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What is School Direct?

School Direct is a local initial teacher training model for local people. It offers a flexible alternative to a further year’s study away from home. Our School Direct programme, run as an alliance with the University of Cumbria, follows the same content structure as other PGCE courses, but with a much stronger focus on gaining classroom experience throughout the course. 

If you find that you learn best ‘on the job’ and would prefer to do all of your training and practice at school, as an associate member of staff, then School Direct could be the best route for you.

Through our popular and highly effective School Direct programmes – Teach Bolton, Teach Knowsley and Teach Tameside, we prepare our trainee teachers to rise to the challenge of ensuring every child has the best possible start in life.

Teach BoltonTeach KnowsleyTeach Tameside

Our School Direct programme is highly nurturing and trainee-focused; we ensure that each trainee receives a tailored programme to suit their needs, identified from their first meeting with us at interview. The course is overseen by experienced School Direct Programme Leads, facilitated by highly effective mentors and has an exceptional record of achievement from our higher education providers.

Our programme is well-established; we have been involved in School Direct teacher training with the University of Cumbria from its very first year and we are proud to celebrate a 100% employment record for students completing our School Direct Programme.

Teach Bolton is run through a network of ten placement school partners throughout the area. Some of these partner schools are part of wider multi-academy trusts, teaching schools and alliances – giving our trainees a variety of professional networks to make use of from their first day. 

How does it work?

In comparing traditional university-based PGCE and School Direct courses:

  • Both require 60 days of training and 120 days of teaching in the classroom
  • Both cover the same subject and professional development modules
  • Both result in a universally recognised University of Cumbria PGCE qualification

 Students who are already graduates, will study for a one-year University of Cumbria Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) at Masters level, which will give them qualified teacher status to pursue a teaching career and 60 credits towards a Masters Degree.

Our School Direct students will have training delivered twice a week, on location, by expert practitioners, with the aim of creating critically reflective professionals who are at the leading edge of research-informed practice.

 Students will have three full-time placements over the year, in two good or outstanding schools, and will begin teaching when they are ready, building up the amount of lessons taught gradually over the year.


Who are we looking for?

We have the highest standards for our initial teacher training courses and expect our trainees to demonstrate their commitment to the course from their interview, through to graduation.

We seek applications from candidates who:

  • Are passionate about educating children to increase their opportunities
  • Are good listeners who enjoy working collaboratively
  • Understand how to learn from their mistakes
  • Are ambitious and resilient in their drive to succeed
  • Take pride in their unique vocation

If this sounds like it could be you, take a look at our minimum requirements to apply:

  • A UK Bachelors degree or recognised equivalent qualification.
  • 3 GCSE grades A-C (grade 4 or above) in English language, mathematics and science (or equivalent)
  • An Enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check – carried out on all successful applicants before starting the course
  • School experience is not essential to apply for one of our courses. However, the interview process will require you to deliver a mini-teach – a short lesson on a pre-chosen topic for a small group of pupils.

If you would like to prepare thoroughly, take a look at the Get into Teaching website for more information on school experience.

Why study with Teach Bolton?

We look beyond course completion. Join us for your teaching journey and make a difference, from day one. Train to teach in your local school. Meet new friends, start to build your professional network and make a difference to local children.

The Outstanding SS Simon & Jude CE Primary School, in Bolton, is the lead school in the successful Teach Bolton Primary Partnership. We have been involved in School Direct school-based teacher training with the University of Cumbria from its very first year and we are proud to celebrate a 100% employment record for students completing our School Direct Programme. 

Our personalised programme supports you to:

  • Become a confident teacher
  • Be NQT ready
  • Identify your leadership and career goals
  • Build effective career networks

Within our partnership schools you will meet newly qualified teachers and former School Direct trainees, as well as National Leaders of Education, Specialist Leaders of Education and outstanding teachers – all ready with advice, support, experience and skills to kick-start your teaching journey.

During your PGCE year, you will spent time in at least two schools, across three placements. Our partnership of excellent primary schools enables you to experience a range of settings, with the added benefit of specialist subject teaching input from leading staff in the partnership.

The key features of our Teach Bolton programme include:

  • Team Induction Day at the start of the course.
  • Peer working with a small group of up to fifteen School Direct trainees.
  • A focus on your personal learning journey and well-being. We care about you!
  • A typical week consists of three days in placement and two days taught sessions.
  • Three blocks of assessed placements where you will be in school full-time.
  • Experience in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
  • Training, mentoring and coaching from highly experienced classroom practitioners.
  • Guidance and support from dedicated programme mentors.
  • PGCE modules delivered by University of Cumbria tutors.
  • A strong focus on broadening your pedagogical understanding.
  • Successful completion leads to the award of PGCE and QTS, by University of Cumbria, with 60 credits towards your Masters Degree.

Our Partner Schools

How do I find out more and apply?

We would love to meet you, to book an appointment to chat with us about your teaching journey, contact our programme leads:

For Teach Bolton: Paul Morgan

For Teach Tameside and Teach Knowsley: Christina Derbyshire

To apply through UCAS:
Provider Code: 14T   
Provider Name: Teach Bolton     
UCAS Course Code 2CXG
You then need to select your local campus.

Bolton – Campus Code S

Not in the Bolton area? We deliver School Direct teacher training in Knowsley and East Manchester/ Tameside. Take a look:
Teach Bolton @ Knowsley Campus Code A
Teach Bolton @ Tameside Campus Code B
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