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School Direct 2021-2022 entry

Secondary and primary places for September 2021-2022 are now open for applications by clicking here.

Join us for our FREE webinar "Do you want to be a secondary school teacher?" on 26th November 2020. Click here for more information and click here to book. 

Thank you for your interest in the School Direct route into teaching.  We warmly welcome your application and the following information will help guide you through the process. Please download our 2021-2022 brochure.  

Painsley Catholic College is an outstanding 11-18 academy in the Staffordshire Moorlands. Painsley Catholic College School Direct consortium is a group of very friendly, supportive schools, passionate about creating the next generation of teachers. Painsley Catholic College became a National Teaching School in 2014 and is one of only 3 National Maths Hubs in the West Midlands.  

We work in partnership with the University of Derby and KNSTE, Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education (school centre initial teacher training) for primary training.

As a consortium, we aim to provide high quality, school based initial teacher training. We believe our provision ensures trainees feel fully prepared for life in the classroom and a career in education. 

All our staff are exceptionally skilled and passionate practitioners and you are welcome to visit us to discuss your chosen career.

School Direct is a route into teaching which moves the focus of study from a university based course to a school based course.

Whether you’ve just finished a degree, or have been working in a career for many years, the School Direct route enables you to learn to teach, whilst actually doing the job, maximizing the time spent in school.

We are looking to recruit graduates to begin training in primary and secondary schools across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. We work closely in partnership with Derby University and Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education to develop our School Direct routes into teaching. 

Our programme aims:

  • the majority of the school year based in one main host school from our alliance, with expert support from current outstanding teachers;
  • a second school placement in a school differing in context to your main host school;
  • at least 60 training days in total, with sessions taught by school colleagues and university tutors;
  • PGCE with up to 60 masters credits;
  • highly trained and experienced in-school mentors;
  • strong support provided by the Painsley Catholic College Teaching School Alliance, which has the added benefit of being one of only 35 national Maths Hubs, designated by the DfE;
  • networking opportunities with trainees from other schools;
  • a personalised approach to your training;
  • support to secure a teaching position on completion of the course.

The training programme we have designed will build your confidence and subject knowledge and give you the necessary skills to become an effective classroom practitioner. Throughout this time you will be supported by a highly-trained mentor who will hold weekly meetings to review your progress and set targets. As your confidence grows, you will deliver parts of lessons on your own, taking on more responsibility until you are teaching full lessons.

As part of your further development you will undertake one other placement at another school, usually in a different context to your ‘home’ school. There will also be the opportunity to spend a varying amount of time at other schools to further enhance your learning through experiencing a diverse range of educational settings.  Our placement strategy is aimed at giving you the best preparation possible for a successful teaching career.

What are the entry criteria?

Placements on either training programme will be conditional to:

  • a degree qualification from the UK (or equivalent). Please note, preference will be given to applicants with a 2:1 classification or higher. For secondary places, if your degree does not have direct relevance to the subject you wish to teach, you will need to hold an A level in that subject.  We will consider a 2:2 degree for exceptional candidates. 
  • we recommend that all applicants have carried out at least 2 weeks work experience in a school, within the last 2 years.  We are a SEP placement school - see the links below.
  • GCSE English and Maths Grade C/level 4 or above (and Science grade C/level 4 if you are applying for a Primary place).
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance.
  • Occupational health screening to show you have a suitable level of health to work.
  • Entitlement to live and work in the UK.

What places are available?

We have wide range of places available in primary and secondary schools across the Alliance. Most of our places are through the School Direct route, where tuition fees must be paid and you will work towards gaining a PGCE and QTS. Please download our brochure for further details on current subjects and phases on offer, click here.  This comprehensive brochure will guide you through the application process and the financial information.  We welcome school visits, so please do call us if you are interested in applying and want to meet us and look around.

Part-time places, taking 2 years, are available in some subjects - please contact for more details. 

School Direct Places

Trainees on a School Direct Training Programme will have to pay tuition fees to cover the cost of the course, but home and EU trainees will be eligible for a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of these fees. Bursaries are available from the National College of Teaching and Learning (NCTL) in many subjects (particularly shortage secondary school subjects such as maths, physics and MfL). They are dependent on your degree classification however. This route into teaching is for high quality graduates who want to be part of a school team from day one.  Please see our brochure for details of our 2021-2022 placements and financial information.

How to apply

Full details of how to apply for School Direct places can be found at the DfE Find Postgraduate Teacher Training website, click here.

Prior to our application window opening, we strongly suggest you:

  • Begin obtaining two references to support your application.
  • Ensure you have recent work experience in a school (with the age range you wish to teach.) This will prove invaluable when writing your personal statement and during the interview process. One way to gain experience can be through the School Experience Programme (SEP)
  • Read our brochure.
    Download our school direct brochure.

If you have any further questions in relation to the School Direct programme please contact our Teaching School Administrator, Louise Bullock, by emailing or our Teaching School Director, Clare Oberman, by emailing 

We wish you luck with your application.