Frequently Asked Questions

What is the starting salary for a teacher?

Currently between £22,000 and £27,000. There is earning potential of up to £65,000 as a leading practitioner!


How much school experience do I need to apply for School Direct?

We ask for a minimum of ten days school experience in a relevant phase during the last two years. However, school experience can also form part of a conditional offer and we can help you to secure this through the School Experience Programme.

The link to the School Experience Programme can be found here

Please contact us directly if you wish to gain primary experience.


I haven’t passed my Professional Skills Tests, will I still be offered a place if I am successful at interview?

Yes, but this will be a conditional offer and you will need to pass the tests before July. Availability can be limited throughout the year so it is vital that all trainees enter for these as soon as possible.

It is a national requirement for all trainees to have passed the Professional Skills Tests, together with their Maths, English and Science (primary) GCSEs to a grade C or above before the commencement of the programme. You must also have passed a degree with honours at a minimum of 2:2.


I am unsure whether my degree is appropriate for the subject I wish to teach.

As a rule, your degree should be made up of at least 50% of the subject knowledge you wish to teach. Each person will have different circumstances, and A levels can be taken into account when looking at this. You may be required to take a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course. If in doubt, contact us at


When will I find out which school I will be based in? Can I express a preference?

When allocating main and second placements to trainees, we try to look at travelling distance from home. We try to work with people’s preferences but cannot offer any guarantees of specific schools.

All of our partner schools only offer placements in good or outstanding departments, in order to give trainees the best experience of their QTS year.  The second placement is usually offered in a school that offers a contrasting setting to the first. Due to the fact that we recruit throughout the year, we usually announce placements at an induction evening in June.


Am I guaranteed a job at the end of the programme?

School Direct is a means of recruitment for schools; all trainees that have successfully completed our training programme have been successful at finding employment at the end of their training, many within our alliance. Candidates this year have shown success at interview for highly competitive NQT positions within schools. We are proud of our programme and believe that it prepares trainees for their NQT year effectively; our programme incorporates sessions on how best to prepare for school based interviews, and supports trainees throughout this process.

We cannot predict at the beginning of the year which schools will have vacancies, like any other profession, there is no way to predict this one year in advance.


What are the progression opportunities following the QTS/ PGCE?

Never before have teachers had more autonomy over their own careers and opportunities for progression. The school-led system is not only a means of recruitment for schools but also an opportunity to grow the leaders of tomorrow within schools.

For those trainees that stay within our alliance schools, our programme will track trainees through their career, offering excellent CPD opportunities that are current and relevant through current practitioners. The programmes currently supported are the Embedding Good/ Outstanding Teaching Programme, NQT Programme, 2nd Year Teachers Programme, Emergent Leaders Programme, NPQML, opportunities for designation as an SLE, all the way through to senior leadership programmes.