Fairfields School Trinity Avenue Northampton NN2 6JN Tel: 01604 714777 Contact Us


What is Fairfields Teaching School Alliance?
We are a Teaching School comprising 76 mainstream and special schools within Northamptonshire. (See About us page of this website for more information).
Can my school join Fairfields Teaching School Alliance?
Yes any school is welcome to join the alliance. Please contact Charlie Furniss at teachingschool@fairfields.northants.sch.uk who will be very happy to discuss this further. Please refer to our most recent Prospectus to understand the numerous benefits of membership.
Which University are you working with?
We have been working with the University of Derby since September 2014 and are continuing to run School Direct PGCE Level 7 with them in 2018-2019. Recruitment information for 2019-2020 will be available in due course. (See School Direct page)
As a school considering involvement in School Direct, how does the salaried route differ from the tuition-only route?
School Direct PGCE (Salaried Route) … You employ the teacher as part of your staffing complement (on unqualified teacher rate) … they train while doing the job for a year as a classroom teacher in your school. (You need to factor in that you lose them 2 days per fortnight for the University based training [in Northampton, not in Derby] and you lose them for 8 weeks in Jan/Feb when they go on an alternative placement). But they are your teacher at the end of the programme, already up to speed with your school. You may already have someone in mind who is already a member of staff at your school and who you wish to sponsor through the salaried route.

We also run School Direct PGCE (Tuition Only Route)… you have the student for the same length of time but they are supernumerary to your staffing complement. They are introduced more gradually to full time teaching. You have no commitment to keeping them at the end of the year but, if they have done well and you have a vacancy, that often happens as, again, you know them and they know your school!

Who can apply for the School Direct training programme?
We are interested in all applications for the postgraduate places from those trainees who meet the criteria. Trainees need to have a 2:2 or higher, English including English Language, Maths and Science GCSE at ‘C’. They also need to pass the QTS online skills tests in literacy and mathematics before they can be accepted on to the programme.
Who pays for the skills test?
It is your responsibility to organise and pay for your skills tests. The results of these you must confirm with Fairfields.
How do I apply for School Direct?
The application round opens each November.  You can make three initial choices in any combination and you must submit the choices at the same time.  You will be asked to indicate your first, second and third choice.  You can only submit one personal statement and it will not be possible to customise the statement to one particular setting.  You will need two references and these will be seen by all of your choices online. Interviews will take place within Fairfields Teaching School Alliance.  Your application can be tracked by yourself on the UCAS online tracking system.
Where will my placements be with Fairfields Teaching School Alliance?
Placements will be allocated across Fairfields Teaching School Alliance. For School Direct salaried route, the school paying your salary will obviously be your main placement. For tuition only route, placements are allocated after discussion with trainees – we have 76 schools in our Alliance so can usually offer a choice of placements in terms of geography and Key Stage.
When is the closing date for applications?
After the posting of an application on the UCAS website, there is a 40 day window for a decision to be made. So there is “no closing date for applications” as such.  However, we will always offer applicants an indication of when we are next shortlisting and interviewing the current batch of applicants, so that they have some idea of timescale.
How do I access a Leading SENCo?
Fairfields Teaching School Alliance deploys a team of 12 Leading SENCos.  All deployment is coordinated by the Teaching School Manager. Contact teachingschool@fairfields.northants.sch.uk with your enquiry or telephone 07467957922.
We are not an Alliance member school - can we still access training and school to school support?
Yes.  Although some of our training and support offer is exclusive to Alliance Schools as part of their membership fee – we also have a comprehensive universal offer.  See our latest prospectus in the Professional Development and Training section of this website.