School Direct

Train to Teach with Swiss Cottage Teaching School Alliance


What is School Direct?

Watch this short video http://www.ucas.com/how-it-all-works/teacher-training

School Direct is an exciting new route into teaching that allows you to choose the school that you’ll be trained in. The intention is that you will be employed to teach in the school or another school within the Swiss Cottage Teaching School Alliance upon successful completion of the PGCE. This is a full-time course and we are not able to offer this programme on a part-time basis.

There are two School Direct routes available:


Salaried – is available to high-quality graduates with three years’ experience. You will be paid as an employee of your school on a unqualified teacher salary. This is an ideal route into teaching for people who are ‘classroom ready’ such as TA’s or unqualified teachers.


Training/unsalaried – School Direct Training Programme is available to high-quality graduates. If you are interested in training in a shortage subject you may be eligible for a bursary of up to £20,000. This is an ideal route for those with less classroom experience.



The School Direct programme is highly competitive and it is important that you meet all the desired criteria.

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).

If you studied outside of 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.

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.

In addition, all candidates applying for initial teacher training (ITT) are required to have passed the literacy and numeracy professional skills tests before starting teacher training.

If you wish to apply for a place on the School Direct Training Programme (salaried), you are required to have at least three years’ work experience in addition to the eligibility requirements detailed above. This experience may be in any career and does not have to be from an educational setting, but should generally apply to the years following graduation. Schools will decide which skills and experience are important to them and you should contact your chosen school with any questions regarding your experience.


Skills and aptitudes that we are looking for:

  • Very high standards of written and spoken English;
  • Strong standards in Numeracy;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills; and
  • Excellent organisation skills and ability to manage one’s workload and time effectively.


To apply for the for 2020/2021 intake, please visit: https://find-postgraduate-teacher-training.education.gov.uk/course/1HU/25WS#section-apply


Are you Ready to Teach?

If you are interested in applying for School Direct, we highly recommend our Ready to Teach Programme, a series of workshops to help you perfect your personal statement, develop excellent interview and presentation techniques and much much more.



Q: I do not understand which course code I should be using.
A: If you would like to apply for School Direct Salaried route then your course code is 25WS. If you would like to apply for Non-Salaried then your course code is 25WQ.

Q: When is the closing date?
A: There is no closing date. We have a total of 15 places once they have all been filled the portal will close. (It is best to apply as soon as you are able to).

Q: What is the difference between non-salaried and salaried?
A: The main difference is that on the salaried route you will be paid. The course fees are paid by your school. Non-salaried you will not be paid and you are expected to pay for your course fees however are able to apply for a bursary and loan. The qualification you receive on the salaried route will be QTS (qualified teaching status). Non-salaried you will qualify with a PGCE (post graduate certificate in education).

Q: What is the difference between a PGCE and QTS.
A: A PGCE is an academic qualification and recognised outside the UK, QTS is likely to only be used in this country.

Q: I haven’t passed GCSEs English/Maths/Science yet can I still apply?
A: Swiss Cottage Teaching Alliance requires all applicants to have already passed Math, English and Science (where applicable) before applying.

Q: I have a degree in Maths/English do I still need to take the skills test?
A: Yes.

Q: Can I undertake my training in the school I work in at the moment?
A: All schools had to request their school place back in June, unfortunately at this stage you will be unable to be placed in the current school you are working in.

Q: I applied last year can I reapply?
A: Yes.

Q: Can I apply directly to you?
A: No. All applications must be sent via UCAS.

Q: How will I know if I have an interview?
A: Swiss Cottage will contact you directly to invite you to the group interview

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