmes starting in September 2016 on the School Direct route:
  • Students on School Direct routes at schools partnered with the University of Birmingham will normally undertake a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (School Direct) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). This provides 60 credits contributing to Master's level.


Subjects offered

Currently, School Direct with the University of Birmingham’s PGCE (School Direct) is available in the following phases / subjects where an agreement has been put in place with a School Direct school:  

Primary:  5-11 General Primary


School Direct

You will pay tuition fees or £9000* to the University but if you are from the European Union you will be eligible for a student loan. If you are from the United Kingdom you can also apply for a means-tested maintenance grant and a maintenance loan.


You may be able to apply for a tax-free bursary. These vary depending on teaching phase or subject and your degree class or highest relevant academic qualification. For example, for 2015-16, bursaries of £9000 were available for those with 1st class degrees training to teach in the primary phase (this can be £12,000 for those training on a primary specialist mathematics course) and £25,000 bursaries were available for those training to teach in a secondary shortage subject who hold a 1st.


There are also a number of subject association provided competitive scholarship opportunities for those wanting to train in shortage subjects (for a number of subjects these can now be for as much as £25,000). For information on the range of bursaries available and their value by phase, subject and degree classification, and on scholarship schemes, visit the National College for Teaching and Leadership website (

* fees and funding may change for 2016-17


More information on funding may be found on the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) website.


Entry requirements

In order to apply for a place on School Direct, you must have:

  • A UK undergraduate degree or a recognised equivalent qualification.
  • A GCSE grade C or above in English and Mathematics.
  • A GCSE grade C or above in a science if you are applying to teach primary or key stage 2/3 (ages 7–14).
  • Passed, or have plans in place to pass, the Professional Skills Tests in numeracy and literacy; please see the Professional Skills Tests section  of the Department for Education web site for more information on the core skills required by trainee teachers
  • Before acceptance on the course students will also have had to have:
  • Provided a satisfactory medical form
  • Completed an enhanced DBS/police check
  • Completed a Declaration of Suitability to Teach
  • Adhered to a Code of Professional Conduct and Fitness to Practise


The School Direct Training Programme focuses on developing teaching skills. You should have a strong understanding of the subject you wish to teach before you start training. If your degree subject does not link closely to your chosen teaching subject, it is recommended that you undertake a subject knowledge enhancement course before you begin training (visit   to find out more). A minimum of one week of experience of working, or undertaking placement or purposeful voluntary experience in a state school setting, is essential for those applying for School Direct places partnered by the University of Birmingham and School Direct (Salaried) students must have 3 years or more work experience.



If you studied outside the UK, you should visit the National Academic Recognition Centre (NARIC) website  to find out whether your qualifications are of an equivalent level to UK GCSEs, A levels and an undergraduate degree.

 For up to date information on this visit the National College for Teaching and Leadership website and specifically its Eligibility information


Additional information:

How we select our students

Application forms are considered by both the university and the individual school(s) involved. At application we are looking for evidence that the candidate is on a trajectory to meeting the characteristics listed in ‘What we are looking for’ (see below)


The application will clearly list the qualifications required and additional qualifications and experience relevant to training to teach. It will include references that are appropriate and allow us to obtain recent, relevant and appropriate professional perspective on you as a potential teacher.

The personal statement of a successful applicant will demonstrate commitment to teaching and understanding of what good teaching and learning is about. It will include something of your own aspirations and vision for your career and will pull on recent and relevant experience (paid or voluntary) in appropriate settings, including a minimum of a week in a state school setting.


All successful applicants will have been interviewed and this will normally take place in the School Direct school. The University and the school jointly design and manage the interview process with the school leading the process. Applicants that demonstrate professionalism, commitment, a realistic understanding of the pressures of the course and the profession, an awareness of the school in which they are intending to train, creativity, organisational skills and a clear recognition of the need to synthesise practical and academic learning through refection are most likely to succeed.


What we are looking for:

Successful University of Birmingham School Direct students will be those that:

Have a clear, questioning and reflective understanding of schools in England and of what good teaching involves

Recognise that the job of the teacher is first and foremost that of teaching and that the understanding of the pedagogy of teaching and learning is fundamentally essential

Have a solid knowledge of their subject(s) and are always committed to further developing this knowledge base

Have gained practical experience in appropriate school contexts prior to applying for their course

Understand that the training year, just like the job itself, is demanding in time and effort, and that it will involve some travel and will involve balancing academic study with substantial time spent in school

Are committed to the education of all children, whatever their educational need and background

Can work in teams, often under pressure, and can work with a range of other professionals

Are well organised and able to plan for the blend of academic and professional learning that the programme requires


Are able to reflect on their own experiences and apply learning to future actions

Have a commitment to their own career development


How to apply:

You will need to visit, register and apply using the UCAS Teacher Training portal. UCAS manages the applications to all postgraduate teacher training routes. It is a good idea to contact any possible school to check that it still has places and that the University of Birmingham School Direct programme would suit your needs.

Applications are checked by the University of Birmingham to make sure that necessary selection criteria are met before shortlisting is undertaken by schools in consultation with the university.

Interviews are then organised by schools as necessary with the final decision on offers being made by the school and the university.