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School Direct - What is it?

If you are considering a career in teaching, each year our Alliance offers a number of places on the School Direct programme.  School Direct is a teacher training route which allows schools to recruit and train outstanding teachers.

Over the course of a full academic year your training is mostly based with one host school.  Unlike many other institutions, the Minster Learning Alliance allows you to choose your host school when you apply, enabling you to select somewhere which is accessible and where you feel you will become a successful teacher.

The School Direct training route includes a number of elements:

Host School Training

  • A majority of your training will be based in the host school, learning ‘on the job’ with other teachers, where you will have your own classes, working full time as a teacher throughout the academic year.
  • You will attend a 6-week second placement at another school to offer a contrasting experience – this will be arranged by us.
  • All of our trainees have access to their own personal mentor.  These individuals play a vital role in trainee progression, offering specialist advice and guidance to support you throughout your time with us and beyond.    There are weekly meetings with your mentor, in addition to support received from other staff in school.
  • You will attend all INSET days, departmental training, staff meetings and parents’ evenings at your host school, giving you a realistic experience of life as a teacher.

University Training

  • You will attend sessions at the Clifton Campus of Nottingham Trent University with other trainees in the same phase or subject as you. One day per week will be spent at university in the first term, with some occasional university days after this.
  • You will have a personal university tutor who will meet with you regularly and visit you in school to observe your teaching.
  • At the end of the year, you will receive a PGCE qualification, through our partnership with Nottingham Trent University.

Alliance Training

  • In addition to your training in university and your host school, you will attend a series of six School Direct training sessions with us as an Alliance. This is another opportunity for you to meet and work with other School Direct trainees.
  • At these sessions you can reflect upon your training so far, learn about practical strategies to develop your teaching and develop your relationships with your training colleagues.


Following your submission, applications are considered by the university and the school using the information you provide, as well as interviews and activities designed to establish your aptitude for teaching.

If you are considering applying for a School Direct place it is advisable to visit the school you are applying to.

For more information please see the relevant sections on the website, or contact:

Nicole Lyons
Initial Teacher Education Lead
01636 817 365

Hazel Theaker
Assistant Initial Teacher Education Lead
0115 963 5667

Trish O’Malley
School Direct Administrator
01636 551 103