• Interested in finding out about a career in teaching? Our next Train to Teach Day is on 21 January. Sign up https://t.co/GopszWdAxx
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  • Very excited to be welcoming 15 visitors interested in a career in teaching tomorrow at our first Train to Teach Day this year.
  • Getting ready to Train to Teach? Next year's recruitment for School Direct 2020-21 begins on 8th October!

School Direct

Our School Direct programme is based on the skills our schools are looking for in a newly qualified teacher (NQT).

Designed in partnership with our partner universities, our alliance schools recruit you as a trainee with a job in mind just for you; a popular choice for those of you who hope to secure a role in the network of the schools where you train.

Over the course of the year, you will train in at least two ‘good’ contrasting schools giving you the ‘chance’ to learn in the classroom. You will be an integral member of the staff team, whether following the salaried, unsalaried training or the bursary route at the outset. You will receive intensive training both from our experienced teachers and mentors within the school and from one of our university partners:

  • Canterbury Christ Church University (Primary and Secondary training)
  • Brighton University (Secondary training only)
  • Sussex University (Secondary training only)
  • Greenwich University (Primary training only)

You will not be teaching classes unsupported until you are ready.

2021 - 2022 School Direct Guide


You will have been working for at least three years or more, like the concept of School Direct, want to be part of the school staff team and earn a salary, which you will negotiate with the school where you will train. All salaried posts start at the lowest point of the Unqualified Teacher Pay Scale starting at £17,682.  For more information follow this link:

Find out more


On this route you are not employed by the school where you are training but are, nevertheless very much part of the school staff team. You may be eligible for Student Finance and are responsible for the tuition fees. It may be that you are eligible for a scholarship or bursary, dependent on your subject.

For more information on the bursary route into teaching follow this link:

Find out more

We offer the opportunity to work in a range of settings from grammar and high schools to SEN settings and primary schools. Your Professional and Subject mentors will work with you to ensure that you train to teach in your area of expertise to ensure that you have a successful outcome to your training programme in partnership with the university. Meetings with your mentors will be on a 1:1 basis where you will discuss strengths, weaknesses and ways to improve your teaching style. All of our trainees to date have at least good with many achieving outstanding outcomes.

You will spend a minimum of 120 days in school with further days at the university. The number of academic days will vary according to the phase you are teaching in and the university partner. You will begin by observing lessons moving to co-teaching and then later in the year to teaching solo for approximately 60-80% of the timetable. Your programme will be individual to you; you will start teaching solo once you are ready and not before.

You will also need to complete a portfolio(s) with reference to the Teaching Standards and other university requirements, which may also include research and a number of essays.

Our School Direct placements will be with your alliance school and with one of our partner universities based on your choice from our training partners.  Please be aware that whilst we endeavour to ensure you have your chosen training provider it may on occasion be difficult to meet demand therefore early application is advised.

Entry criteria:

Secondary: Grade C at GCSE (or equivalent) in English and Mathematics

Primary: Grade C at GCSE (or equivalent) in English, Mathematics and Science

A bachelor’s degree or higher (in a relevant subject for Secondary)

Overseas qualifications will need to be checked with the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) for equivalence at GCSE and degree level.

Click here to enquire

How to apply

Applicants need to register and apply through the UCAS website from 13 October 2020, please click on the link below:

How to apply

Application forms will be sent directly to VITSA by UCAS.

Once applications have been shortlisted, interviews will take place in the respective schools or universities who have requested the specific training programme.  Placement offers with all the training programmes will be conditional subject to a DBS check, meeting the relevant university entry requirements (see above). 

Important Notice: Recruiting schools are all represented through VITSA  -  applications should NOT be made to individual schools.

Good Luck to all applicants. We wish you every success!

Our Schools