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ITT – School Direct


Ofsted Outstanding Teacher Training


Recruiting Now!

School Direct (Primary)

We are very proud of our excellent partnership with the University of Derby, an experienced provider of school-based initial teacher training, with whom we run both forms of Primary School Direct (the salaried route – Course Code 24ZQ and the tuition route – Course Code 24ZM) at Postgraduate Certificate of Education level. The University of Derby’s School Direct programmes, including ours, were judged as “outstanding” by Ofsted in November 2015.

Minimum entry requirements

English, Maths and a Science at GCSE Grade C or above (we do not accept GCSE equivalency tests)

A University Degree at 2:2 or above

QTS Literacy and Numeracy skills tests passed successfully (Conditional offers can be made if candidates are awaiting their QTS test date)

Our programmes

The School Direct programme, as you would expect, is heavily focussed on gaining practical day to day hands on experience of being a teacher in the classroom. You will be working in a school from day one. This is supplemented by study days (two days, fortnightly, throughout the programme) which are led by experienced lecturers from the University of Derby, team teaching with a range of curriculum leaders from our Alliance schools, who are there to lend a school-based perspective. Trainees do not need to travel to Derby for the taught element of the course – the study days take place at the Hunsbury Hill Centre in Northampton and we structure the course so that it is only necessary to travel to Derby on six or seven occasions through the year.

The taught and assessed element of the School Direct programme from the University of Derby is highly structured and sets out, week by week, the expectations upon the student, upon the school-based mentor and upon the school as a whole, so that the student gradually assumes more and more whole class teaching responsibility as the programme progresses. Course and training materials are clear and well structured so that our students know what is expected of them at all times.

Our track record

  • 2014-2015: 20 School Direct students, all of whom qualified to become teachers and gained employment in schools across our County.
  • 2015-2016: we successfully trained another 15 students.
  • 2016-2017: cohort of 15 trainees successfully qualified.
  • 2017-2018: 13 trainees successfully qualified and currently completing their NQT years.
  • 2018-2019: 25 students currently on their training year.
  • 2019-2020: Currently recruiting for this cohort (notionally 10 salaried/15 non-salaried route) and have already lined up a choice of placements in our Alliance Schools.

This track record of success in providing School Direct at PGCE level is, we believe, a significant reason why aspiring teachers should consider training with us.


Thank you for all your support this year. The course has been amazing and I feel incredibly prepared to go on to teach independently next year because of both the nature of the course and the incredible support from all involved.  Trainee SP

I think this year has been challenging, but all of us on the course have said many times about the huge support and help we have had from the Teaching School and The University of Derby. So, thank you again for all the support and getting all of us through this year!  Trainee RA

I really must thank you for your support over the year  – you have always shown that you were fighting our corner and I know from the group discussions that we have all been grateful for that and impressed with your commitment to us. Nothing has ever been too much trouble. It has also been a really rewarding and positive experience.  Trainee JC

imagesSupport & Future Employment

Our School Direct students are very well supported by a team including a school-based mentor (who is trained and inducted by The University of Derby), a mentor from the University of Derby (who makes periodic visits to the student in their placement school), our School Direct Lead, Teaching School Manager and Admin team here at Fairfields.  We work very closely together to support each individual student with their own bespoke training plan – this is a characteristic feature of our course.

Due to us being a large Alliance with large primaries, small primaries, a few special schools and able to call on expertise from secondaries, we can match trainee to school intelligently.  It is not Hobson’s choice.  Wherever possible, placements are made through consultation and we manage to avoid huge daily journeys (particularly on second placements in January and February).

Employment prospects at the end of our programme are excellent, not only because we have over 100 schools in our Alliance but also because there are 10 new schools opening across Northamptonshire in the next 18 months.

Northamptonshire needs good teachers.  And, if you are thinking of coming to train with us from outside of the County, it’s a great place to be: www.lovenorthamptonshire.com

Please visit http://www.teachnorthamptonshire.com/train-to-teach/ for more information.


Applications for our School Direct offer are made through UCAS. Please visit: www.ucas.com/teacher-training

For further information you can call us on 01604 777895 or e-mail teachingschool@fairfields.northants.sch.uk