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School Direct Training Programmes (Primary) Postgraduate prospectus

  • Ofsted rated the quality of teacher training as 'Outstanding' in its recent report on our initial teacher education provision
  • If you want to kick start your career in teaching, our programme will see you working in schools that are committed to developing excellent primary teachers
  • If you are committed to continuous self-improvement, we have two School Direct programmes to suit you
  • You will acquire a deep understanding of the primary curriculum and how children learn.

View full entry requirements


Primary Education



1 years full time



As a motivating and engaging primary school teacher, you will have the opportunity to make a positive impact on a child's life.

School Direct is a route into teaching which involves schools working in partnership with accredited teacher training institutions, such as ours, to devise a training programme. We have a successful track record of working with schools to offer School Direct training routes to Qualified Teacher Status. Collectively, we are committed to the development of outstanding teachers who have a transformative impact on learners' lives.

The key focus of our School Direct programmes is to equip you with the knowledge and skills to teach across the primary age phase (electing to specialise within either the 3–7, 5–11 or 7–11 age range). During your training, you will develop an understanding of the National Curriculum and the learning needs of children. You will also develop the professional values and practice that you will require to meet the broad demands of teaching.

The quality of teacher training in primary education was rated as 'Outstanding' in Ofsted's report on our initial teacher education provision in 2016. "The high employment rates on both core and School Direct routes which support local needs" was identified by Ofsted as a key strength.

Routes into teaching

We are delighted to work with a number of schools, alliances and multi-academy trusts in London and the South East to offer two School Direct routes into teaching:

School Direct salaried programme
School Direct programme

Both of our programmes include a combination of school-based training and university-based courses. Our programmes harness the knowledge, experience and expertise of our school colleagues within the partnership in the delivery of both programmes.

We have a long history of teacher training, going back over 100 years at Avery Hill Campus. Employment rates are consistently above national and London averages. Training is delivered by highly effective teachers from both our partner schools and the university.

School Direct salaried programme

Our School Direct salaried programme is open to graduates with three or more years' career experience. This does not necessarily need to have been in a school or education setting.

Trainees will be employed as an unqualified teacher with a salary subsidised by the National College for Teaching and Leadership. This programme leads to the recommendation of the award of Qualified Teacher Status.

School Direct programme

Our School Direct programme is open to all graduates and funded by tuition fees paid by the trainee. Trainees will study for a Professional Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) as well as the recommendation of the award of Qualified Teacher Status.

Home and EU students may be eligible for a tuition fee loan available through Student Finance England. In addition, a bursary may be available from the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL). For more details on funding, visit the Department for Education website.

Our partners

Our current training partners include:

School Direct salaried programme:

Invicta Grammar School (Mid Kent Learning Alliance)
Heronsgate Primary School
Northumberland Heath Primary School (Woodland Academy Trust)
Federation of Barnehurst School (Primary First Trust)
Northfleet Nursery (Early Foundations Teaching School Alliance)

School Direct programme:

Heronsgate Primary School
Northumberland Heath Primary School (Woodland Academy Trust)

What you'll study

For those trainees embarking upon the School Direct programme, you will follow our PGCE route.

The full-time PGCE consists of the following courses:

  • Primary Professional Enhancement (15 credits)
  • The Child, the School and the Community (15 credits)
  • Initial School Experience (15 credits)
  • Final School Experience (30 credits)
  • Children's Learning and Development (30 credits)
  • Creativity in Learning and Teaching (30 credits)
  • Professional Development (15 credits).

You will have the option to study both the Children's Learning and Development course and the Creativity in Learning and Teaching course at Master's level, earning 60 Master's-level credits.

The School Direct salaried programme is an employment-based route into teaching and will lead to the recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

The majority of training will take place within schools. The training programme will be personalised to the individual's professional needs but will include training in a range of areas. For example, teaching and learning, curriculum, assessment, working with parents and the community.

All training is closely aligned to support the trainee achieve the Teachers' Standards. In addition to this, taught input will also be provided by the University of Greenwich.

Both programmes are 1 year full-time.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have:

In addition, candidates must: 

  • Attend an interview
  • Pass pre-entry numeracy and literacy skills tests prior to commencing the programme (see Department for Education website for more information)
  • Undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service check and an occupational health screening
  • Candidates for the School Direct salaried programme must be able to provide evidence of three or more years' career experience (this does not have to be in an educational setting).

Note: Recent experience of working with or observing children in a primary school classroom is encouraged

How to apply

Candidates can apply directly to our partnership schools via UCAS Teacher Training for both programmes. For more details, visit the Department for Education website. All successful candidates will be registered as students of the university.

What people say

I enjoyed the whole programme and learned so much thanks to the very supportive and knowledgeable teaching staff. Lectures were always well planned and well delivered by our tutors, with a fully inclusive atmosphere. Many of the strategies and ideas that I learned (especially in maths and literacy) found their way into my classroom quite quickly and successfully, and will continue to inform my teaching throughout my future career.

Emma Harvey, 
School Direct salaried programme

Extra information


Trainees are assessed on a continuous basis for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). School Direct programme students will also complete assignments for the academic award of Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

Professional recognition

The programme leads to the recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status.


Graduates for this programme can pursue a teaching career in primary schools.

Fees and finance

Your time at university should be enjoyable and rewarding, and it is important that it is not spoilt by unnecessary financial worries. We recommend that you spend time planning your finances, both before coming to university and while you are here. We can offer advice on living costs and budgeting, as well as on awards, allowances and loans.

Find out more about our fees and the support available to you at our:

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Avery Hill Campus

Situated either side of Avery Hill Park in Eltham, this campus combines the grace of a Victorian mansion with modern living and teaching facilities.

New Eltham and Falconwood (approx. 15 min walk)

TFL buses frequently run nearby.

Ample 'pay and display' parking on campus.

Campus bus service between campuses.

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