Department of Education

School Direct

School Direct is an innovative new school-led route into teaching and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), as well as enabling opportunities into PGCE (postgraduate certificate in education) study.

Course Leader: Sally Dudley

Primary and secondary partnership schools working in collaboration with the Department of Education at the University of Sussex share in the selection, 

training and assessment of beginning teachers. Schools - or networks of schools - also decide which subjects or 'phases' they wish to train based on potential employment needs, and select a training route and provider which suits their expertise, partnership and specialisms.

In partnership with over 18 successful local Lead Schools, we are offering School Direct training routes across Primary and Secondary phases. See the School Direct & PGCE Place List [PDF 195.76KB] for place allocations by subject in our partnership schools.

Training routes

Applicants can choose to train either via School Direct: Training or the School Direct: Salaried route.

The School Direct: Training route is a postgraduate course funded by tuition fees paid by trainees (supported by Student Finance) who may be eligible to receive a bursary from the Teaching Agency (TA). Trainees are registered on an appropriate PGCE course via which they can obtain both QTS and an academic award.

The School Direct: Salaried route is employment-based and requires the trainee to be employed by a school as an unqualified teacher on a salary of approx. £16,000 whilst they train. Candidates get 60 days training and can be required to teach up to 80% of a teachers' timetable. As an employee of a school, candidates have the same rights and responsibilities as any other teacher at that school. This route is therefore aimed at high-quality graduates with three or more years' worth of career experience. No fee is payable as the £3,000 tuition charge is paid by schools on trainees' behalf.

Further details about School Direct, including how to apply and funding available, ie. bursaries, scholarships and salaries, can be found on the Department for Education's website.

See also PGCE & School Direct Trainee Funding: 2016/17 [PDF 161.43KB].

How to apply

Applications can be made via UCAS. This portal allows you to search for local Lead Schools offering School Direct places in the subject or type of route you are interested in. Applications are processed by the University of Sussex. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview at the University and, subsequently, in school. All applicants will be advised on the decision regarding their place on a School Direct route within 40 weekdays.

You may find our Selection Guidance web pag useful in understanding the selection process.

Alternatively, you can apply to us directly by completing and submitting our fast-track Expression of Interest Form 2016/17 [MATHS AND SCIENCE ONLY]. This option is suitable for:

  • Only for those applying for Mathematics or Science
  • Those wanting to apply to more than one training route, ie. PGCE, School Direct (training) and School Direct (salaried)
  • Those wanting to apply for a place on a School Direct or PGCE course who have a Maths or English GCSE (or equivalent) qualification pending
  • Self-funded School Direct (salaried) candidates who have financial backing from a state or an independent secondary school.

There is no requirement at this stage for a written personal statement or references, but any offers made following selection and interview will be conditional on the submission of a UCAS form with two good references.

Queries and applications

School Direct Leaflet cover: July 2015Download the School Direct Leaflet: 2016/17.

If you represent a school interested in this programme, you may also find the School Direct: letter to headteachers Sept 2013 [DOC 148.50KB] helpful.

Alternatively, contact:
ITE Admissions
Department of Education
School of Education and Social Work
Essex House
University of Sussex
Falmer, Brighton
+44 (0)1273 873238