What is School Direct?

School Direct an innovative post-graduate programme led by schools, in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) Faculty of Education. 

Schools work in an alliance, with one Lead School taking responsibility for the co-ordination of the School Direct programme across the alliance. The Lead School will organise school based training days for students on key aspects of teaching and learning such as planning, assessment and meeting individual needs. They also have responsibility for preparing trainees to teach the Foundation Curriculum Areas and RE and marking one Foundation Area assignment ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’.

Training lasts for one academic year (September-July), and on successful completion you will be awarded a PGCE with Qualified Teacher Status. The School Direct Programme consists of a combination of classroom practice and relevant professional development. You will be given the opportunity to spend much of your time ‘practising your craft’ with high quality school placements in Cheshire East.

You will also be offered a programme of training developed and delivered by The Optimus Alliance schools in partnership with the Manchester Metropolitan University. You will be supported personally and professionally by school based mentors and a University Based Tutor.

During the year students will be attached to a main placement school (placement A) initially for a 13-week block. Trainees also engage in a 1-week placement, focussing on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). They then undertake a shorter placement of approximately 9 weeks in an alternative second school (placement B). Students then return to their main school for a further 8 weeks. There is also potential for additional secondary based training through our partner secondary schools. All alternative placements are organised by the main school in consultation with the Lead School.  The programmes are designed to allow you to learn on the job and upon completion ensures that you are in the best possible position to secure employment.

We recognise and value the decision you made to come into our schools. As such, throughout the year you will be very well supported. We are keen to see each individual trainee working to achieve the very best and enjoying success in their chosen career! We know professional development is a two-way process. As such we will listen to you, work to identify your own development needs and support you in meeting your targets. Your career in teaching with us will be challenging but the most rewarding experience. Please do not hesitate to make contact if you need any further information. No question is too trivial and we would love to talk to you. To arrange a telephone conversation or a face to face meeting please contact Mr Shaw at the Lead School on 01625 525157.

Your training will include the following:

  • A placement in a high-quality primary school with support from school based mentors and a university tutor throughout the programme.

  • A different experience in a second placement school. This will be a chance to experience another key stage.

  • A chance to experience other educational settings such as EYFS, a secondary school and a special school.

  • A programme of weekly academic learning and training. You will cover all aspects of education and pedagogy in your training. Study includes subject knowledge work in Maths, English, Science, Computing and the Foundation subjects. This is supported by professional development in areas such as managing behaviour, how to prepare, plan and structure lessons, questioning techniques, demonstrating progress and co-operative learning strategies. This is also a fantastic opportunity to network with like-minded primary colleagues, share good practice and engage in peer coaching.

  • As well as securing your QTS, you will achieve a PGCE with up to 60 credits towards a Masters qualification.

  • Research experience. As part of your study you will undertake research and learn how research can inform, and have a positive impact upon, your practice.

Our School Direct programme offers the highest quality training in a supportive, learning-rich environment, and we look forward to hearing from you if you feel inspired to be part of our Alliance.