What is School Direct?

School Direct is a course that shows you the skills that schools are looking for in a newly qualified teacher.  Working in conjunction with the University of Derby and two placement schools from the local area, the schools recruit you as a trainee with a job at the end of the course subject to application criteria being met.

The course lasts 1 year and results in QTS, PGCE and 60 credits towards a masters.

We’re passionate about providing high quality Initial Teacher Training/Education in a full time school-based setting. This offers you the best possible opportunities to completing your training successfully and become an outstanding teacher.  DTSA has strong links with the Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) in the Derbyshire area and is uniquely placed to offer training at Primary level on Science to help with the course content and practical ideas for teaching.  This is important in securing a teaching post within the Derby and Derbyshire area because of our strong STEM economy.  This comes at no additional cost for our School Direct placements.

You will work with two schools rated as good or better which gives you the chance to learn in the classroom and “on the job”.  Our schools work in partnership with us so you will be part of a team from the outset, receive a mentor to help you through the course and have intensive support from experienced teachers within a school setting.  By working in two different schools it enables you to experience Primary education in different Key Stages. We also offer short periods in other contexts to develop your skills and knowledge based on your development needs.

Train to be an outstanding teacher with Derby Teaching Schools Alliance and know that each day, you’ve made a difference.  Our schools believe in moulding new teachers to be the best that they can be and will help you work towards working in a classroom on your own as if the class was yours.

We have over 50 schools within the alliance in Derby City, Derbyshire and Staffordshire and we can offer you a great variety of schools to enable you to train in a setting that matches your experience.

This excellent range of partner schools gives a real strength to our School Direct programme providing trainees with many opportunities to learn and develop in a range of contexts.

 Join the Derby Teaching Schools Alliance and our excellent teacher training programme.

See young people learn, grow and progress everyday.

We are looking for individuals who can demonstrate potential and show strong commitment to teaching. You may also be looking for a change in career, we have trainees from all walks of life including industry and career changes.

How do I apply?

In order to apply for a place on School Direct with us from September 2018, applicants must have:

  • A GCSE grade C or above in English, Mathematics and Science or a recognised equivalent qualification
  • Honours degree: a 2.1 (UK) undergraduate degree. Strong applicants with a 2:2 will be considered.
  • Passed the national English and Math’s Skills Tests (before starting the course)

All places offered are subject to successful applicants who also meet a ‘suitability’ criteria; (DBS) and ‘fitness to teach’ (mental and physical health) requirements.

Applications for 2018/19 are now open via UCAS at Search for Derby Teaching Schools Alliance with course code 2KT2.

For more information contact Frances Vinall for a friendly chat on 07825 738359 or email

Available Funding

As a primary trainee there are two types of funding that is available to you if you are completing schools direct on the non-salaried route.  Depending on your personal circumstances it is possible to receive both.


1. Tax free bursary or scholarship

Tax-free funding is available in a range of subjects of up to £28,000. Find out more on the funding available to support your postgraduate teacher training.


2. Loans

Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loans are available for all subjects, regardless of your qualifications and the subject you want to teach.


3. Extra financial support

Extra financial support is available if you’re a parent, have an adult dependant or a disability. This is available to all eligible trainees, regardless of the subject you’re teaching.


Read more here

What qualifications will I gain?

• Qualified Teacher Status

• Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE)

• 60 credits towards a Master’s Degree from the University of Derby


Why choose DTSA

  • We have an excellent employment record with 98%-100% of our trainees getting their first teaching post on successful completion of the course.
  • The course is a full time practical course learning in school, working with professional teachers.
  • We offer very good academic and pastoral support for all our trainees throughout the whole course.“Amazing support from DTSA always available to discuss any issues always given good advice and has looked out for each and every one of us.”
  • We include high quality professional dialogue with you to ensure the course matches your experience and development requirements.
  • We have a well-established partnership with the University of Derby enabling us to provide a well-balanced course of both academic development and practical teaching application.
  • We will ensure that each trainee is allocated an excellent mentor in their school to enable them to enhance their class teaching skills and knowledge on a graduated training programme. Our mentors attend regular network/training meetings (led by DTSA) to ensure they keep their skills up to date and for them to share good practices. Your relationship with your mentor is key and we carefully monitor the quality of mentoring by including taking feedback from trainees on the programme.
  • We encourage all our trainees to support each other – sharing ideas and experiences throughout the programme.
  • Free science training at Primary level on Science to help with the course content and practical ideas for teaching.

Many Frequently Asked Questions about becoming a teacher are answered on the following site: