School Direct

What is School Direct?

Trainee teachers are recruited to School Direct by the schools they will be training in.  These schools will also have more control over the quality of training that is provided and how it is delivered. The South Downs Alliance welcomes School Direct applications from candidates who have a passion for teaching and a desire to support young people in achieving their full potential.  As an alliance partnership, we guarantee an interview for any relevant post in a partnership school for those on the programme with us.

What are the routes?

There are two routes: School Direct Training and School Direct Salaried. The salaried route is aimed at graduates with at least three years’ work experience and is an employment based route into teaching. The non-salaried route is open to all graduates funded by tuition fees paid by the graduate. Our School Direct Training trainees will gain QTS and a PGCE in conjunction with one of our university partners.

We believe that teaching is a rewarding profession and we are fully committed to ensuring that we provide you with the right opportunities to train and develop as outstanding teachers for the future. We hope the information provided will help you in making the important decision that teaching is the right career choice for you.

What kind of training can we offer you?

The model for training that we will follow will be delivered jointly by the school and the university partner and will focus on training in the classroom as well as having regular university based sessions.

The Partnership

The following schools belong to the South Downs Alliance or are working in partnership with us and the Universities of Brighton and Sussex to deliver School Direct in 2015-2016:

What are the entry criteria?
  • UK university degree (2:2 or above) or a recognised equivalent qualification.
  • Grade C or above in GCSE English Language and Mathematics
  • You will be required to undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check to verify your suitability for working with young people.


Bursaries are available in a range of subject areas and full details can be found on the DFE website:


Lead School contact email:

UCAS websites: and

Where there are more schools than places, the candidates will be asked to decide which school they would like to train in and if there is more than one school we will arrange joint interviews with representatives from all the schools.

Click on this link for details of subjects offering placements.

Partnership schools and universities will lead the recruitment process. Places are filled following a selection day in the relevant school and a successful interview process. The school-based selection day will take place after the initial university sift and/or interview. The day will consist of time spent working with teachers and pupils. The activities undertaken on the day will assess your suitability and commitment to the teaching profession. Applicants will be informed of whether or not they have been successful within 40 days of submitting their application to UCAS.

How to apply?

You will initially apply online through UCAS.

On the selection day and for interviews you will need to bring along with you original certificates of your degree and GCSE qualifications.  Please note that before commencing your training all successful applicants are required to pass skills tests in numeracy and literacy.

Please read the case study written by a School Direct Trainee in English about her training year 2013-2014:

I completed the School direct salaried route (English) in to teaching at Cavendish School in Eastbourne. As part of this route, I was given my own classes to teach (I had spent the last five years working as a Cover Supervisor with full class responsibility.) I found the course to be well structured and as such it provided me with a number of opportunities to fulfil the requirements of the course and develop my own professional practice. The school hosted a number of in house School Improvement Groups (SIG) which allowed me to meet with and share information and good practice with colleagues from other departments. The SIG group I was a part of was focused on the use of ICT in lessons and through this I was, not only able to develop my own knowledge and understanding within my own practice, but also the development of ICT within the department. The English Department provided me with excellent support and guaranteed that I was allocated enough time to meet the course requirements. My mentor ensured that she was available for support at specific times so I knew could contact her at any point if I felt unsure of anything. The department as a whole were supportive and encouraged me to go in to lessons to help out and observe other members of the department teaching. I found this very valuable; it helped me develop my delivery of lessons and increased my confidence. As the department worked closely with the school library to promote the U.K. Book Awards, all staff were encouraged to read these novels, which then promoted reading across the school. Through taking an active part in this I was able to engage with more students and help them form positive reading experiences. I used this experience in one of my teaching standards and this was later mentioned in an Academic journal by Dr Julia Sutherland recognising the success of reading in schools and how reading is promoted within schools. The case study I wrote was also used by the University of Sussex as part of their Ofsted evidence. The Cavendish School’s School Direct Programme provided me with an exciting and intense opportunity to learn, develop and ultimately achieve my goal of joining the teaching profession. I received a distinction in my overall profession practice module and this was due in a large part to the support, help and encouragement I received whilst on the course from Cavendish School coupled with my own determination and commitment to succeed. This trainee now has a permanent contract as an English Teacher at Cavendish School.

This trainee now has a permanent contract as an English Teacher at The Cavendish School.