School Direct

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Welcome to our new School Direct Trainees 2016-17


Haslingden High is the lead school in our School Direct Partnership based in East Lancashire.  Working with the University of Cumbria we offer an exciting, school based approach to Initial Teacher Training.

What are we looking for?
  • High quality graduates who love their subject and are able to engage and inspire young people.
  • Highly motivated people, with a passion for shaping the future.
  • People with energy and enthusiasm who are able to demonstrate initiative and resilience. Every day is different and that is the delight (and challenge) of teaching.
  • Reflective practitioners, who understand the impact of their behaviours on others, and who can model the best. Our young people deserve nothing less.
What can we offer?
  • High quality training, led by experienced and expert professionals in successful secondary schools.
  • The opportunity to develop your knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of teaching in two placement schools.
  • Qualified Teacher Status and a PGCE including 60 Masters level credits from the University of Cumbria.
Course Details

As a trainee on the School Direct Programme you will spend most of your time in school, supported by experienced mentors and staff who are excellent classroom practitioners.  Most of the course content will be delivered by expert teachers in our alliance schools but there will be visits to the University of Cumbria (Lancaster Campus) for assignment support and subject pedagogy days.

Trainees will undertake two placements in different schools within the alliance.  There may also be opportunities to gain further experience in other partner schools and settings depending on individual training needs and areas of interest.

Who can apply?

Candidates should normally be able to demonstrate that they have:

  • GCSEs at grade C and above in English Language and Mathematics or standard equivalent.
  • A first or second class honours degree (or equivalent) completed before entry. This should normally be in the relevant subject specialism but all subjects will be considered.
  • A clear commitment to a career in teaching demonstrated by recent experience in a secondary school or visits to a secondary school to observe lessons.
  • The potential to become an outstanding teacher.
How do I apply?

You can apply for School Direct on the UCAS Teacher Training website.  You can start applying for 2017 courses from the 18th of October 2016. Places will be offered on a first come first served basis so you are advised to submit your application as soon as possible.

Schools in our Partnership
Enhanced Placement Providers

We are part of a wider partnership; ELSSA (East Lancashire School Support Alliance) whose members enrich the training programme.  Members include; Early Years Settings, Primary, Secondary and Post-16 Schools and Colleges, Special Schools and Specialist Pupil Referral Units (Short Stay Schools).

Subjects we are offering

For 2017-18 we are recruiting for the following Secondary areas;

Maths, English, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Art & Design, MFL (French / Spanish), Music, Design Technology, Religious Studies, Geography, History & PE

Other Requirements

Any offer of a place on our programme is conditional on satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), satisfactory Fitness to Teach Declaration and a pass in the Professional Skills Tests in Literacy and Numeracy.


The course fee of £9,000 is payable to the University of Cumbria. The Student Loans Company can help you finance this. Bursaries are available for many subject specialisms.  To explore whether you may be eligible, please check the up to date information using the link here.

Further Details

For further details please contact, Sally Finney via or call 01706 215726.

Rob McLaughlan1Trainee Testimonials: Rob (English Trainee)

‘I chose the School Direct pathway into teaching for several reasons; first because I felt it suited my proactive approach to professional development, second because I felt ready for a challenging yet ultimately rewarding role, and thirdly because I wanted to develop and grow organically, learning and training with first-hand experience in a teaching capacity.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my training year, it has given me chance to grow within a flourishing English department – with excellent resources and support at hand – and yet at the same time become a valued and important member of the team, offering my strengths to in turn provide my colleagues with support and guidance.

There has also been opportunity for me to fully integrate in wider school life, such as extra-curricular provision, lunch duties, school duties, parent’s evenings, open evenings, and school training sessions. These aspects of being in a teaching role have made me acknowledge and embrace the fact that, being in such a role makes you very much a part of a larger school community which is there as much for your own development as it is for each individual student.

Having the opportunity to teach straight away during the initial stages of the School Direct training year and being responsible for students in a pastoral capacity, has given me the best start in a teaching career and I would recommend this particular pathway into teaching with no hesitation.’



Kayley (English Trainee)

‘Through the School Direct route you are placed at the heart of the school environment from the offset. You embark upon two contrasting placements supported by excellent classroom practitioners.  Tackling behaviour management, planning and teaching lessons, school trips, marking and feedback and becoming a form tutor, are just a few areas which you will become involved with. Along with subject specific pedagogy for learning days at the University of Cumbria, there is an extensive tailor made programme which seeks to explore all areas of teaching to ensure that you are fully equipped for your NQT year.’

1Rob KeirRob (Physics Trainee)

‘Being a mature entrant into teaching, the School Direct route particularly appealed to me as it maximised time spent in the classroom during my training year when compared to the more traditional university based PGCE route. School Direct also enabled me to have a good look at a number of different schools and choose the one that was best suited to my character. Knowing the school at which I would be undertaking the majority of my teaching practice proved to be a definite advantage and a great reassurance as it allowed me to start my first placement with the confidence that came from already knowing the school routines, staff and the pupils whom I would be teaching.

The year long School Direct teaching programme was a very challenging and rewarding experience, and this was greatly enhanced through the support provided by Haslingden High. A comprehensive professional development programme was provided for all staff and included a series of sessions tailored specifically for teacher trainees and proved invaluable in supporting my development as a teacher. Having both professional and subject specific mentors meant that there was always someone I could turn to for guidance, in addition to the fantastic support provided by the staff, who without exception, always had time to provide positive advice and a friendly smile when lessons didn’t quite work out as intended.

I would highly recommend the School Direct route to anyone considering teaching as a career. From the very start of the school year I was totally integrated into the school, its culture and its ethos and felt like a full member of the science faculty rather than someone just passing through. All this culminated in a very enjoyable and successful training year and subsequently led to a permanent position as a physics teacher at Haslingden High – it couldn’t have worked out better!’