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Nottingham Institute of Education

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Nottingham Institute of Education

School Direct Training Programme (Primary) PGCE

School Direct is a training route which allows you to work and study within a school of your choice while studying towards a postgraduate qualification (PGCE) degree and Qualified Teacher Status.

This is an innovative training route which allows you to choose the school, or group of schools, in which you train with an intention, but no absolute guarantee, that they will employ you once you successfully graduate. School Direct is run as a partnership between a lead school, other schools in their alliance and an accredited teacher training provider.

We have established successful partnerships with schools to offer both School Direct salaried and non-salaried courses for Primary and Secondary teaching:

School Direct Training Programme

  • This is open to all graduates (including those who expect to complete their first degree prior to the September start date). You will pay tuition fees and may be eligible for student loans, and a bursary or scholarship.

School Direct Training Programme

  • This is an employment-based route into teaching for high quality graduates with three or more years' career experience. You will pay tuition fees and be employed as an unqualified teacher by a school who will pay you a salary.

The School Direct route, enables you to work within a school and train in the classroom, supported by qualified teachers and mentors. You will also spend time studying at the University as you progress towards gaining a PGCE and Qualified Teacher Status.

School Direct places are offered by a school or group of schools in partnership with NTU. The schools involved have an excellent history of involvement in teacher training and a long history of supporting trainees to become confident and effective teachers.

You can apply to more than one school with School Direct and you apply directly through UCAS. Interview and selection will be conducted by both staff from NTU and from the school.

Entry requirements

You will need:

  • A UK Honours degree or equivalent, at a minimum 2:2 which can be related to the Primary Nation Curriculum; and
  • GCSE English, Mathematics and Science at minimum grade C or equivalent, gained prior to applying.

Other requirements:

  • An interview with both the training school and NTU is part of the selection process;
  • Disclosure and Barring Service and Prohibition Order checks passed prior to enrolling;
  • Professional ITT Skills Tests in Numeracy and Literacy passed prior to enrolling; and
  • two references: one academic and one vocational.

Applicants must evidence a minimum of ten days mainstream UK school experience (paid or voluntary) in a Key Stage 1 or 2 class in their application. This must have been within the last two years and completed prior to interview.

Course modules

This teaching degree's structure is designed to meet the current and developing changes in primary schools in the United Kingdom. The module structure allows sufficient flexibility to address the planned governmental curricular changes, as well as reflect effective research based practice both nationally and internationally. It is vital that the entire primary curriculum is reflected across the course and is supported by a professional studies module and is closely linked to the professional placement. The course structure is designed to support trainees in the early stages of their career as well as providing a lasting support for their future careers.

The course’s four modules run concurrently throughout the year. With the exception of Primary Professional Practice, which is taught at level 6, each module is offered at either level 6 or Masters level.

Primary Professional Practice

This module aims to develop you as a teacher who exercises responsibility: for your pupils as individuals and as members of groups within and beyond the school community; and for productive interaction both with professional colleagues including teaching and support staff in school, staff from external agencies, and with other adults, including parents and carers; and for your own professional development.

This module aims to equip you with theoretical and practical understanding and experience of:

  • planning, setting high expectations and appropriate targets;
  • monitoring and assessment; and
  • teaching and behaviour management.

Learning and Teaching: Professional Studies

This module is designed to support you in developing:

  • knowledge and understanding of a wide range of professional practices and a constructively critical approach toward innovation in professional practice;
  • an informed stance in relation to key issues in education;
  • a capacity to express your professional values through high quality work in all areas of the curriculum.

Learning and Teaching: Primary Curriculum and Related Pedagogy

You will be expected to work proactively to further your professional development to enable you to plan, teach and assess across the range of subjects specified by the primary national curriculum including RE, as well as cross curricular themes and strands, at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 (EYFS and KS3).

This module is designed to support you in becoming:

  • a reflective practitioner who is confident and capable of furthering the progress and achievement of learners;
  • a well-researched and knowledgeable professional who can use formative assessment strategies to plan for teaching which promotes learning for all children; and
  • a leading practitioner who is able to contribute to the long term aims of learning for both individuals and schools through identifying next steps in both learning and teaching.

Primary Education Independent Study

This module is designed to support you in:

  • engaging in an independent, professional enquiry; and
  • developing a focus for your own research and in depth study.

It will also support you in becoming:

  • a confident professional with the knowledge and understanding of related pedagogy in English, maths and science to enable you to teach effectively across the age and ability range for which you are trained;
  • an active contributor to the knowledge base of teaching and learning; and
  • a research informed practitioner who has a research oriented approach to the development of your professional practice.


Trainees on a School Direct course will have to pay tuition fees to NTU.

As a School Direct trainee, you will be entitled to the same financial support as trainees on other postgraduate teacher training courses.

If you are a UK or EU trainee, you should be eligible for a student loan, maintenance loan and maintenance grant to cover the cost of your study and will only start paying the loans back when you start earning over £21,000 per annum.

You may be eligible to receive a training bursary, dependent on the subject you train for and a degree classification of at least 2:2.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Fee locale Course duration
PGCE Full-time £ 9,250 (Whole course) Home/EU 1 Years

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